Letters to the editor: Oct. 21, 2017

    Oct 20, 2017
Stephen Spillman
McCallum cheerleaders kneel during the national anthem before a District 25-5A high school football game at Nelson Field in September.

Two of the more inspiring Statesman photographs in the last year were both of young women standing up — or kneeling — for what they believe in. The first was of the 15 young Latina ladies protesting Senate Bill 4 — the “sanctuary cities ban” — at the Capitol while wearing their quinceañera dresses to draw attention. The second, more recent, was of the McCallum High School cheerleaders taking a knee on the sidelines during the national anthem.

I hope that these young women not only keep up their beliefs and fighting spirits, but more importantly, translate them by running for office, both statewide and nationally, as soon as they are old enough.


The incessant vitriol from the left — directed at the Republicans in general, and the NRA specifically — that no meeting ground can be attained reveals a stubbornness hard as a walnut husk.

That favorite whipping boy has conceded to revisit their stance on bump fire stock, and has announced they are open to legislation restricting — or even banning — these unnecessary WMDs. No mention is made about the conciliatory tone struck by those warmongers in the current administration.

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail, and a solution can be reached that is acceptable to all concerned. I see the bump fire stocks as being beneficial solely to their manufacturers’ bottom line. As concerns firearms in general, my feeling is, it’s far better to have one around should the need arise, rather than the alternative some seem comfortable with: dial 911.


The oddest part of the generally useful exchanges in the Statesman of the disposal of Confederate monuments is the gap in the discussion of the main reason for Texas’ joining the Confederacy in the Civil War. In a long and detailed Ordinance of Secession adopted Feb. 1, 1861, the state declared that it had been received into the United States “as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery — the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should continue to exist in all future time.”

While the ordinance also briefly complained about the failure of the federal government to protect Texas from “Indian savages on our borders” and “banditti” from Mexico, the document unambiguously identified slavery as the reason for its joining the Confederacy.


It amazes me to have seen millionaires kneel in protest of mistreatment of others without understanding that their method of protesting is spitting in the face of those who preserved their right to protest. It is also relevant to note that those who fought to preserve their right to protest come in all colors, sizes and sexes.

These protesters are now teaching their children to protest the American Dream. The flag represents our continuing goal of “liberty and justice for all.” So, where do these poorly crafted protests lead?


When I watch the news, I can’t help but get a little irritated at what is being reported. I have to do some soul-searching because I remember an oath I took some years ago when I joined the Navy. I swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. That includes the Bill of Rights. We have the right to peaceful protest.

It clearly states peaceful. Taking a knee in protest is as peaceful as it gets. When someone wants to harm individuals who protest for whatever reason, those bringing harm do not have the right to do so.

We are a strong country — and this country was built on tolerance. There are groups and organizations out there that make my blood boil — but they are entitled to free speech. However, they don’t have the right to hurt anyone. No other nation in the world has rights like ours.