Just by being
Reading the letters to the editor recently, I saw that “we can thank our former president for setting the stage for racial unrest and destructive protesting across America.” (Sept. 27, 14A)
So while drinking my first cup of coffee, I tried to think of what Barack Obama did to cause racial unrest. By end of my first cup, I was nowhere.
I poured a second cup, and about halfway through, it came to me finally: That darn black guy got elected. That is how he caused racial unrest.
Americans in Puerto Rico are on the brink of starvation. Drinking water in Flint, Mich., is still poisoned. A hostile foreign power interfered with our election. We have 33,000 deaths from guns every year — more than 1,3600 of them children. We have one of the highest prison populations in the world. Our health care system is being allowed to collapse. Our government and courts are for sale to the highest bidder. Voter suppression is officially sanctioned. Opioid addiction is at crisis levels. Racism has come out of the closet, and each year is hotter than the last.
Instead of concentrating on real problems, we allow ourselves to be distracted and divided into arguing about who stands and who kneels, which statues to take down, whether it’s superior to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy holidays,” what kind of shoes the first lady is wearing, what the Kardashians are up to and whether a cotton plant is offensive.
Joseph L. Stokely
Since when did it become part of the president’s job description to make new rules for the NFL?
Not too fast
Political and social division is not new. What seems to be new is the level of extremism and the intensity of back-and-forth jabs at one another.
Technology seems to be the culprit. Today people are instantly aware of incidents both globally and domestically. When the president sends a tweet, everyone is quickly aware and many respond with agreement or disagreement.
Information that previously took hours, if not days, to deliver, is now instantly available.
Technology provides common people a voice they never had before. In the past, our personal opinions were shared only with a handful of others or in letters to the editor.
All of that has changed thanks to social media. Many of us are immediately voicing our personal opinions to a throng of people through a variety of devices.
Too often we express our views without sufficient thought. When people agree with our views, we come to consider ourselves “experts.” We take little time to research or recognize we have limited access to all the facts.
We need to think before we act and consider our shared humanity.
The real disgrace
Is it better to kneel silently or stand and disgrace the national anthem? I choose to sit during the anthem at home games not because I’m protesting anything.
It is because I do not want to join those fans standing and mocking the anthem.
It is disrespectful to sing “home of the Chiefs” instead of “home of the brave.” There’s nothing brave about Chiefs football (except Joe Delaney losing his life in an attempt to save children from drowning).
Why is the anthem played at sporting events? Why is it not played when military personnel step off a plane after a tour of duty?
Let’s keep our national anthem special by playing it at important times, not at a meaningless sporting event.
Before we voice our opinions about protests, let’s clean up our act first and quit being an embarrassment when our beloved anthem is played.
Let’s grow up
My son and grandsons live in Seoul, so people often ask me how I feel about what is going on with North Korea. I respond that my son and others in South Korea are not as concerned with North Korea as they are with the United States.
The leaders of both countries behave like spoiled children who are used to getting their way.
As a former school counselor, I would have called students with this behavior into my office and told them to stop acting this way. For the safety of many, can both leaders please stop daring each other into a confrontation?