News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 3, 2013

READERS’ FORUM: Feb. 3, 2013


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Bias on display in coverage

In the Saturday, Jan. 26, issue of the newspaper I found it interesting how the AP writer presented the Roe v. Wade 40th anniversary march. Within the story the writer made no crowd estimates other than one sentence stating, “They packed sections of the National Mall and surrounding streets for the March of Life.”

Later in the story it was stated that the police no longer provide crowd estimates but organizers said hundreds of thousands may have turned out. The operative word here is “may.” As I read the rest of the story I was somewhat disappointed that no mention was made of the millions of children that have been lost to the act of abortion.

Now comes Sunday’s issue and I am presented a story on the gun control march complete with 40-point type and a pretty large picture with a web address for the marchers. It seems odd that none of this is present in the anti-abortion march story.

Also as part of the story the subheadline states that “Thousands walk streets in Washington” and is the lead in sentence to the article. I don’t care how you choose to slice, it there were many, many more people in attendance at the anti-abortion march. I have to wonder how the writer could come up with a crowd size estimate since the D.C. Police do not provide crowd estimates.

As you can readily conclude the bias between the two stories is vivid. Doesn’t AP and your headline writer realize that when these stories are published that many folks see the inconsistency in the line of thought? Is it just a bit puzzling that many readers are offended when it appears that their viewpoint is being neglected?

I cannot hold you responsible for the text of the stories but I sure can hold you responsible for the presentation of the stories via the headline and pictures. I realize that the loss of life in Newtown, Aurora, Columbine and other shootings are tragic, but the lives lost to the abortionists are far greater and just as tragic to many ordinary citizens.

— Raymond E. Broshar

Terre Haute

We must awaken to the dream

As we celebrate Black History Month, allow us to continue to reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King as we awaken to the “Poor People Campaign.” This campaign was a 1968 effort led by King and other diverse civil right leaders to gain economic justice for African Americans and the country’s poor by lobbying Congress. Their objectives were to create and secure meaningful jobs, access land for economic use, and access capital to promote their own businesses.

This economic bill of rights was never passed and for many these conditions still haven’t changed. In 1968, according to the Census Bureau, 25 million Americans, 13 percent of the population, lives below the poverty line. In 2012, 50 million, 14 percent, of the population lives below the poverty line. King once said, “Just as nonviolence exposed the ugliness of racial injustice, so must the infection and sickness of poverty be exposed and healed — not only its symptoms but its basic causes.”

Why still in 2013 has the African American culture not yet experienced the economic success collectively as other minority cultures have in our county and country? Is it a lack of education? Lack of opportunity? Still too lazy and disengaged in gaining the American dream? Racism? Fear, from the mental and emotional effects from slavery? Yes still, in 2013.

Dr. James Perkins, pastor of Greater Christ Baptist Church in Detroit, once said in a lecture, “Our oppressors taught us that money was evil and dirty and a tool of the devil. They taught our fore mothers and fathers not to care wither or not you had any money, all that mattered is that you were right with God in your soul. They taught and preached this kind of theology to our slave mothers and fathers so they would keep working and slaving for nothing and being content with nothing while they (oppressors) accumulate everything, becoming richer and richer at their expense. They didn’t want us to know how to read or count. They didn’t want us to know how to add dollars or cents, nor know anything about banking and investments. The tragedy is that even today our religious instruction is not much better … We are still dominated by emotions in our religious experience to the exclusion of being liberated from our depressed economic conditions.”

The black church has always had a rich history in every crisis we have faced as a people in stepping up to the plate. But the truth is since the ’60s the black church has done very little to nothing at all to improve the quality of life for our people. Our religion experience should be liberating and empowering.

Whatever the obstacles may be, I believe Vigo County has the spirit to move beyond any of them. I also believe our county has the ability to become trendsetters for our state in assisting economic opportunities and growth for and within the African American and poor communities.

The unique thing about our opportunities here is that ideals and plans have been created and in some cases implemented by the city officials, local clergy, businessmen, economists and citizens to build and promote economic development within these communities. These plans of hope and change were presented to city and county officials in 2004, but have come alive again in 2012 under our current administration. A steering committee has been formed and has agreed to mobilize the entire community to carry through with the realization of our goals in creating a community of hope.

Our vision is to establish and protect a vibrant, healthy community and preserve the culture of area. Our mission is to lead, educate and promote economic progress and opportunity for residents, youth, businesses and institutions within and around the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Way in our city.

To bring these plans to fruition your involvement is needed. We need our legislators, local contractors, engineers, bankers, hospitals, universities, churches, philanthropists, donors, investors and concerned citizens with a heart for righteousness, white, black, yellow or red, to get involved, creating jobs and opportunities for all while investing in our community.

— Elder C. Dwayne Malone

Terre Haute

‘Thief’ not who was expected

I wrote to the paper a few weeks ago about a crime committed against my family at a local cemetery.

I hoped the perpetrator would read the letter and feel some sort of guilt. Since my letter was written, my father has passed. As we went to the cemetery to point out where my father would be buried, I mentioned to the cemetery about the theft that had taken place during Christmas.

I was shocked to find out that the perpetrator was in fact the cemetery maintenance personnel. I was told that solar lights were not allowed on the graves, and that there were rules. The cemetery not only removed the first set of solar lights from the graves, but both sets. I was told that I could find them in their garage located at the back of the cemetery.

I was shown where that was, and so my husband and I went to the garage to retrieve the lights. In the garage was a huge shelf full of solar lights. We of course only found two of the four that we had placed on the graves, no telling where the other two are. How sad to see that we were not the only ones who had lights taken off their loved ones graves by cemetery personnel. Some people may not even know that the lights they placed on their loved ones graves are gone.

My point is this. My father purchased three graves from that cemetery that were not cheap. I purchased two copper vases, which were not cheap; we have planted grass seed on the new graves of my brother and mother. We have maintained the high grass that has grown around the stones and vases all summer long. You would think that those plots of ground that we purchased would be ours to do with what we wanted.

I understand the summer months, when grass cutting is being done, but winter? When I brought my complaint to the cemetery they handed me a copy of the rules. Since my father purchased the plots and not me, how would I know that there were rules against placing solar lights on the graves?

No one called to say, “We are sorry we removed your solar lights, because it is our rules that you cannot put them on the graves, and by the way you can come and pick them up at our maintenance garage.” No one called and told us. They just took it upon themselves to remove the lights, not once but twice, never saying a word. Were they ever going to tell us? If we had not told them about the alleged theft, we would not have known that the so called perpetrator was the cemetery.

A simple phone call, a simple “I am sorry,” some kind of compassion; but nothing. It just goes to show me that it is all about the money. They want to call and meet with you about buying more graves, purchasing vases, and other things, but they cannot give you a simple call about the “rules?” A common courtesy to show that they care is all that we asked.

My dad’s plots are all full now. I go there and see my brother, mother, and now my father. Because of the lack of sensitivity, I will not purchase plots at this cemetery to be near my family for myself, and the rest of my family. They have shown me that they did not care how we felt when those lights were placed on those graves.

My anger mostly comes not from not being able to place the lights, although that too is ridiculous, but the fact that the cemetery did not have enough compassion to call us and tell us that they were removing the lights because of the rules and we could come and pick them up. They let us assume the lights were stolen. I almost wish they had been stolen instead of what happened.

— Debra Graham

Daughter of Jack and Betty Joy

Sister of Randy Joy

Plainfield

More help needed dealing with crows

This letter is in response to a letter that was in the Jan. 25 Readers’ Forum from Robert Chumley, who made some comments about the Crow Committee that I wanted to follow up on.

I was one of the volunteers who tried to help control the crows as best we could. I haven’t been able to help much this year because of other projects that I am involved in. I was a member of the team the two previous years and tried to help this year but couldn’t. These people who do volunteer donate their time and money to try and help the Crow Committee perform an impossible job and most of the time a thankless one.

I didn’t agree with the person who said that there were around 20 people a night helping out. When I was helping there were about 10 people on a good night but most of the time there were four or five of us going all over Terre Haute. We had to deal with people who didn’t like the noise in their neighborhood and raised hell about it; the police stopped us several nights and asked us what we were doing although we all had signs on our cars showing that we were chasing crows.

Some people actually thanked us for getting the crows away from their homes, or at least making an effort to do so, as best as we could. The money to buy items that were needed hampered us from doing the job on certain nights. We started using green lasers, not tazers, at least a few of us that could afford them. I was surrounded by three city police cars last year when I was using a laser, so I quit.

We tried to keep the crows out of downtown, ISU and Union Hospital and I think that’s what they were able to do most of the time when they had the people to do it. If people would walk out their door and make some noise, most of the time the crows will leave the area. There are several thousand crows coming into town each night but some are staying in certain areas out of downtown but there are a lot of them able to get into other areas.

I still go out on my own and mess with the crows and keep them out of my neighborhood. If I can do it, so should most of the people who are continuously complaining. All of us live in this town so why should the few have to do the job of the whole town?

— Jerry Barbour

Terre Haute

Local militias have positive histories

This is in response to Ronn Mott’s column concerning his encounter with the Indiana Militia:

I would like to reply to the commentary on Jan 26 concerning the Indiana Militia. I am not a member of the Indiana Militia or any militia group but I would like to remind you of a few incidents in our history when it either was a good thing to have a militia or we would have been a lot better off if we had a militia and they had acted to protect our rights.

Our country was formed by a militia of concerned people who were tired of being taxed by the government. It was an armed militia that took our country from the British.

Historians agree that the Harpers Ferry raid in 1859 by John Brown’s militia escalated tensions that, a year later, led to secession and the American Civil War and the freeing of the slaves.

When Hitler came to power there were many Germans in America that supported him and thought what he was doing was great. One of the first things he did was to disarm and disband any local militia in Germany. This is a quote from him: “This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!”

The Battle of Athens, Tenn., was an example of a local armed militia taking their rights back from a corrupt local government. They did it with weapons and it was a battle. Google it for full details.

I could go on but I believe I have made my point. In closing all I can say is “An armed man is a citizen. A disarmed man is a subject.”

— Walt Moore

Brazil