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Set a 2-hour window

May I suggest our governor issue an executive order requiring all businesses to set two (reasonable) hours each day when masks are required?

I am in the higher-risk category for covid and have not left my home since mid-March. My local spending is down about 75 percent. A two-hour window would let me go shopping for clothes, more expensive grocery items, hardware necessities, and maybe go out for dinner.

This compromise would help mental and physical health and pour money into the local economies that is now going to online out-of-state companies.

MARILYN GOLDSMITH

Conway

Not the state I know

Arkansas has been my home for all of my 47 years. In that time, I have developed a strong sense of loyalty to the state and its people. We have all heard the hillbilly jokes, watched the lightnin' bugs on summer nights, rooted for the Razorbacks, and sat on the tailgate with our friends and family on a Saturday night. These same friends and family have been there for us: They bring us food when we're sick, take care of our kids, drive across town, the state, or the country if need be just to help us out.

We still have pie auctions when someone needs help. We stop in the middle of the road and help strangers fix flat tires. We go out of our way to get grandma's groceries or take her to get her hair done. We are not selfish. We are not uncompassionate people. That's who we are.

In this country and our state, we have seen a terrible situation develop over the past several months. Every day in Arkansas more and more people are succumbing to this threat. We do not have the power to eradicate it, but we know of a couple of things that will help to keep our Arkansans and other Americans safe. Wouldn't you do anything in the world to protect your friends and family? Wouldn't you be sick if it meant your child didn't have to be? Let's remind ourselves of the lengths that we would go to to save someone's life.

Now, when we know that there is something we can do to potentially save someone illness or death that is such a minor inconvenience, why are we so stubborn that we can't manage to use our brains and our hearts to protect ourselves and others? That's not us, Arkansas.

ELIZABETH WATKINS

Bentonville

Only tests that count

The United States is reportedly discussing resuming U.S. nuclear testing and has accused both China and Russia of not complying with the CTBT, 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, although those claims have not been substantiated.

The only testing the United States should be concentrating on now are the coronavirus tests, and stop spending the estimated $35.4 billion on further nuclear weapon developments. That is, by the way, a $7 billion increase since 2018. Instead, the Trump administration has failed to disburse $14 billion in funds that Congress approved for covid-19 testing several months ago, leaving communities without resources to fight this deadly virus. And we all heard what Trump said in Tulsa: We should stop testing and the numbers will go down!

ANNCHA BRIGGS

Little Rock

Preaching to the choir

I read Bradley Gitz's column with much interest and appreciation. I can only reply amen, amen, amen!

DEBORAH A. JOHNSON

Batesville

He's just so defensive

Poor Bradley Gitz. I feel so sorry for your angst that whites might be labeled racist that I'll kneel in prayer for you. Oops, you claim kneeling is degrading, so I'll stand.

I'll pray you stop being so defensive and learn it's possible to be racist without realizing it. I'll pray you'll notice that no protester has called every white person in America racist. You're doing that to further your own agenda.

If you have a niggling discomfort when around people of color, it's only human to wonder if you're racist. Or is that impossible for people with your ego based on centuries of being white atop our socioeconomic hierarchy?

Statistical analyses showing Blacks receive harsher sentences than whites for the same crime are liberal fantasies, right? This, and numerous other examples, can't possibly be evidence of systemic racism when you're blinded by arrogance.

You call those who use private schools or live in mainly white neighborhoods hypocrites for questioning the status quo. Who needs self-analysis when you're always white, er, right? Republicans are never hypocrites.

Finally, you can't believe Blacks have the audacity to trumpet that Black Lives Matter because of black-on-black crime. It's not your fault Blacks are redlined and have no outlets for upward mobility. So what if few hire felons or if probationers who can't pay fines are jailed again for being poor?

Yes, I feel sorry for you, Mr. Gitz. But I don't think my prayers will be enough to overcome your overblown hubris.

DEBORAH HIGGINS

Little Rock

So, it's victims' fault?

In response to the Bradley Gitz column last Monday: Mr. Gitz states that the serious problems in our Black communities have precious little to do with systemic racism but are due to the disintegration of the Black family that began in the 1960s. As if the disintegration of the Black family just happened out of thin air.

Since the end of slavery, Black Americans have been subject to racial discrimination in every aspect of daily life including housing, jobs, education, voting, and the justice system. The serious problems in our Black communities didn't just happen. They are the direct result of slavery and the decades of systemic racial discrimination that followed.

Mr. Gitz is surely aware of this history, but chooses to ignore it and blame the victims.

PAUL D. BECK

West Fork

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