Road to privilege paved with hard work

Privilege has nothing to do with race. For an African American who earns millions of dollars in their profession to tell a white American from a place like Appalachia that he is privileged is ludicrous.

In America the road to privilege is determined by the individual, not the race. There are many paths a person can take to become successful, but there are none that don't require hard work. If you have a certain talent, work hard to perfect it.

There are many African Americans who had a great idea and worked hard to become successful. They did not listen to the racism rhetoric of politicians and the media. Instead, they believed in the idea of personal responsibility and opportunity afforded to all Americans. This is what distinguishes one individual from another.

Jack Runge

Rising Fawn, Georgia


Children need to learn to respect

To me, the word respect is the most beautiful word in the English language. So simple but so powerful that if its meaning was universally practiced there would be no need for prisons or even locks on doors. However, for some reason, current culture has caused the word "respect" to lose favor to that kinder, gentler word "love," and in the process destruction of society has begun.

Many times parents love their child so much they fear offending or upsetting them. They prefer to be a friend to the child rather than a parent to the child. My neighbor walking her dog wonders why my dog behaves so well while her dog drags her down the street in all directions. Dogs love to please their master, but when she just wants to be a friend to her dog, the dog wanders out of control.

Parents are a child's first symbol of authority, so they need to teach the child to respect all authority and laws. Failure to control, correct and give them direction in life will result in chaos and anarchy. No, John Lennon, "love" is (not) all you need.

Ron Lowery



'Tweety Bird' and floor of decency

How far will Trump sink below common decency? His sinking started long before he was a candidate for president. He accused President Obama of not being born in this country, perhaps forgetting Hawaii is a state. He attacked Mexican immigrants as drug dealers, rapists and murderers. He stated John McCain was not a hero because he was captured. There were many more tweets attacking his foes and former members of his administration who disputed his lies.

Two recent ones deserve note. He retweeted an allegation the host of a morning show was involved in the murder of one of his aides when he was a congressman. All authorities ruled the death was an accident. A 75-year-old man was pushed down to the concrete sidewalk by Buffalo police, with damage requiring hospitalization. Trump tweeted the man was a protester and a member of Antifa, and that he provoked the police, without any evidence.

It is clear Trump has no floor of decency. A more important question is whether members of Trump's base have a floor of decency they will not go below? Trump likes nicknames. Perhaps a good nickname for him is Tweety Bird.

Archie Thurman


A math solution for tough equation

What if we could solve the problems of social unrest and social injustice mathematically? Let's make an equation of it structured thusly: murdered, unarmed black males by heavily armed white policemen = peaceful protests/riots and looting.

If we solve and cancel the left side of our equation, we remove the residual effect of peaceful protests. By eliminating the root cause for peaceful protests, we automatically take away the conduit that leads to riots and looting.

I know it's not a simple human effort, due to the evil that lurks in the hearts of men. Even though it's a goal worthy of pursuit, in my humble opinion.

Allan Baggett

Trion, Georgia


Wants courthouse bust to be removed

There is a statue of a Confederate general on the front lawn of the Hamilton County Courthouse. So? Aren't the Confederacy and the Civil War part of Chattanooga's history? Some might even say a proud part of our history. These may be the same people who say that the Confederacy was fighting for states' rights. I ask, states' rights to do what? Own people. Black people.

Yes, the South and the North had (and still have) cultural and economic differences. But there would have been no Civil War without slavery. For many whites, including myself, and for most if not all Blacks, glorifying symbols of the Civil War is extremely racist. This is why NASCAR has just prohibited the display of the Confederate flag. This is why people around the country are pushing to remove Confederate statues from their places of honor. Dalton activist Drew Greeson said recently, "The [Confederate] statue is the least of our worries," but it is highly symbolic. For whites reading this, just think. How would you feel if you found a statue of Hitler in a prominent spot in a German city? To the Hamilton County commissioners: Take this Confederate statue down now!

Betsy Darken


Pro-lifers, defend this dichotomy

On page 1 of the June 19 TFP is the article "Strict abortion law passes in House." On page 7, "U.S. drops planned limit for toxin that damages infant brains." Fireworks in the Black Hills (and, one infers, elsewhere) have exposed groundwater to a chemical which has been found to affect the brains of newborns. The fireworks were discontinued 10 years ago, but President Trump has declined to impose limits on the chemical, and requested the fireworks be resumed, as he wants to attend on July 4.

If you are a pro-life voter, then I would be interested in how you reconcile voting for any Republican who supported actions that would expose developing infant brains to a chemical which has been proven to harm them. I would be interested in seeing letters from people who vote Republican simply because they purport to be pro-life when those same Republicans vote for actions that provably harm the very unborn they claim are sacred. Seriously, one letter that reconciles the two views. I won't hold my breath.

Lisa Erlendson Scott

Dayton, Tennessee


A Reconstruction Courthouse exhibit?

Chattanooga Times editorial page Editor Pam Sohn nicely draws on historical background to make a compelling case for removing the Alexander Stewart statue from the Hamilton County Courthouse grounds in her June 21 editorial.

While I have no objection to moving the statue, an alternate strategy might have more civic education value and also be more politically feasible.

Why not refashion the area in front of the courthouse as an outdoor Reconstruction-themed history exhibit? Such an exhibit could, for example, feature profiles of Tennesseans like Ida B. Wells and Sutton Griggs, activists who opposed Jim Crow racism. It could include a photo of Stewart in civilian dress, noting his role in sectional reconciliation while explaining the motives behind a depiction of him in CSA uniform. At the same time, an exhibit should stress that the promise of Reconstruction has not yet been realized. The chief reason (as demonstrated by David Blight in "Race and Reunion" and by other historians) is that post-war reconciliation, for which Stewart and other southerners and northerners worked, unfolded largely between whites but at the expense of African Americans.

Norton Wheeler