Angry White Males and Their SpousesSusan Reimer's Dec. 4...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 01, 1995

Angry White Males and Their Spouses

Susan Reimer's Dec. 4 column decrying her once-liberal husband's transformation into a conservative Republican was offensive and infuriating to those of us who are not "putting our social concerns away with the baby clothes" in the wake of the Republican-dominated November elections.

I hope that Ms. Reimer does not believe that because she and her "empathetic white women" friends have chosen to remain married to men that they claim are their political and ideological opposites, this is a choice that is or should be acceptable to anyone else.

As a mother, a mental health professional and a women's advocate, I was horrified to read of Ms. Reimer sitting by and tolerating her husband's patronizing remarks to their children as to the difference between Democrats and Republicans ("Republicans don't want people like your mother giving all their money away.")

Perhaps Ms. Reimer feels her children are learning about tolerance by living in a two-party household, but I feel such remarks are meant to inform her children that her views are not to be taken seriously.

Ms. Reimer also implies that "angry white men" like her husband are somehow representative of all middle-aged white men in America and constitutionally incapable of thinking of social problems in other than one-dimensional, victim-blaming, self-interested terms.

This is insulting to all the forward-thinking, progressive men who do not perceive the world in that way.

Personally, the day my husband starts listening to Rush Limbaugh and taking Newt Gingrich seriously (a day I'm confident will never come), one of us will have to move out.

While we certainly do not agree on everything (nor do I believe any two people in a healthy marriage should), our political and moral beliefs are essentially the same and form the underpinnings of what we hope to teach our children about how human beings should treat one another.

Ms. Reimer is allowing a paternalistic "us vs. them" mentality to invade her home life and influence her children's world view. I think this is very sad. The personal is political, and the political is deeply personal.

Cathleen Read

Columbia

Zoning Changes

I would recommend carrying Bill 107 over to February to be certain that it is done properly, and that everybody that voted for change has had an opportunity to understand the meaning and intent of this bill. It would be more responsible to act on such a measure after the holiday season.

The idea that the Zoning Board will handle all piecemeal zoning is confusing. The word "piecemeal" should be removed. Language more readily understood by the citizens should be used. "Piecemeal" sounds too much like the "black hole" discovered in outer space that devours every particle that passes nearby, regardless of size. The Zoning Board should handle the reclassification of single tracts of land. Floating zones (ie., new town or mixed use centers) must have the associated Preliminary Development Plans reviewed and approved by bill by the County Council following public hearings.

It must be made clear . . . that nothing . . . shall preclude the rights of any resident of Howard County to testify regarding his concerns before the Howard County Planning Board on the subject under review. The County Council and the Zoning Board, in establishing time limits for testimony, must demonstrate greater consideration for equal time.

In addition to providing copies of documents at reasonable cost, copies of working documents should be made available at the county libraries and at the County Law Library. The law library did not even contain bills and resolutions at last check.

. . . County Council action on variance requests must be by bill. These are not administrative or temporary actions. . . . Variances do not die in less than a year's time.

The recent practice of reclassifying parcels of land under the exercise of comprehensive rezoning is not legal. Writing into the county code that the courts have no jurisdiction over such actions and that the residents have no rights to testify or appeal such actions is grossly unconstitutional and will certainly fail any test in an Appeals Court. The history to date is not encouraging.

ames M. Holway

Ellicott City

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