Clergy event on racial healing 'discouraging'

I attended the Tuesday evening event at Miller Park featuring local clergy, black and white, in a service of "truth and reconciliation" centered on a spiritual response to the current racial tensions in America. It was at times inspiring, but mostly it was discouraging.

Seeing black and white church leaders washing one another's feet in a symbolic portrayal of the humility and service that are a prerequisite to genuine racial healing was poignant and clearly a genuine expression of the love these men have for each other.

Sadly though, the overriding message of the evening was a more gentle and spiritualized version of the pernicious narrative of the Black Lives Matter movement: unarmed African Americans are being killed by police in disproportionate numbers thus proving that America is a racist country that needs to be fundamentally transformed.

While the pastors obviously would be repulsed by BLM's chants to fry police and perhaps even reject its calls to defund the police, the timing of their event and its clear message that all white Americans share the guilt of individual bad actors lends moral support to those who want the opposite of truth and reconciliation.

Philip Lancaster

Lookout Mountain, Georgia


Columnist invited to get dubious award

Congratulations, [Chicago Tribune columnist] Dahleen Glanton, on winning one of the Fourth Estate's highest honors: The William James "There's nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it" award ("White America, look in the mirror," page B6, June 3).

The award was printed on very high quality paper, but it now resides in my septic tank.

Since journalists are reportedly adept at digging, I will be happy to provide the location should you wish to claim it.

Edward Murphy

Cleveland, Tennessee


Happy to be a former city resident

As a native Chattanoogan and one-time longtime resident of the city, I can honestly say the more that I hear from Mayor Andy Berke, the happier it makes me to be able to call myself a former resident.

David Sanders

Decatur, Tennessee


Get off Issa's back; he's investing in the city

What difference does it make if Bassam Issa, an American citizen, uses funds from outside the country to finance his development projects? It seems that when American citizens use investors from outside this country, it only helps our economy. Rhonda Thurman doesn't need to concern herself with Issa's investments into empty properties that have closed. Rather she should be pleased to see someone who is still willing to invest and improve the economy in Chattanooga.

Although Mr. Issa was born in a foreign country, he has positioned himself as a respected businessman in this community. His religion and ethnicity should not be questioned. He's not a moocher or leech. He is a productive citizen. Attacking this local business developer seems petty indeed.

Having come from a Third World country and becoming a citizen, America has afforded me many wonderful opportunities. Only here could I have been allowed to improve my living standards and enjoy prosperity, too.

Amos Taj