Frustration doesn't permit violenceIn accepting without...

the Forum

August 26, 1993

Frustration doesn't permit violence

In accepting without analysis the language and premise of the abortion opponents whom Sandy Banisky cites in her article of Aug. 21, objective reporting is significantly bypassed and understanding of the important issues lost.

The accused in the shooting of the Wichita abortion doctor is written about as if her alleged criminal act should be discussed and understood in terms of her frustration "by political obstacles" rather than as an act of anti-social violence that cannot be tolerated, no matter what her motivation.

That the opponents explain her behavior as something to be condemned as well as something politically motivated ought not mean that the two should be joined to understand the events. Rather, it is in their being discussed jointly that the opponents tacitly give her act credibility while publicly abhorring it.

Anybody on the losing side of a court decision or a legislative act might feel "frustrated by political obstacles." This could apply to those who favor the legalization of marijuana, those who advocate the protection of the spotted owl, those who decry all limits on gun control.

As dissatisfied or content as each might be with what ultimately gets decided, however, they are all voices that have been heard to the extent that our democratic system allows in the chambers of justice as well as in the halls of the legislatures.

If any of them chooses to turn to shooting opponents as a solution to frustration or dissatisfaction with the laws that ultimately prevail, then he or she has moved out of the area of the political into the area of the criminal.

One has nothing to do with the other, except that aberrant thoughts have made violent action appear acceptable.

Abortion opponents and those who are willing to link the two as explanations worthy of being addressed to understand the political issues involved are tacitly condoning that the two be linked, and in essence are advocating acts of extremism.

Leslie D. Brown


Bringing change

Recently an older priest said in his sermon that he had no trouble with women becoming priests, but when he saw the ones that wanted to become priests, he got scared. They are tough.

Then an article in the paper described a high school student who might play football this fall, a young woman who had trained alongside her male peers to become a wide receiver. Federal law supports her if she is good enough to play.

Later, talking with my 12-year-old daughter about change, I had to admit that it's the tough and angry people who fight the little battles that open doors. They often upset people. Then competent individuals breeze through those doors, able to do what they want without offense.

Noise, civil disobedience and court actions that seem selfish often bring about modifications that enable seemingly casual change to occur.

Kate Hartig


Helping a dictator?

The United States is about to send American troops to Haiti to shore up Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who is to be restored to the presidency on Oct. 1.

Aristide is a Marxist demagogue who resigned as president rather than face criminal charges ranging from theft of public funds to incitement to murder.

In a recent profile of Aristide, the New York Times buried a reference to his speeches "interpreted as condoning the practice of 'necklacing' political opponents with burning tires."

In one speech, he described this barbarism as "a beautiful tool." A painting glorifying it hung on his office wall.

Are we sending troops to Haiti to keep him in office or to keep him from barbecuing his enemies?

Ethel K. Nolan


No credentials

What can the leadership of the NAACP be thinking about? Allowing Rodney King to be a part of this once viable organization is ridiculous.

He may well have been abused, but that does not give him credentials to represent the "hood" in Los Angeles.

The man is a convicted criminal -- and still should stand trial for his actions on that fateful night. Everyone else has.

What must young blacks think, when there are many more appropriate people to represent them.

It seems that to keep Rodney King in the spotlight means that the NAACP must now give him a salary. Shame.

C. D. Wilmer


The homeless need more advocates

Recently, the Midtown Churches Community Association announced the closing of two shelters for the homeless in Baltimore.

Who is responsible for our homeless, whose numbers continue to grow? Are private organizations and churches responsible for feeding and sheltering the homeless because of a lack of political commitment by the local, state and federal governments?

The homeless of our community have no political voice. They are challenged daily by the tasks of everyday survival.

The measure of compassion in our society consists of the way we advocate for the needy, for those who, for some reason, are not capable of advocating for themselves. The homeless are the most needy of our society.

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