¶ Rubio and Scott: “Stop finagling redistricting”
My name is Shirley and I have lived in Florida all my life. I have been absolutely appalled by the braggadocious and arrogant propensity to in-your-face cheat to win shenanigans at work to stop some of We the People from voting. We know you cheat and you know you cheat. It is like my mother used to say, if you lie, you will steal, and if you steal, you will kill. Unfortunately, we have seen lying, stealing and killing. What are you afraid of? You may be even cheating yourself out of votes!!
Senators Rubio and Scott, vote yes to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and stop finagling with the redrawing of district voting lines. Additionally, what needs to die and be buried is the use of the filibuster that prevents proposed legislation debate for a yes or no vote.
— Shirley Bryant, West Palm Beach
¶ “Thank you for shedding light”
I wanted to say that I thought your reporting on the wage issue at Orlando Airport was fantastic (“Overworked and underpaid: Orlando International Airport workers walk out on the cusp of MCO’s busiest travel season,” Nov. 24). I have never commented or written an email to an organization about anything I have read, but I just wanted to let you know that it was an informative article. Thank you for shedding light on an issue of that magnitude.
— Mario A. Torres, Palm Coast
¶ Airlines’ aberrant assumptions
Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to make an airline reservation by telephone, unless you make a trip directly to the airport (and of course, that’s for those with vehicles). If you have to take an Uber, it might cost over $100 (back and forth). For those with cars, the cost to get to the airport back and forth could be in the vicinity of $50 including parking. Imagine!
The airline industries assume that everyone has computer skills, everyone has credit cards, everyone is versed in English. This is an aberrant assumption! What about immigrants with no English reading skills, no computer skills, no credit cards, no means of transportation and with disabilities, what are they supposed to do if they have to travel and visit their loved ones overseas?
Have those airlines executives ever thought about that? Of course not! What happens to customer service, business ethics, societal courtesy or savoir faire?
— Eli Fleurant, Lake Mary
¶ Critical Race Theory: “Will it be painful at times? Of course”
I am writing this letter to highlight an actual event that illustrates why Critical Race Theory should be a part of our education system.
In 2014, I participated in an event in Southern California that brings inner-city, disadvantaged youth to the beach for a day of water activities. It was my first time participating in this annual event, and I was excited to be there with probably about 200 other volunteers. My role was to watch and mentor a participant.
I was paired with an African American boy, about 10 years old. I am an African American, myself. While most of the other youth seemed to bond with their mentor quickly, the young man assigned to me was distant and sought to avoid me during the activities. After about an hour of this, I asked him if something was wrong. He looked at me and replied, “My mother told me Black men aren’t any good.” It was like a dagger, and for a while, I didn’t know how to react.
When I asked him why he felt that Black men weren’t any good he told me that Black men haven’t supported their communities – that all he sees on television is Black men getting arrested – that all the stories he heard in school about Black men was how poor they were compared to white men.
Apparently he had not been taught about any of the Black inventors, many of whom never made money from their inventions because they were barred from getting patents. I also talked to him about the Atlanta race riots of 1906, the Elaine massacre, the Rosewood massacre, the Black Wall Street/Tulsa massacre. I taught him about how the federal government sanctioned building their highway system through Black neighborhoods, wiping out the wealth, desirability and opportunity to make money in their neighborhoods. I taught him about how national housing developers, the federal government and federal banks colluded to create redlining, thus keeping Black Americans from getting loans so that they could move to better neighborhoods and build wealth.
I also taught him about the role and sacrifices of thousands of courageous white people who gave their money and lives to make the country a better place for all Americans. I taught him that not all white people — not even most white people — were racists, and that skin color was the last thing he should look at in a person. At the end of the day, his perception of who he was went from despair and failure to pride and hope. That was the best part of the event.
Today, I hear some parents claiming that critical race theory makes their children feel bad. Well, there are plenty of things that will make children feel bad as they grow and develop. That’s called life. Find the courage to teach them the truth. You are your child’s first teacher — teach. I did it with a young man who felt bad about being Black, and he wasn’t even my child. It wasn’t his fault that the founders of this country used their 1776 White Privilege Card to systematically and “legally” destroy the freedoms of Native Indians, Mexicans, African Americans and the many immigrants who have come to our shores over time.
This great country has an opportunity to use education and history to unite its citizens. Will it be painful at times? Of course it will. Is it necessary? It’s required!
— Douglas Hall, Orlando
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