Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on new Jim Crow, same-sex marriage, funeral procession, conservative delegation, North High memories

New Jim Crow has same old results

There is a war being waged across this country whose victims are largely being ignored by the media.

The war on drugs initiated by President Reagan and supported by subsequent presidents has unfairly targeted African-Americans. In the brilliantly written and thoroughly researched book “The New Jim Crow,” Michelle Alexander, a civil rights lawyer and legal scholar, shows how the mass incarceration of African-American men has decimated communities of color.

An astounding percentage of the African-American community is warehoused in prisons. When individuals are released, they are relegated to what Alexander refers to as a “caste system,” second-class citizenship. Released prisoners lose voting rights, jobs, housing, health care, food stamps. The “new” Jim Crow has a new face with the same old results.

Most of us are unaware. We, people of all colors, must work together to bring us out of our ignorance. From 6:30 to 9 p.m. today, the New Day Christian Church, 5221 E. Elm, will host a community meeting to view a video presentation of Alexander addressing these issues. Discussion will follow; admission is free. Let’s show solidarity by refusing to continue ignoring this tragic situation.

ALICE POWELL

Wichita

Courageous stand

At last – an American leader with the courage of his conviction to take a stand in favor of same-sex marriage.

Couples of any sexual preference or orientation should be accorded the rights of any other citizen in this country. This is, after all, a nation that is supposed to be separated from organized religion. It is sad that in 2012 our country has not moved past archaic statutes to provide all of our citizens with marital freedom.

President Obama undoubtedly will be scorned for his decision. To me, it is the mark of fearless leadership to endorse what most likely will be unpopular.

MORGHAN CHAMBERS

Wichita

Show of respect

My father passed away a couple of weeks ago, and we held his funeral at Woodland United Methodist Church on May 2. He was active in the military, both active duty and in a historical preservation sense, along with his 30-year service to the city of Wichita.

Military vehicles from the Mid-Kansas Military Vehicle Preservation Association lined up with the procession and convoyed to the burial at Old Mission Cemetery on 21st Street across from Wichita State University. Along the route as we were escorted, I noticed people on the streets getting out of their cars and saluting or putting their hands over their hearts as we went by. I even noticed a few kids out at recess at Marshall Middle School who stopped playing and stood at attention facing the hearse as it went by.

I just want to thank each and every citizen of Wichita who went out of their way to pay respect to my father during that procession. You were not unnoticed, as it really touched our family’s hearts.

STEPHEN CROSS

Bel Aire

Change direction

In response to “Survey: Kansas delegation is the most consistently conservative” (May 6 Eagle), we suggest a change of direction.

The definition of politically “conservative,” according to the Free Dictionary, is the desire to maintain, or conserve, the existing order. Here are a couple of examples of maintaining existing order: not regulating Wall Street and the oil and gas industry. We know how that worked out.

Do you think the founders of this country were conservatives or liberals? Obviously they were liberals, judging from how they boarded a ship to a place they knew nothing about, believing that life would be fair and just in their new land. They left their home because of unfair taxation, class distinction and the inability to practice the religion of their choice.

What is the definition of politically “liberal”? The Free Dictionary says liberals assume that people, having a rational intellect, have the ability to recognize problems and solve them and thus can achieve systematic improvement in the human condition.

Our current representatives have no vision of their own and follow like sheep. It is not a proud moment to realize the Kansas representatives are incapable of recognizing problems, or solving them, and not achieving improvement in the human condition.

SHELLEY DUNHAM

LOUISE SMITH

Hesston

North High memory

I had a nice memory brought back to me last week when I went to the Emerson Open Magnet Elementary School spring program. It was held at Wichita North High School, as Emerson does not have an auditorium. One of my great-granddaughters is finishing kindergarten at Emerson, so I attended the program.

It was a strange but nice feeling for her to be on the stage of the school from which I had graduated 72 years ago. Amazingly, the only changes I noted were the newer padded seats. I also noted that new lights had been added along the walls for stage use. Of course the school had been enlarged, but a fantastic effort had been made to carry out the original motif on the outside walls.

Just a few members of the class of 1940 are still around Wichita, and I keep in contact with a couple of them. I would be happy to hear from any of my fellow graduates of 1940. They can contact me at Georgetown Village apartments.

HAROLD E. HUNT

Wichita

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