Letters to the Editor: Charlottesville 08.24.17

Our readers' comments

From the Clericus

East Hampton

August 16, 2017

Dear Editor,

In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, the Clericus of East Hampton grieves along with all Americans who condemn anti-Semitism, hate speech, violence, and senseless hatred. Many of us feel shaken as we confront not only the loss of an innocent victim, Heather Heyer, but also recognize that values that are antithetical to all of our faith traditions have been given voice within our beloved country. Hatred and bigotry have no place in our Hamptons community, and we aspire to ensure that the same holds true for all Americans. 

Time and again through the history of our country, we have seen hatred poison the hearts of Americans. In dreaming of an America united, we recognize that hatred divides us, placing a wedge between people who are not as different as bigotry imagines. We firmly believe that our diversity in culture, faith, and racial makeup is our strength.

As Americans, as Christians, as Jews, and as men and women of all faiths, we the Clericus unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism, xenophobia, racism, and all forms of hatred.

THE VERY REV. DENIS 

BRUNELLE

THE REV. RYAN CREAMER

RABBI JOSHUA FRANKLIN

THE REV. SCOT MCCACHREN

THE REV. WILLIAM HOFFMANN

THE REV. NANCY HOWORTH

THE REV. STEVE HOWARTH

THE REV. THOMAS MURRAY

DOREEN QUARANTO

THE REV. GERARDO ROMO-

GARCIA

CANTOR-RABBI DEBRA STEIN

THE REV. ROBERT STUART

THE REV. WALTER THOMPSON

Guess Who’s Coming?

East Hampton

August 20, 2017

Dear David,

This country’s black leaders are right when they say the divide between blacks and whites still exists. Recent riots and demonstrations in our country only emphasize this point.

What if there were an app on the internet called “Guess who’s coming for dinner?” in which anyone could sign up, post their name, race, hometown, and invite someone from their opposite race to join them for dinner? 

DAVID STILES

Abhorrent, Disgusting

Montauk

August 17, 2017

Dear David:

Although Donald Trump claims to be one of the smartest people in the world, he shows an abysmal knowledge and understanding of history.

For starters, Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazis are not ¨very fine people.” Historically, the Klan terrorized African-Americans in order to maintain white supremacy through peonage, Jim Crow laws, and the entire system of political, social, and economic segregation. Klan tactics included pogroms against African-American communities, assassinations, lynchings, and blowing up children. Klan members were murderous thugs. I have no doubt that current members greatly respect their historical antecedents and cultural heritage and would love to Make America White Again.

As for our current neo-Nazis, these are the people who would like a return to the good old days of Nuremberg Laws, Kristallnacht, ghettos, Einsatzgruppen, Dachau, and Auschwitz, wherein 12 million people were murdered by German Nazis and their European collaborators. The primary targets of this genocide were European Jews, of whom six million lost their lives.

I find it abhorrent and disgusting to see Americans waving swastika flags when hundreds of thousands of brave American soldiers lost their lives fighting the very same ideology espoused by these self-proclaimed “patriots.”

For Donald Trump to defend and empower the Klan and Nazis is an affront to American democracy and plain human decency.

Sincerely,

BRIAN POPE

It Wasn’t Racist

East Hampton

August 14, 2017

Dear Dave,

The biggest racial institution in America is between our ears: a mind-set of racial identity propaganda and stereotypes established and made popular over many years by the branding power of the American mainstream media.

Charlottesville was a senseless charade, featuring a sea of white people chanting “Black Lives Matter” to another group of white people who want to protect a statue, as if there was more behind the statue. No, it was just a statue. Because last I checked, it wasn’t racist to protect your history, no matter how dark it was. Future generations will, hopefully, repeat what was good, and take to heart the cautionary lessons from what was bad and ugly.

We need to stop fighting, stop listening to the media, and start listening to each other. People died in Charlottesville for no reason. 

White liberals: You can’t say the government is racist, then advocate that poor black people be dependent on them. You tried having it both ways by propping up your black pundits and puppets, even elevating a black president, who live in the lap of luxury while their constituents remain poor and dying in the streets after 30 years, and it won’t work this time. It never worked, and black people have figured it out, and now you’re losing their vote — which explains why no black people showed up in Charlottesville.

Your only chance of showing you sincerely advocate for black Americans? Let President Donald J. Trump do his job.

DANIEL EVANS

Do the Right Thing

Springs

August 16, 2017

To the Editor:

Hello? Hello?  

Lee Zeldin, where are you? Lee Zeldin, what are you?

Do you really not know what a Nazi is? Even when you see one? Stop explaining and justifying your boss Mr. Trump for a moment, albeit a brief one, and tell us who and what you are and why you have said almost nothing about your boss’s totally platitudinous, meaningless, and dangerous equating of the differences between the groups involved in this shameful Charlottesville villainy and murder. 

This group of bigoted unAmerican haters and domestic terrorists have reminded us that they still exist and live among us. Unless you speak out and stop hiding behind the coattails of your seriously dangerous mischief-making boss, you will not be re-elected, nor should you be.

To start with, demand that your president fire Steve Bannon, hater-in-chief and resurrector of this so-called alt-right bunch of neo-nazis. Join with those Republicans who are, finally, recognizing that our newly elected president represents a clear and present danger to our country and the world. Rid the White House of the likes of Steve Miller and Seb Gorka, known white supremacists, as but the first step in bringing sanity and respect back to our nation. 

Come on, man, for all who gave their lives opposing these forces of evil and genocide, do the right thing. So far it’s not too late — or is it?

LAWRENCE S. SMITH

Blind Obeisance

East Hampton

August 16, 2017

Dear David:

Mr. Zeldin penned a letter in the aftermath of the Charlottesville tragedy. In it, our congressman extolled: “This is a day to be an American . . . united.”

His call for “unity” is insulting. I have no interest in unifying with the K.K.K. I have no interest in unifying with racists pursuing a white supremacist “solution.” His call for unity is entirely one-sided: We Americans are supposed to embrace these groups in the name of “unity,” while they would kill us.

Now he has taken to the air to wrongly align himself with Trump’s condemnation of those who stood up to the supremacists in Charlottesville. White supremacy or Nazism (or any like mind-set) is an embodiment of evil. Likewise, equating Nazism with those opposing it is a moral outrage. Especially for Mr. Zeldin, who touts both his religion and being a veteran: He should reach back 70 years and visit the American cemeteries in Europe and count the thousands of American lives that were sacrificed to combat Nazism. His placating neo-Nazi white supremacists confers the ultimate insult upon those who lost fathers, mothers, sons, or daughters in that struggle.

Why would our congressman, given his religious and service background (which he readily brandishes for political purposes), ask us to embrace this unfettered criminality? His letter should have urged us to reject, unabashedly, everything the white supremacist faction represents. Rather, he chose to parrot Mr. Trump by also casting blame on those who opposed this evil. There is only one side deserving of blame.

His craven letter and press statements expose exactly what is behind it: political opportunism to pander to the far right, which the G.O.P. sees as its base and in need of constant coddling. That Mr. Zeldin would cast aside personal integrity in blind obeisance to Trump’s bellicosity and the overarching G.O.P. design is, in itself, sufficient reason to reject unequivocally the notion that he is qualified to represent that which is truly America.

Sincerely,

CAROL O’ROURKE