Black victimization only way to think?

So the war against free speech has come to Chattanooga.

An article in Sunday's Times Free Press decried the scheduled appearance of conservative commentator and activist Candace Owens at a local venue, including quotes equating her rhetoric to "hate speech from white supremacists."

A photo of Owens was included, but the article failed to identify her as an African American who understands the "Black experience" firsthand and is therefore well-qualified to speak on it.

I have heard Owens speak via a variety of media, and what she has to say is echoed by leading Black figures such as actors Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, athletes Herschel Walker and Charles Barkley, and many others. Her words are no more "controversial" than those of present and past Black TFP columnists Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell, Star Parker and Walter Williams.

She speaks boldly to Black empowerment through hard work and determination, qualities that spurred icons like George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington. Apparently, there's no longer a place for people who express views contrary to those of Black victimization and government dependency? Whatever happened to the marketplace of ideas?

Robert J. Tamasy



Wants Sen. Blackburn to back Rescue Plan

Passage of the American Rescue Plan will provide the long-term investments that will lift working families and our local economy. Significant investment in our care infrastructure, from child care to paid leave, to raising the minimum wage, long-term care, making permanent improvements to the EITC and Child Tax Credit, will create jobs and enable parents to work.

Women's workforce participation is plummeting, Nationally, nearly one in three women ages 25-44 have been pushed out of the labor force because they have no access to affordable child care. Women's labor force participation is now at a 30-year low. That's a problem and a major setback for families, businesses, gender and racial equality, and our economy. It also costs the U.S. $64.5 billion per year in lost wages and economic activity. We need permanent workplace protections and a care infrastructure that covers everyone because too many families were hanging by a thread even before the pandemic. We don't want to go back to that. Investing in a care infrastructure is a win-win.

Sen. Blackburn, thank you in advance for putting politics aside and for doing what is best for the American people.

Rebecca Iwanczyk



Enforce current gun laws, punishments

Democrats just want control, not "common sense" gun control. Semiautomatic rifles account for a very small percentage of the firearm deaths annually. The 1994-2004 ban on them had no effect on the murder rate. Rather than trying to ban "the evil AR-15," we need go after those perpetrating the crimes.

Mass shootings receive intense media coverage; little to no coverage is given the weekly slaughter that occurs in cities such as Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. These cities already have strict gun control, but this has done nothing to curb the violence. Strict enforcement of existing gun laws and stern punishment for their violation would be important steps toward reducing violence.

Red flag laws could receive bipartisan support. Suicide accounts for more than 60% of yearly gun deaths. The ability of family, friends, schools or health professionals to intervene would go a long way toward lowering the percentage of suicides and mass shootings. Conservatives would support these laws if they also insured fair and timely due process concerning the return of confiscated firearms.

Current progressive ideas of eliminating the police and, little, if any, incarceration for even violent crime are sheer lunacy and have disastrous consequences.

Jeff Fisher


Rep. Ogles, in opposing pot, out of touch in 2020

Rep. Brandon Ogles, R-Franklin, is seeking legislation to make marijuana use permanently illegal in Tennessee, calling its democratic legalization "below Southern values." Ogles is obviously out of touch and living in a fantasy world. On his website he lists two very suspect organizations that he is affiliated with as credentials: The Boy Scouts of America and the Southern Baptist Church. The former a child molestation hot bed, where innocent boys were violated by predatory troop leaders with cases in the thousands, and the latter a rogue faction split from the Baptist Church since 1845 over the abolition of slavery.

Both organizations' atrocities are still happening and in the news today. It's time for Tennessee citizens, its forward thinking citizens, to take stock of the current political, social and economic conditions in our state and decide if these so-called conservatives really represent who we are today, not who we were in 1845.

Joshua Hurley


God may laugh, but wicked are the joke

Good news: God laughs, as Psalms 2 and 37 mention.

Bad news: Wicked people are the joke.

Do Times editor Pam Sohn and President Biden want to make themselves punch lines? We hear he's a devout Roman Catholic, so he should know "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not commit adultery," though he wants to force taxpayers to subsidize killing little babies ("abortion"), and Wikipedia says he was dating his current wife in March '75 though she wasn't divorced until May, merely separated; her first husband says worse, and of course Donald Trump publicly did worse.

So how about "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor"? President Biden, quoted without dissent by the Times (April 6), called Georgia's voting security law "Jim Crow on steroids." Does he mean worse than lynching? Worse than segregation? Would it leave whole counties with no Black voters at all? Jim Crow, a Democratic project, featured all those.

Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, stole a Senate seat or more, and my daughter saw election glitches here last November. Election security matters. We need a balance between security and convenience, not a mockery of security concerns (or access concerns).

Andrew Lohr


City election was smooth; workers appreciated

When my Grandma got excited about something she would say, "Goodness gracious, sake's alive."

Yes , I am excited to be able to show the world that the city of Chattanooga knows how to hold an election.

We had a city election last week. It started on time. Ended on time.

All the votes were counted. The winner was announced the same day.

The Hamilton County Election Commission knows how to get it done.

We should be available to train other cities how it is done. We could apply a fee for training. The possibilities are endless.

Thanks to all the people involved. You are so appreciated.

Ruth Cote