Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019: Slavery, gender unicorn, downtown Modesto and Trump

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More questions on slavery, nation’s past

Re “Slavery is no artifact of the dead past” (Page 1B, Aug. 18): Leonard Pitts Jr. states that there is a vocal minority of white people who have toured Southern plantations and then complain about slavery exhibits. They were saying, “We felt we were being lectured and bashed.” He ends the article basically saying, “Get over it; it’s part of our history.”

Yes, I agree. That is part of our history, a terribly inhumane part. We should all own up to it. We shouldn’t hide it.

My questions: Why is it OK for all those Civil War statues to be torn down because they offend some people? Why is it OK to paint over a mural at George Washington High School because it depicts Washington with his slaves working in his fields? Shouldn’t “it’s part of our history” work both ways?

Cathy Brown, Oakdale

Gender unicorn was a misstep

I commend the parents of Denair for their questions and comments regarding the inappropriate handout in their junior high. It is the proper role of parents to question activities in a school, and in this case, the parents had a legitimate complaint. It should be the district superintendent who will grow here, as the students’ lack of proper courtesy in addressing Alvarado with a pronoun should change, and parents are in an uproar. Our school system is misguided and out of bounds in broaching these types of topics. Our legislators and the Department of Education are leading our society into harmful issues best left to parents.

I encourage all parents in every district to ask their school to refrain from discussing these topics. As your article stated, parents can opt their student out of these classes if notified properly in advance by the school. Certainly a junior high is not the place for these topics.

Kenn Cunningham, Modesto

Changing downtown for the better

Re “Timing is right for Modesto to dramatically improve downtown” (Page 1B, Aug. 18): You hit the nail on the head in this editorial regarding the timing for improving downtown. Opportunities to shape the future of downtown should be embraced, strategically planned, and celebrated.

Personally I’m thankful for the city inviting all sectors (education, faith, non-profit, business, government, entertainment, media, healthcare, arts, etc.) to be involved. My hope is that all will step up during this time, accept this invitation, and take responsibility for shaping downtown before it is shaped by outside influences. There is no doubt, as your editorial points out, that downtown Modesto will change in the upcoming months and years. Can we make the most of this opportunity, empowering leadership from every sector, so that we can make sure we are ahead of change rather than behind it?

It is crucial that we elect leadership who realizes the potential of this opportunity. Thanks for helping us realize the power of this moment, and encouraging us to respond.

Jim Applegate, Modesto

Older people: share your wisdom

The headline in your recent Influencer series on what experts say we can do about obesity, costing California billions each year, could not have been more déjà vu. California politicians began efforts to ban smoking 25 years ago. At the time, we joked: Smokers first, then the obese, followed by those with obvious medical conditions and finally, through genome screening, the rest of us undiagnosed sickies.

The time has arrived. Politicians: mandated to legislate and regulate your life.

Social media experts are to this generation what Uri Geller was to mine. When only 5% of the 18-to-29 age group reads a newspaper (according to the Pew Research group), it’s up to the older generation to disseminate lessons we have learned the hard way about politics and politicians, through action or word of mouth. Age is an advantage in this situation.

Get interested! Focus on what is really happening around you. Share your experience. Share your love for this country.

Rick Kimble, Riverbank

Save Mart saved displaced workers

Our deepest appreciation goes out to Save Mart for providing good jobs to Marie Callender’s employees who were just laid off in a store closure.

We will always be grateful for your sense of community and support. This had been an extremely shocking termination which left many of us feeling hopeless. With your acceptance, we can breathe easier knowing we are joining a remarkable company, a family business that is a great example of kindness. We are looking forward to a bright future with you and will be sure to always remember the core values you stand for.

June Farley, Oakdale, and the Marie Callender’s crew

Small change, big improvement

Kudos to Stanislaus Food Products for re-routing the tomato trucks that cross D Street. In previous years, the trucks drove a block west on D Street to cross at 11th. This season the trucks have been going straight across D Street at 12th. After driving D Street on a daily basis for 18 years, I am amazed at how this small change has alleviated a tremendous amount of traffic congestion. Hats off to whomever thought of this.

Dolores M. LaVelle, Turlock

Beware at red lights

Yesterday I was stopped at the intersection of Pelandale and Tully. When the light turned green, I hesitated just a bit and again glanced up at the green light. Just then, a van coming from the south flew through the intersection. If I had been a few seconds earlier, I would have been hit broadside by this big van.

Is it time to again have cameras to catch drivers running red lights? This seems to be a pattern at many stop lights. Please, drivers, be considerate and obey the laws of the road. The person you hit could be someone’s grandmother.

Joann Ewert, Modesto

MPA is a Modesto jewel

Fifty two years of wonderful performances. So many young people have been touched by the amazing program begun at Modesto High School by Paul Tischer, who continues to direct (Modesto Performing Arts). Modesto youth are so lucky to have the advantage of learning about performing and being involved in musical theater that is timeless. Each play has a message for the year in which it is performed.

The whole cast of Newsies is to be commended for a well-done performance. Happy there was a hold over performance. Thank you for all the energy you put into this musical. As Tischer says in the program, it is not just ticket sales that make these performances possible. Donations are important, but also all the behind the scenes people, and the musicians who add to the professionalism of each musical.

Thank you to all who are a part of Modesto performing programs. We are richer for your part in this and are grateful for it.

Nancy Howard, Modesto

Trump: just another dictator

At his latest adoration event, Trump told us that people must vote for him in order to save the economy, whether we like him or not. Based on his past business batting average and his self-dealing at the expense of everyone else, we should take the “not.”

It’s the same false choice that every dictator in history has used: Me or disaster.

He also called out an adorable for packing on too much poundage. A bold statement for someone who looks like he is carrying (too much weight himself). Trump apologized. Bet we don’t get an apology when he takes us over the edge.

Jack Heinsius, Modesto

Let them do their jobs

President Trump deserves a rebuke from all Americans.

Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar had permission to travel in Israel. Trump arranged to have that permission withdrawn. The president has interfered with the duty of these congresswomen to represent their constituents as they see fit, including by traveling to Israel. To this extent, the president has interfered with the workings of Congress. His overreaching the bounds of his office deserves a rebuke by all who cherish our Constitution.

Leroy Egenberger, Modesto

Imagining the mind of the president

The real reason Trump wanted to purchase Greenland was not for its resources. On the advice of his cabinet, Trump has been convinced that all the immigrants detained at the border could easily be shipped to Greenland to start a new life. Trump is even willing to foot the cost of air fare.

Trump is convinced that this loving gesture will garner him the Nobel Peace Prize for humanitarian action as the most beloved, intelligent, loving, giving, caring, compassionate president of all time. Shipping all immigrants to such a beautiful country as Greenland has Trump’s aides calling him the Mother Teresa of America.

When asked to comment, Trump tweeted, “I was keeping my campaign promise to make America white again. After all, that is why you elected me.”

Brooks Judd, Turlock

Editor’s note: We periodically accept satire submissions on this page.

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