YOUR|LETTERS March 16 2011 issue.
A scholarship for white males, it's about time
In regard to the March 16 Editorial "A scholarship for white males, it's about time", I write to add a few brief thoughts. First, I'd like to state my admiration for the editor in her courage in taking on a controversial subject. Even if many find the content objectionable, too often our newspapers toe the politically correct line and look for safe, non-controversial content. As a former co-worker and longtime friend of Pam Stevens, I know her to be one of the most kind hearted and open-minded people I have ever met, and I understand the point she is attempting to make.
While it is certainly true that white males (a group to which I belong) have enjoyed a spot on top of the American social pyramid since, well, the creation of the Masonic pyramid...and while it is certainly true that white males have been largely responsible for proud moments in American history ranging from the subjugation of the American native peoples, to the denial of women's, immigrant and minority civil rights, right on through to the present mortgage crisis wreaking havoc on the global economy (Don't think so? What's the percentage of white males in the legislature and/or Wall Street in comparison to the general populace?) - there are a few a points worth exploring in the editorial:
1. White people are not a homogeneous group; and
2. To assume that the "white male" - is always in lockstep with his well-earned stereotype is a kind of minor racism in its own right.
While the average white American male seemingly enjoys class privilege, consider his potentially identical American immigrant cousins: the Bosnian Muslim, the Croat, the Basque, the Northern Irish, the Scotch, the Iranian Christian, etc. All of these minor groups could easily be grouped into "white" while not enjoying the perceived social benefits - especially if they are first or second generation.
I can certainly understand the anger many will feel when reading about the "white male" scholarship, but perhaps it's the term "white" that needs better context. After all, a scholarship fund aimed at Croatian immigrants or a scholarship promoting Irish heritage is certainly not objectionable. Further, today's 18 year old white male really should not be held responsible for the sins of his father, and part of being fair and promoting equal rights means giving all people equal opportunity regardless of skin color, gender or sexual orientation/identity.
This is where the white male argument loses steam - the phrase regardless of skin color. Being white is really not something to celebrate. Trust me, I know. All it boils down to is a lack of a tan, and what's so great about that? On the other hand, I'm proud to be Irish, proud to be Croatian, proud to be Hawaiian. See the difference between celebrating being white as opposed to celebrating who we are? It's only the biggest chasm imaginable.
Perhaps the most strenuous and well-placed objection to the 'white male scholarship' comes through the inherent racism in the term "white" and how it is used in the context of this scholarship. Ethnic and national backgrounds aside, the scholarship is basically stating that if your skin is white, you can apply. If it is dark, too bad. And therein lies the true problem in what I hope is a well-meaning effort. Instead of starting a responsible dialogue, the scholarship avoids the social responsibility of addressing the inherent and understandable concerns surrounding a "white male" scholarship. Unfortunately, the scholarship founders choose to undercut the charitable and noble intent of giving away money for college by reinforcing the faulty skin-deep white superiority complex that has wreaked havoc on our country for years.
We must “Convert or Die”
George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Yet, with 72 years between us and Hitler’s attack on Poland, how many still grasp the horror he laid before the world?
Even a year later, Charles Lindbergh, Joe Kennedy (our ambassador to England), British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, and others were claiming Hitler wasn’t a problem.
Wise men, like yet-to-be Prime Minister Churchill, saw what was coming. But for so long these mean-spirited “warmongers” were shouted down. And, by the time the “Lone Eagle” had earned the name “Lone Ostrich” and Neville Chamberlain had been replaced with a man who thought with his head instead of his heart, terror that could have been averted blackened the globe.
Millions died; cities were destroyed; nations were left bankrupt. In the postwar world many said, “We must never forget.”
Yet, are we turning a blind eye to the Radical Muslim threat? Are we burying our heads in the name of religious freedom?
Last week’s D.C. march to establish Sharia Law in the United States was cancelled—this time.
But, the movement will grow. And when that happens, there will be more Chamberlainesque Pollyannas standing by to support them in the name of fairness.
But then, we must always be fair, even if it kills us? And, more than once—it has!
William Cook Lake Stevens
Republicans are taking the country backwards
New republican governors and lawmakers are waging war on the working people, middle class, women, and the poor. Union busting is being thinly veiled as budget balancing, and social programs that benefit women, children, students, seniors and veterans are on the chopping block. Everyone but the extremely wealthy, big corporations, and their republican pet politicians are hurting.
While President Obama is going around the country talking with small businesses and schools trying to get this country engaged in jobs, manufacturing, and repairing the infrastructure, education and clean energy technology, the republicans want to slash and burn, they refuse to cooperate, and want to put the burden of the deficit and taxes on those who can least afford it.
It seems the republican agenda is: use corporations and big oil, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to purchase our elections, possibly with foreign funds, and the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court to make ideological decisions and to dismantle the constitution.
With the help of the right wing media machine, they are overplaying their hand, and people are realizing the hateful G.O.P. strategy. Republican tea party governors will be recalled if they stay this destructive course.
Union workers are willing to contribute more to their pensions and healthcare, but republican governors are unwilling to negotiate, and are making workers scapegoats in a manufactured crisis. Oh, but they’re determined to keep their promises to their tea party voters even if it kills people, a whole class of people, especially people who support democrat politicians.
Don’t let the anti-social pro-corporate thugs drag this country backwards. Reject the lies, fear, and conspiracy theories. Stand strong with our democratic president, governor, and lawmakers.
Carolyn Fox-Allen Lake Stevens
Democrats trying to create a dictatorship?
The Democrats are at it again. Again, they try to subvert the will of the people. The Democrats are trying to push through Senate Bill 5297 (Anti-Initiative legislation) that would severely restrict the right of the people to hold government accountable by way of the Initiative process.
Not surprisingly the bill also increases the cost of government; the Democrats’ specialty. They seek to place far more restrictions on the sponsors of initiatives even though they’ve been seeking to lessen restrictions that allow illegal voting.
Recently in the Ways and Means Committee the Democrats voted to ignore nine amendments that would have supported the will of the people.
The Democrats then voted to pass the bill that would lessen the power of the people.
The Democrats in the House have a similar bill, House Bill 1668 that would also suppress the people’s access to make government accountable.
The popularity of the Tea Party movement should tell them something. Well it has, but instead of supporting the people they seek to weaken the people’s power; our power.
Exercise your individual power, and write your congressional delegation and say “No” on the Anti-Initiative bills HB-1668 and SB-5297.
Roger W. Hancock Auburn