Letters To The Editor


July 24, 2005

Anti-American messages deride valiant efforts

Reading The Sun last Sunday, I was struck by the juxtaposition between the lock-step anti-American message of the plays reviewed in the Arts & Society section ("Three plays march toward the same message," July 17) and the Parade magazine article "When can we leave Iraq?" with its positive message (July 17).

I wonder if my grandfather would have been able to fight mass murderers as an infantryman in World War II if public sentiment - at least that of the people getting the headlines - was as anti-American then as it is now.

For instance, one of the playwrights, Cuban-American Melinda Lopez, writes of an immigrant mother who will never forgive her son, a newly minted U.S. Marine, for going to war.

The theme of all three plays is disgusting. Serving the country in past wars is honored, but serving in current wars is questioned.

But turn to Parade in the same issue and read the article there to see the true face of the often-maligned United States.

When asked why he had joined the Foreign Service, the answer given unreservedly by an American working in Kirkuk was that "I was born in a small town in northwest Texas. The American public put me through college and law school, and I wanted to give something back."

Today's American military and others who are shoulder-to-shoulder with them on the front lines deserve better treatment - for the mass-murderers they face are no less evil than those fought by my grandfather in the past.

They deserve grateful thanks, rather than the America-bashing prattle so often spoon-fed to the public by the likes of these playwrights.

Harping on our lows and ignoring our successes should be labeled by right-minded people for what it is: rank, naked and reprehensible sedition.

Chris Limon


Mayor whitewashes legacy of segregation

The mayor's statement that the events of 1814 show "how integrated [the city] has always been" is a typical white distortion of the truth ("Mayor, leaders unveil path for historic stroll through city," July 16).

As a white person, I am well aware that we would very much like some parts of our history to go away, much as many Germans, I suppose, would like the Holocaust to go away. It is very difficult to face one's sins, whether individually or communally.

However, we should not forget that young black students at Morgan State University had to bravely endure potentially dangerous sit-ins to win access to restaurants; that black women had to boycott department stores to get service comparable to that offered to whites; that African-Americans in droves had to march on Gwynn Oak Park to gain access to a public facility.

As the mayor of a predominantly African-American city, Mr. O'Malley should be on board with his own city's history, and be a leader in being honest and open about it so that real reparations can be made to heal us all.

Dianne D. Lyday


Poor design detracts from downtown hotel

With the debate over public financing of the proposed convention center hotel heating up ("Schaefer criticizes selling bonds for hotel," July 16), let's not forget the equally important issue of its design.

Whether or not a convention hotel is eventually built, Baltimore needs to raise the bar for architectural design.

The hotel site offers the potential to link two of Baltimore's biggest attractions and best-known landmarks: Camden Yards and the newly restored Hippodrome Theatre.

Unfortunately, the design of the proposed hotel lacks architectural distinction and would do more to separate than connect the stadium complex and the redeveloping west side.

Baltimore deserves, and should demand, better.

Tyler Gearhart


The writer is executive director of Preservation Maryland.

If market is so hot, why subsidize hotel?

Let's see if I have this straight. The Harbor Court Hotel is for sale in a hot market for hotels, which have appreciated in value 20 percent to 25 percent in the past year, and the seller is expected to get top dollar for this 20-year-old hotel ("Baltimore's only 5-star hotel is for sale," July 21).

But there is apparently so little private interest in building a new downtown hotel to serve the convention center that the city has no choice but to use public bonds to support this vital public need.

What am I missing here?

Sheldon Laskin


Will Roberts defend rights of the people?

The questions about Supreme Court nominee Judge John G. Roberts Jr. should not be whether he is too conservative ("Roberts has avoided tipping his hand," July 21).

They should be about whether he will put the good of the American people ahead of loyalty to those who appointed him; whether he will defend the civil rights of Americans against the exploitation of corporations and the intrusions of government; whether he will have respect and compassion for people when they come into conflict with corporate and government power.

The Senate should make him clarify his stance.

Denise Barker


President's policies tip nominee's hand

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