MLK Jr. 'home' amid the irony
In these amazing and contorted times in which we live, I only wonder what took so long to erect this iconic American's statue in his own hometown? It took nearly 50 years to memorialize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta, of all places. His statue was unveiled late last month on the Georgia Capitol grounds.
That is the real outrage — not that it'll be sharing prominent ground with busts of segregationists and Confederate generals who, love them or loathe them, have their place in American history, too. Dr. King, I'll bet, would smile at the irony and welcome the fact that he's finally home.
Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Resist destroying of history lessons
Isn't it ironic that citizens of Chattanooga want to remove the statue of Alexander P. Stewart from its position of almost 100 years? The statue of the Confederate general, "Old A.P.," has been standing on the Hamilton County Courthouse lawn since the Daughters of the Confederacy put it up in 1919.
Stewart's politics were conservative, but he didn't believe in owning slaves, yet the opposition to anything with a Confederate reference is attempting to destroy everything in its path.
If the statue is removed into obscurity, how will the influences he had in creating Chickamauga Battlefield be known? Politicians lacking in fortitude give sway to the organizations that threaten to file lawsuits. An historical document or object is left in the hands of leaders to preserve and protect. The history of a city, town or nation depends on its preservation by those responsible.
Leaders should encourage their citizens to resist the destruction of lessons learned through history instead of taking an "oh well" attitude and allowing anarchists to cajole them into submission. If Sen. Bob Corker wants to rally for a cause, he should work toward preserving the nation's historical and educational treasures.
Tunnel Hill, Ga.
Perspective piece missed the mark
Last Sunday's lead Perspective commentary ("Is Trump right to ban transgenders from serving in the military?") was out of line. Its most fundamental flaw was the way the question itself inherently dehumanizes a category of people. Imagine a question about racial integration in 1948: "Should blacks be allowed in all parts of the military?" I hope we would recognize (at least today) the question's inherent offensiveness.
Though the "yes" argument at least struck a more respectful tone using "transgender individuals" rather than the dehumanizing "transgenders," the author seemed to assume the increased risks of suicide and psychological distress are somehow inherent to being transgender.
Those increased risks have nothing to do with transgender individuals and everything to do with a culture full of ridicule, shame and disrespect for transgender individuals.
This commentary only adds to that problem. The "no" argument was also flawed as the first quarter of it was about the method of Trump's announcement, not the merit of including transgender service members. Transgender individuals deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, the same as we would expect for any other individual. The newspaper failed here.
Shawn A. Trivette
Birthright is not a heritage right
To the writer feeling a "burning outrage" over the removal of Civil War statues:
I am not from here but relocated to Georgia. Whether my relatives participated in the Civil War is irrelevant. Regardless of birthplace we, as Americans, can speak with equal grace and voice on issues we choose to honor and venerate.
Seen from history, the glory of conflict is easy to conjure. With more than 600,000 dead, thrice more horribly maimed, and a region destitute for decades following is hardly close to glorious. Fighting to preserve the heritage of Southern slavery was as obscene then as is glorifying it today with statues of insurrectionist leaders. This plus kiting a Confederate battle flag as a symbol of honor and rectitude is not history but a perversion.
We who come from afar and choose to live here are every bit as American as you. To feel your birthright somehow imparted a higher propriety on honor and history is a delusion and an alternate universe of your own making.
Rising Fawn, Ga.
Hixson paving work appreciated
To all the people who complained endlessly about the bad paving on Northpoint Boulevard in Hixson off Hixson Pike, I didn't see anyone thanking the people who made it possible to pave the whole street. So from me: Thank you very much.
Education best weapon vs. drugs
Drugs are America's greatest domestic threat. They are in a neighborhood near you, friends and family members. We have the earth's greatest thirst for drugs, and it's going to become our No. 1 public health issue.
People who use drugs have descended into total darkness and into enduring suffering. Our cities are embedded in this crisis and are trying to grapple with its explosions of death.
We know that millions of families are going to feel the impact of drug abuse. Churches, schools and community groups should be sharing one message to our youth — that not using drugs is normal. At the current rate, we are really heading toward a drug planet because of drug abuse's astonishing growth and no slowing down in sight.
This scourge will purchase a lot of lives. The addiction of drugs is a disease with no ZIP code. We as Americans must remember that drug abuse is 100 percent preventable. Our greatest weapon is education.
Trump, Sessions cowardly on DACA
If I only had a brain!
And a heart.
It's clear to all that Tinman Bannon has no heart.
Trump showed his cowardly lion side by sending his AG out to make the really big, but unpopular, announcement.
And Sessions showed he's brainless in how he attempted to defend the administration's DACA verdict.
The scarecrow claimed the Dreamers are costing "real Americans" jobs, a canard many times disproven. In fact, even the conservative Cato Institute says DACA's demise will cost employers $2 billion and the federal government $60 billion.
Then Sessions blamed DACA for a surge in illegal immigrants with children. Problem is, the surge started in 2008 when violence against children escalated in Central America. DACA didn't start until 2012. Worse for Sessions' illogical lies, DACA doesn't even cover new arrivals after it was enacted.
It's true, as the administration says, that Congress should act to save the Dreamers, but Sessions' rhetoric suggests they're throwing a cynical bone to their nativist base. We should be glad he didn't call the dreamers "criminals and rapists."
Rising Fawn, Ga.
Put statues in Civil War parks
The Civil War statues are works of art. Southern and Northern soldiers should not be forgotten for their belief and bravery.
Why not a park for all Civil War statues? We are ignoring history and why the soldiers fought. History is what has made our U.S.A.
Frankie E. Hart