History should be on display
Kudos to the Times Free Press for the "Lost Way" series in the paper, a great reminder of the history of Chattanooga's "renaissance," of the soul of our city as it was/is/should be, and the serious work yet to do.
Making sure that others enjoy the same opportunity is equally important — with your support. The former Chattanooga History Center, much maligned and deserted, must be acknowledged for physically saving and organizing through catalog technology this only significant collection from the broad span of Chattanooga's past.
But the most important meaning of this Chattanooga collection comes only through public exhibits.
Let's encourage UTC, the public library, the city, mayors and elected officials, Medal of Honor Heritage Center, Ed Johnson Project, Bessie Smith Cultural Center, educators, foundations, business community and every interested group and individual to come together in bringing this fascinating parade of our diverse heritage to venues in view of all. The rewards will be well worth our efforts: to see where we were as we look to where we can be.
Death claims don't add up
Two problems with the NFL situation. One is the disrespectful kneeling, and the other is the basis of all the trouble caused by Black Lives Matter, Antifa and the players is dead wrong. Here are the facts:
In The Washington Post article "Aren't more white people killed by police?" it states " 1,502 people had been shot and killed by on-duty police officers since Jan. 1, 2015 732 were white, and 381 were black White people make up roughly 62 percent of the U.S. population but only about 49 percent of those who are killed by police officers." Blacks " account for 24 percent of those fatally shot despite being just 13 percent of the U.S. population." The conclusion: Blacks are killed at twice the rate of whites.
This analysis is wrong.
On the FBI website, although blacks are 13 percent of the population, they commit 52 percent of violent crime.
So, out of 1,502 police killings, blacks and whites should have been roughly equal. Instead, whites were killed at almost twice the rate of blacks when the violent crime rate of blacks is considered!
Liberals, don't let me confuse you with the truth.
Protest the wrong, not what is right
"We the people of the United States" are represented by a government established under the Constitution to provide our fundamental laws and guarantee certain basic rights for its citizens. It is symbolized by our flag and national anthem.
This nation is unique in that if its citizens wish to dishonor or no longer support the Constitution that gives them their rights, or the government that is supposed to administer those rights or the military whose personnel sacrifice to protect those rights, then they have the right do so. If enough citizens think so, our government becomes null and void.
Many problems need to be addressed, and sometime it takes mass protests to bring about change. But there are thousands of ways to protest and accomplish this. For instance, imagine NFL players in each of their cities holding unified street rallies. But to disrespect the flag, country and military that enable us to exercise our rights to bring about those changes seems to me to be the atomic bomb version of a reset. May God help us with whatever system comes next.
What we need is a 'real' president
A real president would have said, "While I disagree with the protests of the NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, I will always defend their right to peaceful protest."
A real president would be concerned about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and would have allocated resources to determine what happened and how it can be prevented in future elections.
A real president would not have said that there were "fine people" among the Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville.
A real president would understand that all people, not just the privileged few, are entitled to health care.
A real president would be the president for all Americans, not just those in his base or in the donor class.
What we need is a real president.
John C. West
Steeler has nothing to apologize for
On Sept., 24, 2017, the world watched as NFL athletes took a knee or stood and locked arms with each other during the national anthem. One player, Alejandro Villanueva, U.S. Army captain, infantry, Ranger, walked alone from his locker room to the field to pay notice to the anthem. He stood tall, at attention and faced the flag. Later, he was scorned publicly by his head coach, Mike Tomlin. On Week 1, some of the Steelers kneeled, some stood. Coach Tomlin had no problem. Week 2, same. Again, Tomlin had no issues. But Week 3, Capt. Villanueva stood there all alone, and Tomlin took issue, scorning him, forcing the captain to apologize to the world for not "acting as a team player" and "not working with the team," forcing the captain to shamefully apologize.
First we had Jane Fonda, then Dennis Rodman and now Coach Tomlin. Like the Viet Cong trying to get the POWs to apologize for the "war crimes committed."
Capt. Villanueva has nothing to apologize for.
Kneel to honor, not to disrespect
I am humbled by the sacrifice made to keep speech free in America. I would kneel to honor those warriors who paid the ultimate price but never to disrespect them. Our anthem was first played at an athletic event in 1862 in an attempt to unite us.
What is the issue with the African-American players, 73 percent of whom are born to single parent households? Not to put too fine a point on it, but they would be considered bastards in proper English, which may suggest Trump's moniker was not far astray.
This is not a racial issue but a total disregard for the norms of society. To show solidarity with other criminals, we kneel and wear baggy pants so we can look like we just were released from jail, where they take your belt. What a shame.
Confederates can't have been traitors
Recent letters to this newspaper have disparaged those who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War by calling them "traitors." Reading this certainly demonstrates to me their utter ignorance of both vocabulary and constitutional law.
For one to be a traitor, one must betray one's government. Say what you will about the Confederate States of America, it definitely did not seek to overthrow the Lincoln administration or to destroy the government in Washington. Rather, the Confederacy was created by articles of succession from the various Southern states in late 1860 or early 1861. Those articles of succession were legal instruments duly ratified by Southern states before there was ever any constitutional prohibition against states seceding from the union. Indeed, both the anti-secession and anti-slavery amendments to the U.S. Constitution were ratified after the Civil War ended.
Conclusion: If secession was not illegal in 1861, then there was no crime committed by either Confederate leaders or soldiers. Why? Simply because the U.S. Constitution's ex post facto clause prohibits convicting someone of a crime that was not a crime when the act was committed.
Ronald D. Williams