Give them a chance
Aren't we quick to judge! All these negative comments are premature. Let's see how things roll out. Let's see what our Legislature proposes.
Why haven't I heard congrats on having Arkansas' first female governor and the first female duo in office? Sarah and Leslie are smart, fast-learning, dynamic women. Give them a chance to show what they can do to improve Arkansas and Arkansans' lives. We all know our education system is broken and we need to prepare our children to have the skills to make it in this fast-changing, technology-driven world.
These two brilliant women received overwhelming votes from Arkansas' voters. Sorry you don't like the outcome. You can always move elsewhere.
About racial injustice
Fifty-five years ago, in the midst of high racial tensions and a daily dose of observing Confederate memorabilia, a small group of Black Marines decided to do something to show that we too had access to memorabilia that attested to our own unity. Those of us who were privileged to serve in H&S Company, 3rd Recon Battalion, 3rd Marine Division in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam, determined that the war we fought within our ranks would be made aware of cultural symbolism that was associated with our common struggles. In 1968 we purchased identical T-shirts emblazoned with two words: "Soul Brothers." When they arrived, we wore them proudly on base for what amounted to less than one hour.
Our commanding officer hailed from Mississippi. Our complaints about Confederate memorabilia in our barracks were deemed insignificant. However, he ordered us to take off the T-shirts and to never wear them again within the company.
This recall was initiated by the "In the news" piece that highlighted a lawsuit being filed against a Georgia school superintendent who prohibited the wearing of BLM T-shirts by students while at the same time allowing Confederate symbols to be showcased.
Perhaps in today's furor over CRT, even this documented discrepancy would be prohibited. I shared this event and other racial injustices and overt acts of racism in the Vietnam veterans oral history project at the Central Arkansas Library System.
North Little Rock
A change a-coming
Has anyone else noticed a subtle shift in the editorial writing at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette? Just this past week the writers complimented the Biden administration on immigration and cast aspersions on the newsworthiness of Fox News!
Oh, and the tribute to Jeff Beck seemed a little out of character as well, but spot on, especially with regard to his work on "People Get Ready." Beck's instrumental version is at the top of my Sunday morning playlist.
Scouting out damage
It is a little early to see how much damage will result, but the agendas for both Republicans in Congress and our local Republicans are taking shape.
After deals with their extremists to elect a speaker, Republicans in the House have enacted rules making it very difficult to do anything positive for ordinary citizens. The spending cuts they are proposing, if enacted, would surely drive the economy into serious recession and kneecap our military. Apparently, they still intend to hold our national credit hostage to cut Social Security and Medicare. (Remember folks, raising the national debt limit is not about new spending, but paying for what is already spent.) Another push would cut funding for the IRS to ensure rich people can continue not to pay their taxes.
Trying to protect rich people from paying taxes is the one consistent item in the Republican agenda. Five major tax cuts since 1980, all benefiting primarily the high end, ran the national debt from under $1 trillion to over $25 trillion before the pandemic hit. As a good Republican, our new governor is making cuts to the state income tax her priority. John Brummett recently noted this is a popular notion in states with low math scores--the best explanation of Arkansas politics I have seen.
In addition to cutting taxes from the high end down, our new governor has issued a number of executive orders dealing with problems I do not quite grasp. The schools can't be teaching critical race theory, whatever that is, or telling kids about gay and trans stuff. Was there anything about bathrooms in this? That's the other made-up problem Republicans like to politicize.
We'll see how this all works out. My prediction is that the next two years are going to be ugly.
ROGER A. WEBB