It’s important to illustrate racism in America | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
The Edwards family as seen in front of their box garden at their St. Petersburg home. Tori and Khyre Edwards have compiled a timeline of racial microaggressions that have shaped their views as they impart wisdom to their young family. From left are children, Emelia,19, Naomi, 2, and Makena, 5, along with mom Tori and dad, Khyre.
The Edwards family as seen in front of their box garden at their St. Petersburg home. Tori and Khyre Edwards have compiled a timeline of racial microaggressions that have shaped their views as they impart wisdom to their young family. From left are children, Emelia,19, Naomi, 2, and Makena, 5, along with mom Tori and dad, Khyre. [ BOYZELL HOSEY | Times ]
Published Sept. 6, 2020

Black Lives | Aug. 30

We need personal healing

Thank you for publishing this enlightening story, and thanks to Tori and Khyre Edwards for compiling a detailed timeline of the obstacles, discrimination, humiliation and dangers they have encountered already in their young lives. Their story makes very real, especially for white Americans such as myself, just some of what Black Americans experience every day. Most white Americans have not needed or wanted to see the systemic racism that is still so pervasive in our country, but Black Americans know it all too well and have to do their best to live with it all the time.

The article illustrates how racism affects the lives of Black Americans in so many different ways, how it shows up in housing, health care, employment, and education, in encounters with police on the streets and with young children on the playground. I am grateful to the Edwards for their courage and clarity, and to your reporter and editors for their skill in presenting it. May this story help all of us to see the continuing scourge of racism more clearly, and help motivate us to finally make the changes necessary to bring personal healing and systemic transformation.

Andrew Rock, Tampa

Biden must run like he’s losing | Column, Sept. 3

Vote is in our hands

Eugene Robinson hits the nail dead-on multiple times in this column but grossly understates the risks to presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden in the presence of complacency. My conservative friends may claim to hate President Donald Trump as a person, but still have no intention of voting for Biden. They frequently agree that Trump is a loudmouth bully, but he’s their bully, doing things they want and nominating over 200 conservative judges and telling China where to get off. So to all who want to see change at the top, don’t assume Biden’s going to win whether you vote or not. Assume he will lose by one vote in Florida and that the electoral college is in our hands. Every vote is critical, but your vote may be the one that counts to put Biden over the top.

Dr. Gary L. Wasserman, St. Petersburg

Climate emergency not just another issue | Column, Aug. 30

Can’t control nature

Although the authors were eminently qualified to write an authoritative and informative article, it was in fact mostly 30 column inches of rhetoric, finger-pointing and name calling. Only once was the “emergency” identified in a very brief reference to climate warming.

So, what can we do about global warming? It will change when the Earth is ready to change it. What we can do is cope with it. As structures on coasts wear out and need replacing, replace them at somewhat higher elevations. Some of our major crops, like corn and wheat, will not fare well at the south end of their growth belts. But warming temperatures will allow them to grow farther north, so the net yield should remain about the same.

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In summary, let’s quit wasting time, energy and lives trying to control Earth’s temperature. Let us instead learn to cope with and adapt to it.

Alfred D’Amario, Hudson

What to do if you’re looking for a job

We’re here to help

Our number one concern is providing a safe work environment for our staff and a safe environment for our customers. Many of our customers are receiving our services virtually, online and by using our website, We will continue to work to improve our virtual experience, as I believe it is a way we can reach more customers where they are most comfortable, in their own homes and businesses.

In the first week of September, we held two virtual job fairs in which more than 400 people participated. Online, we have a Hot Jobs page with hundreds of job openings available right now. You can access Employ Florida, the state’s job search tool, great for job openings not only in Hillsborough County, but across the state.

During this time, we’ve also had to shut down some of our facilities. But we’ve tried to keep most of our locations open for those who need our services. Not everyone has high-speed internet to conduct a job search. Not everyone in Tampa Bay has access to a computer. Since most job applications are online these days, it is imperative we provide this valuable service in our community.

We’ve been fortunate to have great new programs we can offer the public, like the Rapid Response Recovery Program, which has $21.5 million in relief for not only job training, but also helping employers who were adversely impacted by COVID-19. We’re here to help, we have help available and will do our best to help those who need it, even while we work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

John Flanagan

The writer is the CEO of Career Source Tampa Bay.

The vanishing Florida of Julia Moseley | Sept. 1

It’s like Joni Mitchell said

Julia Moseley’s life lesson as expressed in this article was “reverence for the land.” As writer Gary Mormino states, her passion was the preservation of the 1886 home and the surrounding 14 acres of property. He mentions that “the property is worth millions, but Julia insisted it should be shared by all Floridians.”

Long-time Dunedin resident and philanthropist Gladys Douglas had the same passion, to preserve the 44 acres surrounding her property as a nature park for generations of Floridians to enjoy. It is truly unfortunate that, after having done so much for so many with her genuine commitment to philanthropy, so many have failed her by not working together to secure and safeguard this property. This did not happen because the people involved were not interested enough to make it happen.

I guess, as Joni Mitchel sang 1970, we will continue to “pave paradise and put up a parking lot.”

David Loeffert, Dunedin

Medicaid expansion

Children pay the price

As a practicing physician in Florida, I’m gravely concerned about the 50,000 Florida children at risk of losing health care because of the COVID-19 recession. President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic response allowed the economy to collapse, taking tens of thousands of jobs with it. Many Floridians now no longer have jobs and the employer-provided health insurance they and their families count on. Their options to get health care are limited and tangled in red tape.

This massive failure on the part of Trump and DeSantis renews the importance of expanding Medicaid in Florida, which is one of 12 states that has not extended health care to working families and one of 18 states suing to end the law that allows such healthcare expansion. It’s also important to note that these children are in the precarious situation they’re in because Trump and DeSantis botched the pandemic response. They downplayed the virus and failed to act in time to prevent lives lost and jobs lost. And then, without the proper safeguards in place, they rushed to reopen the economy, against the advice of medical experts. No mass testing, no contact tracing, no support for people who need to isolate themselves. People got sick. Businesses lost customers and workers. Many closed their doors for good and others had to lay off employees. Children should not be paying the price for politicians’ mistakes, and expanding Medicaid is the best way to protect them. Now is the time to put patients over politics.

Mona Mangat, St. Petersburg