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Letters to the editor on Redskins, school funding, ‘Goose’ Doughty

  • Published Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, at 12 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

Not calling others ‘Redskins’

I am a “Redskin” and proud of it. I choose to call myself a Redskin, because many years ago I attended Wichita North High School. Now, I wasn’t around when students first called themselves Redskins, so I cannot declare their reasons for choosing the name. However, given the history of the land on which the school sits and the beautiful architecture of the building, I could probably make a few guesses.

A few people are upset that we call ourselves Redskins. Why? They say it is a derogatory term. To whom? I am using the name only for myself and those who want to be called Redskins. Indeed, no one should be called anything he does not agree to be called.

The indigenous people of this continent who called Kansas their home are many and should be very proud of their heritage. We North High alumni do not now, and never did, call ourselves any of the tribal names, and we would not wish to denigrate any of these proud peoples to the status of being a high school mascot. Nor do we call ourselves “Indians” or “Native Americans” – again, words that actually do refer to a people.

To those who claim to be offended by my calling myself “Redskin”: Unless you were or are a student at North High, or a Washington Redskins fan, I am not calling you “Redskin.”

JIM CRAIG

Wichita

Slur not OK

I understand loyalty to a team, and that many people, until it was brought to their attention, hadn’t noticed how offensive “Redskin” is. But really? How could you not notice?

Recently, actress Julianne Hough decided to do a form of blackface as a Halloween costume. People were in shock. Her excuse was that she didn’t know what it meant. She only was trying to dress up like an African-American character from a prison show. This wasn’t taught in school? She wasn’t aware?

Let’s be realistic – the old days are gone when it was OK to use such language. All that is being asked is to rethink the name and be aware of what it means. It’s not right.

You want to show honor? Try a native name, with permission. There’s nothing wrong with the Chiefs or Warriors. Pick a Native American tribe from that state or a great chief from history. But please get rid of a team name that denotes a skin color – something that says they are savage because their skin is red.

LEIGH ANN STUMBLINGBEAR

Wichita

Not democratic

I noted that columnist Davis Merritt continued his claims of protecting our “democracy” while arguing that the Kansas Supreme Court, the one and only branch of the government not subject to public elective action, should go unquestioned (“GOP has no endgame on schools case,” Oct. 22 Opinion). He should recognize he cannot have it both ways, unless he acknowledges his arguments are purely partisan political rhetoric.

Merritt failed to mention that the Kansas Constitution provides for “suitable provision,” not a suitable amount from the state of Kansas. He should consider that this community is in the process of spending $370 million on our schools, and other districts are also providing funding outside of direct state funding. He is not alone, of course. The Kansas Supreme Court justices are equally at fault and caused the issue with their misguided decision.

BOB WINE

Wichita

Not above law

There seems to be a misunderstanding by the Legislature about school funding. We, the people, said in the Kansas Constitution that the state would suitably fund education. It is not an option.

The Legislature authorized two different studies of whether it had suitably funded education. One study said it was $700 million underfunded; the other said $850 million. With this information, the court had no option but to do its job and require more funding for schools, because the Legislature broke the law.

Lawmakers have no more right to break the law than you or I do. And should they do so, the courts are required to enforce the law.

If lawmakers fail to provide for the children of Kansas to have a good education, they need to go to jail until they do.

EDWARD EVERHART

Bel Aire

What a man

One of America’s living treasures has died, but his legacy will live on in others (“Former Heights coach Doughty dies,” Oct. 28 Sports).

Charles “Goose” Doughty taught others how to play tennis before he learned to play. He started playing with us on Saturday mornings back in the 1960s. He apparently didn’t own a tennis racket and used one of mine that needed to be re-strung. He had raw talent and great eye-hand coordination, and there were very few shots to which he couldn’t get. He could anticipate where we would hit the ball before it was hit. He taught us, through example, to always try to get to everything, even though the ball may no longer be in play.

Although we went our separate ways, I was always proud our paths had crossed. I admired him and the remarkable, positive influence he engendered in the lives of each of his hundreds of students.

What a man.

JIM OSMENT

Wichita

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