On Aug. 15, Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 214 into law. Even in case of rape or incest, women will now have to pay an extra premium for abortion coverage — rape insurance. Because of course, each woman plans her abortion, as all women plan their rapes, and take proper precautions. A world where this is etched into existence by the four white men who authored the bill — who have never had to face the reality of aborting their perpetrator’s fetus — is a world I have no words for.
Yesterday, further down the American continent, Chileans cheered for long-awaited legalization of abortion in the case of rape, threat to the mother’s life or an unviable fetus. Texas continues to shrink behind the world, left in a hateful, violent dust. Abbott, thank you for championing so clearly your hatred for women and our safety.
ZOË FAY-STINDT, AUSTIN
During an already heated summer here in Austin, events in Charlottesville and across the country have sparked protests and counterprotests that appear to be on the rise. Before we fill our calendars with these protests, it’s import our nation considers the ramifications of this strategy to discuss glaring issues in our society.
In a forest fire, firefighters sometimes use a controlled line of fire to consume surrounding fuel sources. Fighting fire with fire. However, this sometimes backfires, creating a larger inferno more dangerous than the original. As tensions continue to rise with each protest, we must ask if counterprotesting is a solutions-based strategy or gasoline on a hate filled fire?
While it may seem necessary to react to every fire we see, maybe we need to regroup peacefully and fight the causes of injustice before they are ignited. Pre-empt rather than confront. Proactive rather than reactive. Love rather than hate.
SHANE SAUM, AUSTIN
Re: Aug. 19 article, “Confederate rally in Austin moved to later date.”
Dear Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and Rep. Lamar Smith:
Please denounce the racist violence and anti-Semitism in Charlottesville. We have a Dixie Freedom Rally scheduled to take place in Austin on Sept. 23. Although they say no racism will be tolerated, they are encouraging guns at this rally. As you know, swords will be legal to carry in Texas soon.
I want to leave you with these words from Albert Einstein: “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
JENNIFER MAYFIELD, AUSTIN
There are only two choices in renaming that street.
You can either rename it Donald Trump Way or Heather Heyer Lane. It is your choice.
The residents of Austin can decide which one would better represent our community — that is, unless of course the Texas Legislature passes a law that municipalities like Austin are not competent to make those kind of local decisions.
OSCAR BUITRON, AUSTIN
As a white German-American, it is hard for me to imagine exactly how an African-American feels when walking past a statue honoring a confederate war hero. However, I can clearly imagine how a Jew would feel if they were compelled to walk past a statue of Goebbels or Hitler being honored in a public square in Germany.
For obvious reasons, such statues are not erected in Germany — and for similarly obvious reasons, statues honoring the fight to sustain slavery should not remain in public spaces in the United States!
JOHANNES BRINKMANN, AUSTIN
Re: Aug. 18 article, “In tweets, Trump digs in on Confederate icons.”
Donald Trump asked an honest question when he asked about the difference between statues that honor Washington and Jefferson versus those that honor Lee and Jackson and the Confederacy.
Here’s an honest answer: Washington and Jefferson built a place called the United States of America, where the dream of equality under the law for all people might one day be realized, even if not in their own lifetimes. Even if not in their own homes.
Lee and Jackson tried to destroy that place to make sure that the dream could never be realized. This simple truth is obvious to anyone whose vision is not clouded by conservatism, which has become an empowering refuge for those who still seek to ensure that the dream remains only a dream.
KEN LONES, AUSTIN
If the liberals want to emulate their role in “1984” and erase history that they don’t like, then let’s go full Taliban and take down all the statues of people made famous through racism: Barbara Jordan, Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Chavez.
No streets named after them, no statues, no nada. Because if the criteria for removing history is “it might offend someone,” well, I’m offended.
NEAL ATKINS, MARBLE FALLS
Congratulations on your excellent coverage of Dawnna Dukes’ outstanding representation of her constituents in House District 46. They should be congratulated for their ongoing support of Dukes. She has had a bit of bad luck these past few years. Bless her heart.
She will set the record straight as soon as our overbearing justice system can provide a convenient time for her trial. We all know that she is the victim of our expecting too much of her time as she recovers from her medical challenges. We all know that racial bias is the main cause of her dilemma. Shame on us for such behavior. I suggest that an expensive statue be commissioned after her acquittal of all counts against her. Further, I think it should be placed prominently on the Capitol grounds in hopes of making future historians aware of her great works in our state.
MIKE EDGAR, AUSTIN