Maybe not 100%, but we can unite

I am an African American, born and raised in the United States. As a child I learned 100 of anything was often considered "best" (i.e., a grade of 100, age of 100 or 100% agreement). However, I realize when it comes to our country, 100 does not exist. We are neither 100% united nor 100% divided. The name, United States of America, defies the reality due to actions by some to divide this country. There has not been 100% unity, equality and freedom in my lifetime.

We are currently facing a new pandemic, COVID-19. We are unable to gain 100% participation in social distancing, wearing masks and following the recommendations of health professionals to combat the virus.

The old pandemic of racism has plagued us for centuries. We are still in need of 100% support on fundamental policies to unite and protect us.

How can a nation divided against itself prosper? What is the cure for racism? It is my hope we never go back to the "old normals" of racism, bigotry, prejudice and hatred. My prayer is we work toward a united country we can be proud to call home.

Liz Cooper


News consumers also should check facts

A letter writer to your paper complained about the liberal media. He quoted some statistics, but rather than referencing his own "facts," he quoted so-called facts from his newspaper. This seems to be the problem we are having now days, as prompted by our president calling the media "fake news."

There is no fake news, simply the way some journalists put their slant on the truth.

It is up to us — the readers — if there is doubt about the story to check facts on our own.

Jack Pine



Trump the Vandal needs to be voted out

Please, pundits, stop saying the president doesn't understand the Constitution. He understands. He just doesn't care.

Like the vandals who selfishly capitalize on the protest marches, bashing windows to loot and pillage, the president is the proud blonde Viking vandalizing, looting and pillaging every norm, protocol and tenet of our Constitution.

To say Trump doesn't understand is laughable. When he falsely claimed President Obama was not born in the United States, he understood. When he boldly pronounced at the height of his campaign, "Russia if you're listening ...," he understood. When he asked the Ukrainian president to announce an investigation into his political opponent, he understood. When he says the free press is the enemy of the people, he understands. When he flaunts the Bible he never reads and doesn't follow, he understands.

Like the modern-day Vandals we watch on TV and are powerless to stop, Trump understands the damage and chaos he leaves in his wake. His twisted tweets proudly proclaim that his vindictiveness knows no end. His moral compass is irretrievably broken. He will stop at nothing.

The only way to stop the vandalizing, looting and pillaging of our democracy is to vote on Nov 3. That I understand.

Lisa Shivers

Signal Mountain


Some facts can obscure the truth

A recent letter to the editor used data from The Washington Post about fatal police shootings to argue that the Black Lives Matter movement is a lie. A more complete version of that data shows 249 black, 405 white, 163 Hispanic, and 186 other/unknown citizens were shot by police officers in 2019. These numbers do not reflect other officer-involved deaths, such as the actions that took the life of George Floyd. The numbers do, however, reflect a disparity in the rates of death that was not acknowledged in the original letter. The writer wants us to conclude there is no problem because white fatalities outnumbered black, but he fails to consider the disproportionate rate of death relative to population. These numbers show black citizens are 2.5-3 times more likely to be killed by an officer than their white counterparts.

The letter writer believes that the black community is being manipulated by the media. I am confident my black neighbors have no such trouble, but I worry about this writer. He has been complaining about this paper for years now, yet he remains a most faithful reader. Perhaps he is the one being manipulated?

Sara Coffman


Wearing a mask shows respect, common sense

What is the problem for some folks to wear masks? If you have no respect for yourself, at least have some for others.

I mainly go to the grocery store. I wear a mask and rubber gloves. Recently when I was in a store, I wore a ball cap, sunglasses and a mask.

In a time of stress and anxiety, it was kind of fun. No one recognizes you. You need no makeup, do not need to comb your hair if you do not want to.

Please wear a mask. It is the right thing to do. Please wear it for yourself, your family, friends and everyone.

It is just common sense. What ever happened to common sense?

Ruth Cote