Stronger as a whole
These are my thoughts and opinions. You have yours and may differ from mine; on that we should be able to agree. There is conflict when you try to force yours on me or I do the same to you. I try to follow "judge not lest you be judged," and try to accept that you have a right to your opinion as much as I do.
For instance, I deplore socialism and see it as a threat to America, our Constitution and freedoms, and consider it an act of treason. That is my opinion; you may not agree, and that is your right. But we should be able to work together to make America a stronger nation. America works because we have differences of opinion but have been able to find a solution, not necessarily either one, but one that is better for America. We the people are America! We should work together to build a stronger union, not try to destroy it. We are stronger as a whole, made up of people of different nations with different customs, laws, religions and beliefs. Combining all that into one people is what has made America, I believe, the best nation in the history of the world.
We are not perfect, just as people are not perfect, but the good of the whole is the strength that has kept us free. Difference is our strength as long as we put the good of the whole ahead of the person and seek to make America stronger; realize we are all Americans and unite together for the good of all Americans. It will not be nor has it ever been easy.
Some would say I am a Southern-born, white male racist cracker. They are wrong; I am just one thing: an American. We wear coats of many colors, have different backgrounds, religions and different life experiences, which is what combines to make us all Americans. United we stand, divided we fall.
My thoughts exactly
Thank you for printing Julie Keller's letter in last Saturday's paper. She beat me to it in thanking the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock for its generosity. In the past year I have enjoyed many picnics with friends on the grounds of St. John's Seminary and intend to make a donation to them for their increased costs incurred by the extra traffic.
I also appreciated Alice Stovall's letter in the same edition. Her excoriation of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was well-deserved and expressed my thoughts exactly.
In recent years there have been many grim reminders that racism is very much alive in America. But at the same time other currents are flowing in more hopeful and life-giving directions.
Recently journalists have been soul-searching and evaluating their past conduct with respect to race. In 2018 the National Geographic and the Montgomery Advertiser apologized for their many decades of biased and insensitive coverage of events involving Blacks. In September the Los Angeles Times issued a notable editorial in which it apologized for its racially biased coverage over the years.
The most striking statements have just come from the Kansas City Star, which in a series of stories detailed how it and the Kansas City Times, its longtime sister newspaper, systematically portrayed Blacks in biased, hurtful ways that reinforced segregation. The Star has apologized, pledged to make changes, and vowed to hire a more diverse staff.
Tulsans have long lived with the memory of one of the worst racial atrocities in U.S. history. For over 95 years it was called the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. That was a misleading name. It has now been renamed the Tulsa Race Massacre. In 1921 white citizens burned down the entire Black section of town, murdered 300 or so Blacks, and threw the bodies into mass graves. For many decades this incident was seldom discussed. Tulsans are now openly talking about this horrific event. Mayor G.T. Bynum, a Republican, and many others have been leading the effort to uncover the truth and heal wounds. Their digging to uncover human remains has yielded modest success, and more digging is scheduled. Hopefully, the wonders of DNA analysis can give us some answers.
We mortals are learning that it's never too late for us to discover and acknowledge the truth and to apologize. The Bible has always told us this. Even though we Americans have taken a step back in race relations in recent years, perhaps we have taken a step and a half forward.
For those struggling
This is a message to all of you who have been suffering as a result of covid and its resultant business closures, those who have been laid off or seen your profits dwindle. You could have been receiving a check for $2,000 but will instead most probably see a check for $600. This is, I believe, a direct result of all of you out there who continue to vote for Republicans.
I don't know about you, but I could have really used that extra money. I am not going to support a party which stampedes to approve a huge tax cut which benefits rich Americans, and then apparently thinks the rest of us are really not worth much. That is one major reason why I have always been a Democrat and will be one until I die. I will not support a party which contains the despicable Mitch McConnell, who would not even allow Senate members to vote on this payment change. So the next time you vote, please remember the paltry check you received and remember the other party which fought for your being worth more than that. I refuse to support a party which does not have my best interests at heart, and the best interests of all of you who struggle to make a living.
Blessing on the bluff
From Arkadelphia, traveling north to Fayetteville driving what my family calls the Y City route, Highway 270 tees into Highway 71 south. One day last week, I made the right hand turn toward Fort Smith and directly in my vision, the sun shinning brightly overhead, stood a stark white cross high on a rock bluff. I have seen this cross many times before. But that day, I guess because of all the difficult news we hear each day, it seemed to give a blessing, and I felt lighter in heart.
I thought I would take a moment to say "Thank you" to the person or people that gave of their time and labor to place this blessing in front of the eyes that turn north each day.
An awful lot of time
Apparently, it took a lot of time and obvious evidence to convince Mike Masterson that the covid-19 virus was a deadly threat. It appears that Mike is a slow learner. How does a man like that get to be a columnist for a prestigious paper? Can you put any value on his opinions?