Smoke gets in your eyes in hotels, tooHave I missed or...

the Forum

August 26, 1994

Smoke gets in your eyes in hotels, too

Have I missed or misread something? The "hospitality industry" is lobbying against clean air in its establishments?

The folks who present an attractive venue for your overnight stay, who ply you with appealing food and drink to engage your senses of sight, smell and taste, are protesting to continue to pollute their rooms, dining areas, bars and gathering places with tobacco smoke?

What kind of logic is this?

Some would have you believe it is the logic of the bottom line. Is it profitable to have sick employees and patrons? Is it profitable to disregard patrons who will not enter smoke-filled rooms?

The latest figures I have seen indicate only 30 percent of the population uses tobacco. The hospitality industry is catering to 30 percent of the people?

These people will not go out to eat or drink or find lodging if they cannot smoke there? Not likely. They will endure the clean air, the way those who do not care for smoke with their meals and drinks have endured smoke all these years.

Forget the fiction of "non-smoking areas." When one person smokes in an area, everyone smokes.

And don't tell me about smokers' rights, either. There is no right to smoke. There is the freedom to choose to smoke or not.

Historically, in this country, individual freedoms have always given way to collective freedom. The individual's freedom to indulge behaviors extends only to the limit that it not infringe the freedoms of others.

The larger good for the largest number of people in this case is smoke-free air, indoors and out.

What's the argument about putting "tobacco people" out of their jobs. Now there's a choice: live "tobacco people" on the job, or sick and dying waiters, waitresses, bartenders, cooks, maids, chefs and customers adding to our health costs.

Russ Seese

Aberdeen

NAACP challenge

Leadership in the African-American community should be as strong as ever and ready to take us into the 21st century. But, again, there is no leadership from the top.

Unrest within the NAACP has caused a no-confidence vote from the community in the form of declining membership and money.

The problems of Ben Chavis and the budget should be internal. Outwardly, the leadership should be united in the spirit of the leadership conference of this past summer.

The NAACP should be fighting for jobs and health care and against crime and racism.

But instead we have 63 members of the board who are so out of touch with mainstream Afro-America between 20 and 30 that they seek out other non-traditional organizations for leadership.

Get it together, NAACP, and show some real leadership reminiscent of the 1960s.

W. Smith

Catonsville

Empowerment

Regarding the blood still on the playground where two men had been shot to death.

It seems to me that any adult could rustle up a bucket of water and a broom and let the children clean it up themselves.

That would teach them that they themselves can lessen the horrors and help life to go on.

I think the modern term is "empowerment."

Emily Kneebone

Lutherville

Stadium School

In an alliance worthy of Bertolt Brecht, last week the unnamed Baltimore CFL football team and the city school administration joined forces to remove the Stadium School project from Memorial Stadium.

The excuse used was an inspection by the city which found the building unfit for use, even though the building was deemed acceptable several months ago.

The concern of these organizations would be more convincing if there was evidence of similar concern for the other school buildings in the city.

The truth of the matter is that there is deep opposition to real school reform in this city.

Clearly, professional football is more important than education. The only silver lining is that we now have a good name for the football team -- the Baltimore Dunces.

Thomas Casey

Baltimore

Learn from tragedy

Domestic violence has been painfully demonstrated to the American public through the O. J. Simpson- Nicole Brown tragedy.

But this personal disaster is an opportunity to enlighten and educate us all about our domestic relationships, whether intact or divorced.

The Simpson-Brown tragedy is an extreme example of the dance that all couples do with each other. Both parties in a relationship participate in an unending, intertwined series of emotional ups and downs, with a mutual responsibility for monitoring and modulating its fluctuations.

It's a shame that the public is blinded by the sensational "who-done-it?" (the end result) rather than the "what did it?" (the process that made it happen).

An examination of their relationship as a process can shed light on aspects of their relationship that we can all identify with, learn and grow from.

We all have the responsibility, no, the obligation to ourselves, our significant others, our children and the family structure of our nation.

We must continue, throughout our lives, to learn about how to constructively interpret and reframe the sometimes destructive messages and games we play with each other.

The lives of the Simpson children will never be the same. They can never transcend the destructiveness of their parents' tragedies.

But for the rest of us, the Simpson-Brown tragedy is an opportunity to look at our own lives and to reflect on how we can enhance our own domestic relationships, rather than tear them apart in subtle or extreme ways.

Jill E. Nyman

Baltimore

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