Not what I remember
I realize this is going to be a harsh letter for some to read, but it's all true. And just for the record, North Little Rock was and still is my home.
In his recent letter Gordon Gondek expressed his dislike of political correctness and spoke of his desire to live in a world where people can say what they think. He also said back in the '50s and '60s the only racism he knew of was from those "nutjobs ... in white cloaks and hoods." He must have been in another universe, because that's not what I witnessed.
The n-word was used any and everywhere possible. The tacky jokes were endless. In grade school our bus used to drive through a poor black neighborhood. Most of the kids on the bus would hold their noses while chanting "peeeee-u" as we drove by. My high school yearbook shows that we had four blacks in our senior class. The only one that was even remotely popular, or even spoken to, was the one who made it onto the football team.
My first job, in 1969, was as a secretary in the county courthouse. On my first day, after the head of the secretarial pool had introduced me to the other employees in our office (three were black), she pulled me aside and explained to me that we had blacks in the office because of "that new civil rights law." Later that day, an officemate gave me a tour. She pointed out the "colored" and "white" signs on the restroom doors and said, "You don't have to go by that, but most people do." I used the black restroom regularly because I was ready to cause a ruckus.
We've come a long way since then, but still have a long way to go. I believe our current president is not helping, but that's another letter.
Mr. Gondek, are you sure you're ready to do away with any "political correctness" and live in a world where people can say what they think? And most importantly, can you honestly say you didn't witness any of this type of behavior while growing up? Maybe if you thought of political correctness as common decency, you wouldn't have such a problem with it.
North Little Rock
Cable news like drug
There have been letters about Fox News and CNN, both sides putting down the other, and I say this: Just stop watching those channels. I did.
I was watching both. I was like a junkie, I needed my news fix; but I found out something. I stopped watching both. Now I stick to the national news on basic cable. Now I'm healthier, happier, I'm not as sad, tired, or feeling down.
I know we need to be informed, but watching Fox or CNN is as addictive as a drug. Stop now; you will feel better too.
Can help each other
Little Rock has the ability to assist Baltimore with its rat issue. Cats--feral cats! Baltimore, come get as many as you want.
Attention to words
I seldom agree with Mike Masterson's political opinions, but usually find them thoughtful. His July 28 column, however, reads as a series of hyperbolic talking points fed by right-wing demagogues. He accuses liberal Americans of being hypocrites, while ignoring the self-contradictions that emerge from "conservative" ideologues. He argues that people who live in gated communities should not object to building a border wall. Even Border Patrol agents have disagreements as to how effective a wall would be in curtailing our immigration problems. The notion that opposing a border wall amounts to advocating open borders is a "line" fed by elitist politicians and parroted by right-wing pundits--the type of mindless "Hannityisms" that Mike usually avoids.
Masterson lectures us less-informed readers that pro-choice Americans show hypocrisy when they argue for humane treatment of immigrant children. Might we point out similar contradictions when "pro-lifers" support military intervention as a form of ongoing U.S. foreign policy? How do folks who claim to promote the sanctity of life justify their support for policies that have resulted in roughly 200,000 civilian deaths in Iraq (which has never attacked the U.S.)?
What about "conservatives" who criticize liberals as tax-and-spenders when our national debt explodes with conservative "borrow-and-spenders" in power? We could go on, but my point is--please, Mike--pay attention to your own words. Don't use your column as, paraphrasing you, an arrogant one who loses credibility through pronouncements applied to everyone but himself.
Contradictory notions appear in all political camps--not just those whose policy stances are different than yours.
Things I just don't get
Maybe it's just me, but there are some things I just don't get. I don't get why they still make men's bikes and women's bikes. When was the last time a lady in a dress rode a bike? In the 1920s, maybe?
I don't get why most everyone avoids using the word "died" as if it is a dirty word, which, I guess, it is fast becoming. Most likely some future Bible translation will proclaim that Jesus "passed away" for our sins.
In a similar vein, I don't get why 99 percent or so of the English-speaking population favor the use of "snuck" as the past tense of "sneak" instead of the better-sounding "sneaked." Maybe it's just me.
I don't get flip-flops. I like a little protection on my toes. I might wear them on a beach, if I ever went to a beach.
I don't get it. Are hunters so ashamed of what they do that they have to use camouflage words such as "take" and "harvest" instead of kill? Are we fast becoming a nation of wimps? Did I mention that maybe it's just me?
I don't get contemporary writers' fascination with dirty words, especially in the poetry realm. My observation is that rhyming is out while profanity is in.
And then there's the biggest "I don't get it" of all. Every summer, it's the same old mystery: Why do baseball players have to spit so much? In addition to the "Golden Glove" and "Silver Slugger" awards, MLB should give a "Brass Spittoon" award to the best spitter. MLB officially banned the spitball in 1921 but, alas, not spitting.
But there is one thing I do get. Any country that allows the freedom to disrespect its flag is all the more reason to respect that flag.
Editorial on 08/04/2019
Print Headline: Letters