Re: Nov. 19 article, “After $269M in reforms, a glint of hope at Texas homes for disabled.”
It was gratifying to read a balanced report in the Statesman’s coverage of state supported living centers. Liz Belile, featured in the story, echoes Austin State Supported Living Center’s Family/Guardian Association members when she praises the care and services her sister Shanna receives as a resident of the Austin State Supported Living Center.
We welcome the oversight of living centers, which is often not provided at group homes in the larger community. The incidents of neglect and abuse at those establishments are rarely reported by the press.
The report cites the centers’ shrinking population. The Austin Center’s population decreased because a moratorium on entrance was instituted years ago. The many who want and need to live there are not allowed. The formidable tasks the center staff performs demands decent salaries. Better pay, lifting the moratorium, and maintenance of campus buildings would help many more intellectually disabled Texans live as happily as does Shanna Belile.
SALLY FEUTZ, AUSTIN
Re: Nov. 19 letter to the editor, “Renaming schools reveals ignorance.”
In a letter to the editor, a writer stated, “What a shallow simplistic view of people living in a different time, facing the complex issue of slavery.”
May I suggest that the issue of slavery was not that complex to the slave?
Perhaps the writer may reflect on the complexity of living in bondage, being chained nightly because you might try to escape, being beaten for not working fast enough, having your children and spouse sold to another plantation for no other reason than the tint of your skin and, with all due respect, I certainly believe he would not see the issue as too complex for too long.
FERMIN ORTIZ, LLANO COUNTY
Re: Nov. 21 letter to the editor, “Confederate foes need to go somewhere else.”
A letter writer suggests that I should leave my home if I don’t appreciate seeing constant reminders of the Confederate attempts to extend the enslavement of their fellow human beings.
He referred to Confederate monuments as “the way things are.” However, love for the Confederacy has never been uniform among Texans. Sam Houston refused to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy and forfeited his position as governor. Thirty-seven German Texans were killed in the Nueces Massacre because they refused to support the Confederacy.
Today, many of us see the Confederacy for what it was: a dishonorable effort to create a nation based on white supremacy. Those of us who live in the present have a say in what history is celebrated and what is condemned. We do not have to accept the bad actions of the past as “the way things are” today.
STEPHEN W. SATHER, AUSTIN
The Republican Congress claims that if they give large corporations a big tax cut, corporations will spend that money on job creation — but the CEOs of these companies have said that they will use the money to buy back their stock and to pay higher dividends to their shareholders. The prime result of this tax cut will be the rich will get richer.
Let’s give the corporations a tax cut that directly depends on increasing the wages of their employees. This tax cut would be inversely proportional to the level of pay that is increased. Increasing the lowest paid employees pay would yield the highest tax cut. Such a plan will create more demand in the marketplace and give corporations incentive to build factories and hire employees to meet the increased demand. This is job creation.
DAVID A. PETERSEN, AUSTIN