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Not living in reality

Has anyone else observed that there is a huge disconnect from reality when it's all about them and us, but it gets real when it's all about "me"? Just recently, Mick Mulvaney broke from the "anybody can get tested" mantra being put out by the Trump administration. It wasn't because he had concerns about any random American. It was because his own family had been exposed to the coronavirus. Turns out that testing was hard to get and the results, in a timely fashion, even harder to get. So Mick is now on record telling the rest of us that the testing is not up to expectations and something needs to be done about it.

Then Chuck Woolery of game-show fame, whose tweet was retweeted by fearless leader, informed us that coronavirus is a hoax fashioned to steal the election from Trump. He said he was "sick of it." Turns out that it is actually his son that is sick ... with coronavirus. Chuck has announced that it isn't a hoax. Thanks for the update, Chuck. The out-of-work, chronically sick and dead from this virus are so grateful for that validation.

There are multiple stories in the news about people who denied it and then died from it. I thought that the "new" Trumpublican party was just trying to steal people's souls. Turns out they want their brains too.

SARA LANGSTON

North Little Rock

Meat of the matter

There was a lot of copy in the opinion section of last Monday's paper. Professional writers spewing their opinions as usual, but the meat was at the bottom in the Voices section.

This quote by Patrice Taylor of Little Rock: "I think that there are some people of all races that treat others badly based on the color of their skin. Changing names of things we love and removing monuments won't change racism. Love and respect for one another will."

When I was in grade school in the '60s we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. The entire year we studied the cause, the battles, the outcomes and such. Our household only got three channels. Channels 4, 7 and occasionally 11. Sixty percent of what was on TV at night were westerns. My view of the Civil War was of cowboys in blue and gray, waving swords, shooting guns and riding horses. Names like Jeb Stuart and "Stonewall" were certainly heroic monikers. I'm sure I had a Confederate flag at some point too. I know one Christmas I got a Mattel "Johnny Reb" cannon.

But as an adult who has done my fair share of reading and has a love of history, I have grown to understand the pain of slavery, the reconstruction period and the Jim Crow era to African Americans.

As a proud Arkansan, I have no problem removing reminders of those dark days in our country's history. As an American, I know it is time for us to be "one nation under God" like we claim to be. This can only be done when America's own people decide that they are mature enough to do so.

That being said, I also want to thank Rick Riley of Little Rock for these words of wisdom: "At age 20, I worried about what everyone thought of me. At age 40, I didn't care what everyone thought of me. At age 60, I realized they weren't even thinking about me!"

"Home run," Rick.

WADE GREEN

Camden

For the safety of all

Remember when the first airline prohibited smoking? And some people said they would just fly another airline? And then all airlines prohibited smoking and started kicking people off the planes that did?

We all learned to live with the rule and, in time, came to appreciate it.

How about when the first restaurants started smoking-only areas? And then eventually stopped allowing smoking altogether? People said they would just eat somewhere else so they could smoke. Eventually only a small number of restaurants would allow smoking and they had to restrict their clientele to over 18 only.

Now we accept a nice smoke-free restaurant and enjoy our food. Smokers wait until later to contaminate their lungs and those around them.

Or--how about when the first businesses started making their offices smoke-free? At first there was pushback by employees. Some even quit their jobs. Now we accept the fact that not smoking in groups of non-smokers all day protects them from secondhand smoke and cancer. Smokers take their smoke breaks in remote areas of the parking lot, if there is a designated smoking area at all.

Unfortunately, this change in our culture with smoking took decades. We do not have the time to screw around with all the non-mask-wearing people who insist on endangering the rest of the public.

If the government can mandate and enforce seat belts, non-smoking, speed limits, workplace safety regulations, and many other parts of our life, not wearing masks in public during a pandemic should not be considered an inalienable right.

BOYD WARD

Mayflower

Discipline of students

As I read the article in the morning paper about the trial regarding racial equality in their schools, I had to shake my head in disbelief. How can grown, educated people be so narrow-minded?

The topic: More African American children were disciplined than other races were. Could it be more African American children misbehaved than other races did? Are the schools supposed to ignore the behavior of a percentage of a certain race so the numbers look better? I hope not.

The lawyers of the intervening side see only numbers. This is sad. The district has shown equality in punishment type, same for all for similar infractions. The lawyers are concerned with the numbers of children being punished. If the children would behave, there would be no punishment. Perhaps video cameras in every classroom to show what type of misbehavior we are talking about.

Common sense seems to be more and more less common.

MIKE HUGHES

Sherwood

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