News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 4, 2013

READERS’ FORUM: July 4, 2013


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Column lacking in honest portrayal

Bruce Kauffman’s column on the 1964 Civil Rights Act seen in the School Zone section of your newspaper June 20 is a very unhistorical lesson. It tells nothing of the true story surrounding the politics associated with the bill’s passage.

The conventional un-wisdom of today is that Republicans opposed the bill in 1964, when in fact southern Democrats filibustered the bill for two months, led by Democrat Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia and former Grand Kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan. It took a powerful speech by Republican Sen. Everett M. Dirksen of Illinois to gain cloture and end the filibuster.

In his speech, Sen. Dirksen called on the Democrats to accept racial equality. The Civil Rights Act passed the House 290-130 and Republican support was much stronger than Democratic: 61 percent of Democrats supported the bill while 80 percent of Republicans supported it. The Senate numbers were similar: 69 percent of Democrats backed the bill while 80 percent of Republicans backed it.

Lyndon B. Johnson was the president who signed the bill and had little to do with legislating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The true story is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would have failed without Republican votes and Democratic administrations since that time have outrageously taken full political credit for its passage.

The misconception that the Republican Party is not for racial equality is just that, a misconception that is propagated by today’s Democratic Party. None of this is brought to light by Mr. Kauffman’s “history lesson.”

It appears that accuracy in your “newspaper” only happens when it serves your political bent.

— Robert R. Taube, M.D.

Terre Haute

Questions about swimming facility

I’d like to give my opinion on the Vigo County School Corp. proposal to build a new swimming facility for our students.

We are allowing three swimming coaches and the superintendent to make the proposal of recommending to build a new swimming facility for the students of the Vigo County schools at an estimated cost of $9 million, and an estimated cost of $13 million to repair our existing pools.

If I’m not mistaken, in the past these pools have been updated at different times over the years, and I know the cost was not $13 million for the updates of three pools. It seems to me, in the long run, that the cost of keeping our existing three pools updated would be a lot cheaper than $13 million. I believe the taxpayers would be on board a lot more if we were to bring our existing pools up to date.

I know this letter will not stop the Vigo County School Corp. from building a new swimming facility. However, I feel we need to thoroughly stop and take a look at this project, because with the existing money issues, how will we afford the upkeep on the new facility with all the cutback this year alone, for instance transportation cost, cutting worker’s hours, etc.? And how will the students get to and from this new location, or will the parents be responsible to transport their students to this new facility, if built.

Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion on this matter.

— Nancy Lindsey

Terre Haute