Letters to the editor for Saturday, June 5, 2021

Our readers share their opinions on a variety of topics        …

Letters to the editor for Saturday, June 5, 2021 1
Letters to the editor for Saturday, June 5, 2021 2
Letters to the editor for Saturday, June 5, 2021 3

Suspension better than corporal punishment

During 31 years as an elementary school teacher and principal in the Orange County, Florida school system, I witnessed and used corporal punishment on unruly students. However, I soon learned a much easier and safer way (for both student and administrator) to get the attention of a misbehaving student and his/her parent(s) was a three-day suspension from school.

Bob Ellis, Cape Coral

No accountability for falsehoods

Late last month, a Georgia judge agreed to unseal absentee ballots in Fulton County, despite the fact that those ballots were already recounted three times. But Mitch McConnell doesn’t want a bipartisan investigation into the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by insurrectionists. More than 140 police officers were injured and millions of dollars in damage done.

Because of the constant lies from so many Republican sources regarding the 2020 presidential election, there are too many people believing total falsehoods. Why is there no accountability? Why are the lies and liars allowed to continue? Truly a sad time for our country.

Brian Levin, Fort Myers

Vouchers mar separation of church, state

Christian nationalists are hell-bent on establishing a national Christian USA. Over the last two decades they have developed political strongholds (Republican) in state legislatures. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s secretary of Education, supported transfer of tax-payor dollars via vouchers to private schools, 80 percent of which are Christian. Florida leads the USA in vouchers and a recent bill before the state Legislature was to transfer another $300 million taxpayer dollars in support of private schools. So where does this illegal (separation of church and state) confiscation of our taxes take the USA?

The stakes are the same as when Constantine created Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire at the Council of Nicaea in Milan, Italy in 325 AD. He found religion to be a useful political force to unify diverse cultural and political entities of his empire. Because of religion’s effects on peoples’ minds they accept Trump’s lies as truths and fail to seek facts; they thus become mind slaves of Trump.

Religious nationalism, along with Donald Trump, leads our country to an autocratic dictatorship akin to Russia’s Putin, Germany’s Hitler and even James Jones of Guyana fame.

The developers of our Constitution recognized the importance of separation of state and religion. Vouchers supportive of private Christian schools violate this constitutional law, and must be stopped ASAP to save our democracy.

William Pettinger M.D., Bonita Springs

Retire Robert E. Lee to the archives

Almost 20 years ago I learned that the city of Fort Myers was located in a county named after Robert E. Lee. That was shortly after moving here from Ohio. The NAACP made the local news then by asking to remove a portrait and statue of the treasonous general, to no avail.  It was surprising to feel a racist aura of Jim Crow still openly existed. Currently, those depictions of the racist icon have been somewhat marginalized, but the memorial to Robert E. Lee as the county’s namesake prevails.

It is noteworthy to underscore that there is no evidence that Robert E. Lee ever set foot or expressed a whit of concern about our county. His name was selected as in other Southern states to continue a terror watch on African-Americans that continues in the minds of many and infects our nation. The lame claim used against changing the name is that history should not be buried or ignored. This claim deliberately distorts and avoids the issue of racism. Our history is not honored by clinging to an icon who in truth is a symbol of treason and atrocities of stupendous magnitude.

Recent arguments to defend Lee highlight his personal attributes separate from his national persona. This apologetic attempt to buy time to forestall progress toward ending all government-sanctioned symbols of racism is simply racist masking. Arguing to maintain racist symbols by stating that many national heroes had slaves is misleading and disingenuous. It is true enough that our founding fathers owned slaves, but they were never icons of a war fought to preserve the institution of brutal inhumanity. They represent the icons of imperfectly attempting to establish a democratic republic and striving toward a more perfect union, a noble effort worth pursuing.

It is way past time to retire Robert E. Lee to the archives of a horrid history.

Judy Alves, Fort Myers


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