Letters to the editor: Aug. 24, 2017


Re: Aug. 16 article, “U.S. court voids 2 area congressional districts.”

If the chief financial officer of a corporation were found guilty of embezzling company funds over the course of a decade, the logical first step would be to terminate his control of the company’s money.

Yet, after the court’s finding that the Texas Legislature has repeatedly violated voters’ rights in drawing districts, the court has returned the power to draw districts to a serial offender.

The court should either redraw districts itself or appoint a nonpartisan panel to do so.

PHILIP RUSSELL, AUSTIN

We miss the mark when we choose people to glorify for all times to come with statues.

What logic is there to use people who did their duty and then use them for some current political purpose?

My great grandfather, a farmer opposed to slavery, was drafted into the Confederate States of America and barely survived.

I would like to think he would have preferred to see and remember Robert Edward Lee in academic regalia as president of Washington College in Lexington, Va., as opposed to always seeing him depicted as a military leader.

I admire the “understated” Vietnam Memorial in D.C. rather than statues there.

Let’s carefully study history, not make it up.

LEROY H. HAVERLAH JR., AUSTIN,

Re: Aug. 17 commentary, “Charlottesville challenged racism. Every city should too.”

The Aug. 17 Viewpoints section on the Charlottesville violence, along with the late response from our president, triggered a memory.

During the presidential campaign last year, a word was used by a Democrat candidate that backfired big time — and was somewhat responsible for her defeat. She referred to a portion of the voting population as “deplorable.” Maybe she viewed these domestic terror organizations as the “deplorable.”

If the nonvoting segment of our society will recognize the importance that their vote carries and will be motivated to speak out with their vote, government will begin to function properly.

MIKE HENRY, SMITHWICK

Precious monuments lost in the Middle East were condemned worldwide — as it should have been.

Now, monuments in our country are being destroyed or removed because certain people object to them. Just wondering. So sad. Where is the outrage? Perhaps a double standard.

RICK OCHOA, AUSTIN

I agree with Donald Trump that it is a shame some cities and states are caving into the wishes of their residents to destroy our culture by removing the beautiful and educational Confederate statues from parks and public places.

President Trump is uniquely suited, because of his incredible wealth, his private ownership of a vast number of properties of magnificent scale and beauty, and his truly remarkable sense of beauty and good taste, to save and preserve these monuments.

I humbly propose that our altruistic president cement his place in history by using a tiny fraction of his immense wealth to acquire these homeless statues for preservation and display in his countless beautiful venues. These statues would be perfect to mark tee boxes on golf courses, adorn estate gardens and fountains, and increase foot traffic in the lobbies of office and apartment buildings.

MIKE ZIMMERN, ROUND ROCK

Re: Aug. 20 commentary, “Hiott: Why do headlines focus on racism? Because it still lingers.”

I agree with Statesman Editor Debbie Hiott’s thoughts on race. I find racism and racists who espouse that doctrine repugnant. But two or more things can be true at the same time.

The knee-jerk emotional responses to Charlottesville have also birthed disgusting attacks upon free speech. Are we to discard the bedrock right of people to speak freely merely because disgusting thugs have co-opted the term?

Just as hateful acts toward people of color should not be tolerated, neither should casual dismissals of the Bill of Rights — particularly the First Amendment. How ironic that those rights were penned by racists themselves.

JOHN HUTSON, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 20 letter to the editor, “Stifling hate speech wounds free speech.”

In Sunday’s paper, a letter writer said that the cancelation of the white supremacist rally by Texas A&M was an affront to free speech. However, “free speech” always comes with limits.

For example, there is the old cliché that someone is not free to falsely yell “fire” inside of a crowded theater because the ensuing panic might cause harm to panicked patrons. Safety comes before free speech. Likewise, Texas A&M must weigh the possibility that violence would erupt at the rally.

It is quite obvious that many members of the white supremacist movement are itching for a fight, both verbal and physical. Further, this country must not tolerate intolerance in any way. Texas A&M was correct in canceling the rally.

RONALD KOLDA, ROUND ROCK



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