Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor (Sept. 12): Education, national anthem, clean energy, First Amendment

High school special was lacking

On Friday, EIF (Entertainment Industry Foundation) purchased an hour of airtime on four networks to air its glitzy special, “EIF Presents: XQ Super School Live.” At the end of the show, I found myself asking the same question I started with — what exactly is the mission of this earnest group of celebrities?

For a show espousing the importance of education, it was short on pedagogy and long on propaganda. The essential message was that “regular” high schools are outdated and do not meet the needs of ever-evolving, diverse student bodies. EIF celebrities seek to “improve education” with the help of corporate donations and input from unnamed influential leaders.

If EIF believes that contemporary high schools do little to reach less conventional students, it is mistaken. As a past parent patron and current employee of Derby High School, I can attest to the innovative programs, high-level technology, and committed professionals it combines in order to offer a first-rate education to all students, regardless of personal circumstances or future aspirations. DHS does all of what the EIF program advocates, without sacrificing its commitment to the vigorous academic programs so crucial to future success.

Karen Runyon, Derby

National anthem’s meaning is wide-ranging

The national anthem and the flag represent a variety of things to different people. For some, the Stars and Stripes symbolize personal liberty, freedom, and honorable military service. However, for a black person living in Chicago, the anthem might represent the institutionalized racism that forced their ancestors into positions of poverty and oppression, and the racism that they experience every day — from the conditions of their red-lined underdeveloped neighborhoods to the fear they feel when pulled over by the police.

As U.S. citizens, football players Colin Kaepernick, Marcus Peters and all those who choose to kneel during the national anthem have a right and a duty to respect and love certain facets of the country they live in while criticizing its more problematic aspects. Their actions do not equate to disrespect of armed forces. Should we tell them how to or not to exercise their freedom of speech and expression to protest inequality and defend the worth of their lives?

In a nation on the verge of state-leveraged white nationalism, we should be more concerned with protecting black lives and facing the underlying issues of society than with finding fault in the way in which people protest.

Colin Hutton, Wichita

Clean energy’s future

In in response to recent letters to the editor about clean energy, the writers may appreciate the following.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory renewable electricity futures study and the Union of Concerned Scientists: “Renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80 percent of total U.S. electricity in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the country.”

Greenhouse gases from the power sector would be reduced 80 percent with an added 50 percent savings in water consumption. Great news that the United States can make happen.

Mark Bartlett, Wichita

First Amendment’s focus

There is an increasing misunderstanding of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free establishment thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Our nation is unique in the world in requiring these freedoms, and as such it needs the support of all patriotic citizens. I increasingly read and hear opinions that advocate defunding of public television and radio as being “too liberal.” That word “liberal” has little meaning inasmuch as the commercial radio/TV stations are generally opinion-controlled by large corporations who with big advertising money require compliance.

Public media are free of controls by this money, and are mostly funded by we the people and Congress, our money, so therefore are free to broadcast news in a less-biased manner. Many people feel that “liberal” simply means “don’t agree with us.” It is in the very nature of despots and dictators to control speech and the media so that dissent and disagreement is largely absent, prosecutable and the antithesis of freedom.

Alfred James, Bel Aire

Letters to the Editor

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