The wrong direction
I love the Arkansas Legislature. It seems it wants to: (a.) Make it easier to kill Black people via "stand your ground," (b.) Enact new hurdles to voting, since Black people obviously vote for the wrong candidates, and (c.) Effectively secede from the union with regard to gun laws.
Long live the White Republican Peoples' Republic of Arkansas!
Hot Springs Village
Too anxious for win?
We can all be glad that the covid-19 case numbers in our state and country are decreasing and that there seems to be a light at some point up the tunnel. I truly hope we are not living the axiom that sometimes a light ahead is an oncoming train. The increasing numbers of vaccinated individuals here and across other countries are encouraging.
But the continued resistance to using masks to prevent coronavirus infections takes away from any anticipation of increasing control of viral spread.
While one member of the last administration advocated a natural "herd immunity" level of resistance as a desirable condition, there is a serious problem with this approach which cannot be ignored. Immunity may come after illness, but illness also brings hospitalizations and deaths, both with significant suffering and expense. It is shortsighted and illogical to chance losing the benefits provided by masks and distancing in favor of hoping for significant immunity to develop through natural infection. Continued spread at any level will increase the occurrence of resistant viral variants, and will increase the time required to control the pandemic.
Distancing and appropriate mask-wearing have been shown to be effective means of slowing the spread of coronavirus, especially in conjunction with vaccination programs, although both have been derided as "theater" by some. We need to employ both as we continue the struggle against covid-19.
DENNIS A. BERRY
We're better than this
America, we're better than this; Arkansas, we're better than this! Allow me to explain why.
Born in the 1950s, a child of the '60s, I was raised in Little Rock with essentially no prejudices, attending public schools and community church. The first that I saw of separate facilities, etc., other than for gender, was in televised news accounts of civil rights protests. The images were astonishing to me. I had no idea of what had happened earlier at Central High and had observed nothing to suggest of these problems.
The students at my high school, Hall, did favor personalities based on what you would expect from young people, but not race. Leotis Harris and Sidney Moncrief were loved for obvious reasons. But other people were appreciated for other reasons, race not being a factor.
Children were first bused to my high school during my senior year, '71-'72. I felt sorry for the people who had had to get up so early to travel to a strange school across town, and not one attended in the past by friends and family. But I had no opinion about the decision to do so.
My children also attended Little Rock public schools, graduating, by choice, from Hall High in 2003 and 2005. Throughout their school years they made and maintained cherished friendships with people from a variety of backgrounds, truly the "spice of life" which, if you haven't experienced in your own lives, you should try. Once you branch out, you will doubtless never return to same ol', same ol'.
People are fascinating. The world is fascinating. We limit ourselves to our own detriment. And it's not necessary to maintain life in a bubble. It surely doesn't make America great.
We can do better than promote hatred, suspicion and intolerance. We can do better. And should.
A discriminatory bill
As a current medical student and future physician who hopes to practice medicine in Arkansas, I am deeply troubled and saddened by House Bill 1570 that now sits on Gov. Asa Hutchinson's desk awaiting his signature. This bill denies critical health care to transgender youth and will have devastating consequences for this community. It is a discriminatory bill based in fear and ignorance, and it shows a complete lack of understanding of the complex and compassionate care transgender children receive from health-care providers.
My heart breaks for the trans youth in Arkansas who are being denied their right to necessary (and at times lifesaving) health care.
To those in the medical community and those who care about the health of transgender Arkansans, please contact Governor Hutchinson and urge him to veto HB1570.
Two officers, two fates
Officer Eric Talley, Boulder, Colo., his life taken by the grocery store shooter, was honored by hundreds of Coloradans and scores of fellow police officers with a flag-draped coffin, 21-gun salute, eulogies, and a bagpipe rendition of "Amazing Grace." He was an 11-year veteran of police work who was labeled "a good man."
In Minnesota, Derek Chauvin, ex-Minneapolis police officer, is on trial in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The death of Floyd was witnessed by numerous bystanders and three backup police officers. A video recording of the incident has been entered into the court record. Chauvin's personnel file reflects some dozen and a half previous complaints.
March 30, 2021, one evening news cycle, two featured headlines. What world is this?
NANCY and BOB HARTNEY