Letters to the editor: Sept. 3, 2017


Re: Aug. 29 article, “Julián Castro, ex-housing chief and San Antonio mayor, to teach at UT.”

Just what we need — another liberal Democrat to indoctrinate and intimidate our kids with his political positions. I wish someone would tell the UT administration that it is the University of TEXAS and not the University of Austin.

During this time of deafening calls for diversity, there seems to be little or none among the professors at UT. I certainly don’t expect equal representation for conservatives on the UT staff (that would be unthinkable, even though the state is by a large majority conservative); just a sprinkling of conservative professors would be a wonderful start. That, along with a commitment not to harass the conservative professors or students for their politics, as has often happened so often in the past.

CLAY SPEER, DRIPPING SPRINGS

Re: Aug. 28 commentary, “Wear: The surprising story behind Texas’ new Interstate 14.”

Ben Wear’s wonderful column on newly minted Interstate 14, connecting Fort Hood and Belton, reminds us: A system originally designed in 1956 to connect the nation’s largest cities has been expanded often since. In Texas we have added such gems as Interstate 27 connecting Amarillo and Lubbock, which have a combined population only slightly larger than that of Williamson County, and Interstate 69 E (Brownsville to Victoria).

Still unaccountably missing from the list? An interstate (or any other limited expressway) between Austin and Houston. A little perspective: Austin today has more people than any Texas metropolis in the original 1950s layout; and Houston today is rapidly approaching the population of the entire state back then. They are far and away the largest pair of cities anywhere in the U.S. unconnected by expressway (try sitting in Giddings traffic at the railroad crossing for up to 30 minutes, as we now have twice).

GARY BENNETT, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 26 article, “How do you talk to your kids about Trump after Charlottesville?

You are bound to get flack for posing the question, important though it is for families. Still, the moment we are living through presents natural opportunities for families to talk together about issues they once may have avoided.

Will white parents talk to their kids more about the lived experiences of people of other races and religions, and our country’s history of inequality? Will our boys remember conversations about respecting women’s bodies and boundaries because of the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape? Will more children learn about civic engagement and making their voices and votes count in public life?

Here’s hoping.

RAYMOND SINATRA JR., AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 26 commentary, “Two Views: Why your Confederate grandfathers would not be pleased.”

Youngblood is woefully (and willfully?) ignorant of history. The Confederacy was all about preserving slavery. Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens stated just before the war that the Confederacy was founded “upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition.”

Face it: Confederate monuments are not about remembering the Civil War but about glorifying traitors who waged war against our government to preserve their right to enslave others.

The Confederacy must be remembered, but as Nazism is in Germany — as a shameful part of our past. Confederate flags are frequently seen at neo-Nazi rallies because the causes are alike. Youngblood and others need to confront the truth: The Confederacy was not honorable but was based on a sick, immoral principle. It’s time to remove monuments to traitors who fought for an evil cause.

PATRICIA CARLEY, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 26 commentary, “Two Views: Why your Confederate grandfathers would not be pleased.”

Judging from what I’ve seen in the media, I thought I was totally out of step relative to removing Confederate statues.

I kept thinking this is history you people are taking down and hiding. That’s not right. You can’t rewrite history because it is something you think was wrong. Then I read Bruce Youngblood’s commentary in the Austin American Statesman.

How relieved I was to think someone else thinks removing the statues are wrong. It’s unfortunate he is not our governor. Thank you, Mr. Youngblood.

LARRY HOLLAND, GEORGETOWN

There are many stories emerging out of the devastating events of Hurricane Harvey.

One lesson in this epic storm is seeing Texans helping Texans standing in sharp contrast to the prevailing mood of division, obstructionism, and lack of empathy that exists in America in 2017. Texans are proud and caring people. It is in challenges like Harvey that the best in our state’s brothers and sisters is on full display. Perhaps this gut-wrenching punch from Mother Nature can serve as a beacon to our nation and the world that Americans are still capable of bringing out the best in themselves to help and serve others.

DON CILLO, TEMPLE

Re: Aug. 25 commentary, “Herman: When it comes to bathrooms, I take my wife’s opinion.”

Thank you for publishing the picture of the unisex Drafthouse bathroom design in Ken Herman’s column.

It is a claustrophobic nightmare. The stalls are narrow and have doors floor to ceiling — did anyone consider ventilation? How about the narrow space between the stalls and the sinks — great for rubbing up against each other — this is a co-ed bathroom, you know. This is not a solution, it is a problem.

ROBERT CZEPIEL, AUSTIN



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