Some may be aware of my efforts to have a statue of Leslie Cochran placed at Sixth Street and Congress Avenue. In light of the current spate of controversies, I suggest that the bronze Jefferson Davis statue be melted down for Leslie’s new incarnation. Now, wouldn’t it also be special if we have him his own street? Down with Lee; up with Leslie!
SPENCER NUTTING, AUSTIN
What I learned about free speech long ago was that although you didn’t have to agree, everyone had a right to voice their ideas. Now speech must pass the political-correctness test or opponents protest such that the speech cannot be heard. Of course, this causes conflict, usually physical.
Colleges cancel speeches by right-wing speakers such as Anne Coulter by saying her speech would cause safety concerns. I don’t believe Ann Coulter belongs to a “hate” group or ever did. But to speak at most colleges, it’s “my way or the highway.” Free speech? Not today.
BARBARA BOYNE, LAGO VISTA
Many groups of people have been systematically marginalized and discriminated against over the 240 years of our country’s history. Most obvious are African-Americans, Chinese, Jewish people, Italians, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Japanese and Muslims. Women were not even allowed to vote in our country until 1920.
So, here is a message to those who are disappointed that the White Lives Matter event was canceled at Texas A&M — this white woman’s alma mater: White lives have always mattered in this country. Others have not. I think it is time to share the full privilege of our resources and freedoms with every citizen of this already great country. Sharing is not easy, as any toddler can tell you. So yes, it is time for all of us to grow up.
DANI BAYLOR, AUSTIN
Re: Aug. 14 article, “Tree bill in trouble; annexation bill sent to Abbott.”
As the mother of two girls, I cannot tell you how frustrating and scary it is that our state leaders may enact yet another restriction on abortion.
I have dedicated many volunteer hours to Citizens’ Climate Lobby, an organization focused on building the political will for a stable climate. At our last monthly meeting, we learned that surprisingly one of the most effective ways to combat global warming is to educate girls. Why? Because more highly educated women tend to have fewer children and are better able to support them, leading to lower population levels and more resilient communities.
It turns out that global warming is intimately connected to many of the injustices of the world — not just sexism, but racism and economic injustice. I encourage all of us to become more aware of these connections and work together to solve them.
ANNA GRAYBEAL, AUSTIN
Re: Aug. 15 letter to the editor, “Smith will not listen to those with other views.”
On Jan. 2, the day before the current Congress formally convened, Republican House members met behind closed doors and voted 119-74 to take power away from the Office of Congressional Ethics. Hmm.
The next day, after being shamed about this by — of all people — then President-elect Trump, they voted to give back the power to the Office of Congressional Ethics. Since then, on three occasions, I’ve emailed my representative, Lamar Smith, and asked how he voted in these votes. I have yet to get an answer. Sad.
JACK BISHOP, AUSTIN
In light of the unsettling events in Charlottesville last week, I encourage all people who are repulsed by the bigotry and hatred espoused by those ultra-right wing groups to refrain from attending any future similar marches. Let them march to empty streets. Let them preach their vile credo to no audience. Let their words fall on deaf ears.
Like a tree falling in the forest that is uninhabited let their sound go unnoticed. Do not confront them, because no civil discussion will ever convince them of the error of their beliefs. But do not ignore them. Instead, make every effort to preach against hatred to those who will listen and consider how the message of neo-Nazis and white supremacist is un-American. Hold peaceful rallies in other places. Call your representative and tell them how you feel about the scourge that has surfaced in the greatest country on earth.
RICHARD CHIARELLO, AUSTIN
The Republican Party has failed Americans and lost governance credibility by enabling President Trump and providing both passive and active support for this man, who is obviously unfit to remain commander in chief.
A Republican Party with a positive and constructive ethos — and a willingness to work with Democrats on solutions that improve the well-being of the most people — better serves the country. A party that is an empty vessel morally, surviving on lies, fearmongering and deceptive manipulation of the public to preserve a cynical alliance with Trump, does not serve the interests of democracy.
It is not too late for Republican leaders to act to reject Trumpism and to use the facts at hand to shift from support of Trump to efforts to prepare the American public for a constitutional process to remove Trump from office — hopefully before he causes irreversible damage or creates a constitutional crisis.
PHILIP MINOR, AUSTIN
What woman plans ahead for an abortion? Last I heard, it takes two to tango. You have given men another out.
This whole special session has been a waste of money, except for the Sunset Commission. If the governor calls for another special session, it should be at no cost — and all the legislature as well as governor and lieutenant governor should contribute their salary to teachers and the lawsuits from women who are raped by other insensitive males.
We need to replace these idiots.
LIZ BARD, NACOGDOCHES