President’s words denigrate son’s service
Sens. Roberts and Moran, as parents of Michael J. Sharp — U.N. expert who was murdered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last March, while seeking to understand the roots of violence and working for nonviolent resolutions — we are grateful for the way you reached out to us in the wake of his death.
We are now deeply offended by President Trump’s shocking characterization of African countries. We have come to expect offensive language and racist attitudes from Trump, but what makes his recent vulgar language about the people of Africa, Haiti and El Salvador more offensive is that they were made in the context of shaping policy.
Since the President has identified with the Evangelical Christian Right, he and you should know that the two greatest biblical commandments are “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Africans, Haitians and Salvadorans are our neighbors, as well as our sisters and brothers. These mandates formed the basis for our son’s life and service. Trump’s behavior and language are in shameful opposition.
When, senators, will you emerge from your silent chambers and speak truth to power?
John E. and Michele Miller Sharp, Hesston
Campus carry is something major
I would like to respond to Moriah Day, the chairman of the Kansas State Rifle Association PAC, who was quoted in the Eagle on Jan. 13. Regarding campus carry he said, “There were a lot of people very afraid that something major would happen and then it goes into effect, nothing happens, everyone gets a sense of peace that it’s actually all right.”
While there has not yet been a mass casualty event in Kansas since this policy has gone into place, we cannot be told that nothing has happened. . In other states that have campus carry, more guns generally equal more crime (see 2016 Johns Hopkins study).
Beyond violence, the quality of education at Kansas public universities declined when guns were welcomed. College is an important time for students to challenge others’ beliefs as well as be challenged in their own ideas. For me, and I’m sure for many current students, this includes potentially controversial political and/or religious topics where people have a deep connection to their beliefs. It would have been much more difficult for me to voice a minority opinion if it were possible that classmates carried deadly weapons.
Jeremy Koch, Wichita
Importance of young multilingualism
Students from countries all over the world are used to learning multiple languages, beginning in their first years in school. Students in America, however, are normally only taught English until they reach high school — where foreign languate is still only optional.
Since younger children have a much stronger ability to develop language skills, teaching elementary schoolers more than one language would be far more beneficial.
More than just increasing brain size, learning multiple languages helps improve memory, vocabulary, attention span and concentration. Plus, each time a person learns a new language it becomes easier to learn another, and the languages previously known become stronger. Being multilingual also helps in the practical world, as many employers are more likely to hire someone if they’re multilingual.
Requiring young students to participate in learning multiple languages is integral in providing diverse, quality futures in academia and the real world.
Summer Reece, Derby
Women for Lombard
Vernette Chance is right (Jan. 16 Letters). More and more women are running for office nationally, regionally and locally. And more women are getting involved with campaigns throughout the nation.
The future is female and Laura Lombard is part of this future. She is running for the Kansas Fourth District congressional seat against James Thompson, a worthy candidate as well, in the August primary. She has a team of women working for her, including campaign volunteers such as me.
Laura is young, passionate, dynamic and a leader. She will fight for improved education, health care for all, job creation (including clean technology and advanced manufacturing), living wages and strengthening equal rights. Her expertise in international trade will help improve our relationships with other countries.
I am excited to be part of her team and, as a woman, I am proud to be part of this future.
Kimberly Moore, Wichita
News in 2018
We are one United States, but obviously split into two parts, rather like two tribes, easily identified by colors red or blue, labels Dem or GOP, liberal or conservative. We all know which tribe we are in, and we know ours are all good, and that those awful others are all bad.
It seems to me that if we each made up our minds about various issues without regard to the labels, we might vote more for what is in our best interest, and therefore collectively the best interest of our country. The issues and candidates are complex, and often difficult to assess. Therefore, it is much easier to think, “I’m too busy; I hate politics; and I already know which candidates I’ll vote for.”
You can always learn more. Your country relies on you to vote for the candidates that will represent your best interest. You have more than nine months to talk with others in order to understand their point of view. You can get your news and opinions from a minimum of four TV channels, NPR and the Wichita Eagle. Beware of the internet.
Democracy is not a spectator sport. Drop the rocks and mud you want to throw, and watch, read, listen and think.
Jim McKinney, Derby
The police officer who assaulted the referee should be charged with assualt and fired. There is no room for this kind of behavior in any youth sports.
As a coach of a fifth- and sixth-grade boys basketball team, I have made it clear to my players and parents that we will show good sportsmanship, win or lose. I’m a believer in having fun and learning the fundamentals as keys to a successful season. I always shake the referees’ hands at the end of the game to show my appreciation for the job they did.
Let’s all remember the game is about the kids, so nothing else matters.
Eric Andreas, Wichita
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