Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 02, 2005

Democrats defend Rosa Parks' legacy

How is it that Gregory Kane's column attacking blacks for letting Rosa Parks down became an attack on the Democratic Party and a vote of confidence in the education policies of President Bush and the Republican Party ("Blacks of today have failed this heroine of civil rights," Oct. 26)?

The Republican Party did not take up the cause of civil rights with Mrs. Parks after she refused to move to the back of the bus.

Nor did the Republican Party stand with Mrs. Parks when she moved to Detroit; in fact, she worked for a black Democrat in the U.S. Congress fighting against the misguided policies that the Republican Party started putting into place as it attempted to change the social contract that the United States (led by the Democratic Party) had forged with the African-American community.

As a former public school teacher in Anne Arundel County, I believe that Mr. Kane has been sold a "bill of goods" on how money and services are delivered in this country. Especially when it comes to schools, it is not equitable.

I too believe that education is a cornerstone to improving our communities; however, I think we need much more than privately financed charter schools.

And pointing the finger at blacks and black Democrats in particular is absurd; our communities have been left holding the remnants of a social contract that the Republicans began to shred.

Black Democrats have been fighting to keep intact legislation that was meant to help give us economic as well as social justice.

We need things such as drug treatment centers and a real war on drugs. We need real opportunities for jobs and business ownership in our communities.

We need blacks of today to follow Mrs. Parks' leadership. But instead of sitting down, we must stand up and continue to make this nation face its destiny - equality, opportunity and justice for all.

That is the only way that Rosa Parks will be able to rest in peace.

Karren Pope-Onwukwe

Hyattsville

The writer chairs the Maryland African-American Democratic Network and is a member of the Democratic National Committee.

Steele is doing fine in run for Senate

I was not surprised by C. Fraser Smith's column "Running in shadow of Republican woes" (Opinion * Commentary, Oct. 30). But I am beginning to be amused by the criticism heaped upon any Republican running in what the writer appropriately calls the People's Republic of Maryland.

But yes, Mr. Smith, Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele is running for Senate and, yes, as a Republican and, yes, he has a very good chance of winning.

And despite Mr. Smith's attempts to attach any negative news about the Bush White House to the lieutenant governor, Mr. Steele is doing just fine, thanks.

It is clear what Mr. Smith's opinion is.

But it does seem a bit odd that a news director at a station where my tax dollars are being spent (WYPR-FM) would feel comfortable making such partisan comments in The Sun.

Wendy Estano

Baltimore

Brown isn't only one who should be gone

I agree with The Sun that Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, should be gone by now instead of collecting more wages ("Still learning from Brownie," editorial, Oct. 28).

What I cannot understand is why Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is not also gone. He is just as culpable as Mr. Brown.

Along with Mr. Chertoff, I wish the citizens of the United States had the ability to fire the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana.

The incompetence of all four of these people led to deaths and needless suffering as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Ron Wirsing

Havre de Grace

White House needs to clean house

The lies of White House officials have misled our country into a devastating and unnecessary war.

They are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis.

The president has an obligation to all Americans to clean house of those responsible ("Senators pressing Bush for shake-up," Oct. 31).

Otherwise, how can we trust anyone in the current administration?

Jane Brettschneider

Baltimore

Housing bill rider dims democracy

People viewing the activity on the floor of the House on Wednesday witnessed a slim plurality of representatives corrupt an otherwise laudable piece of legislation.

The House passed a bill that appropriately provides funding for desperately needed affordable housing on the Gulf Coast and across the nation.

But a last-minute amendment to the bill (which passed by a margin of three votes) prevents nonprofit groups that receive the housing dollars from engaging in nonpartisan voter registration activities, even with their own money ("House bill takes aim at minority voters," Opinion * Commentary, Oct. 31).

There is no justification for such an impediment to the democratic process.

The amendment inexplicably suppresses the registration of low-income voters and is a profound disappointment as well as an affront to democracy.

David H. Johnson

Baltimore

The writer is a health policy specialist for Health Care for the Homeless Inc.

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