Readers' Forum

Is now the time for accountability?

As troubling as the takeover of the U.S. Capitol by a mob was, even more troubling was that so many members of that mob carried American flags and chanted, “USA! USA!” 

They actually believed their actions were patriotic. Why? Because they’ve been lied to so long and so expertly. 

While authorities have been arresting mob members, the real criminals are the professional liars, hiding behind the First Amendment to spread deliberate falsehoods on social and broadcast media. It’s always dangerous to tamper with freedom of speech, of course, but we’ve had some limitations for years, such as laws against slander and libel. Perhaps it’s time to draft legislation to hold accountable persons who intentionally mislead people in ways harmful to our republic.

— Steve Hardin, Terre Haute 

Harriet Tubman deserves honor 

Recently my wife and I watched two films. Both films were about heroic women. 

The first was “Wonder Woman 1984.” I was not impressed by it. I found it noisy and confusing. To quote the Bard of Avon: “It is a tale ... full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

But please accept my apology if I have offended. To quote the profound words of another bard ,the immortal Sly Stone, “different strokes for different folks.” 

Later we saw a film about a true “wonder woman.” It was called “Harriet.”. The subject of this film was the heroic Harriet Tubman. Many times this physically tiny person went back into the state of slavery (which was to my surprise, Maryland, not Mississppi) and led many people to freedom. She risked a cruel death, as the slave owners hated her with such fury that they vowed to burn her alive like Saint Joan. 

Is this play a true account? As much as a movie can be I believe. In fact, I believe that her true deeds were even greater than shown. 

This brings me to the real mission of this letter. Why is it that when I pay a bill with a $20 I must gaze upon the evil countenance of the racist psychopath Andrew Jackson? Harriet Tubman should have replaced him as arranged in 2016. This project was sandbagged by Trump’s minion Mnuchin. So it is we must look at the face of a slave owner and oppressor of the peaceful and progressive Cherokee Nation, instead of the woman who risked her life many times to save others. 

Please, my friends, when the great-I- am (as he would have it) is evicted on Jan. 20, 2021, contact your Congress people and ask that this matter be set right. She deserves to be so honored. 

One last item, some argue that she was not a president. Neither were Hamilton nor Franklin. 

— Max D. Hasler, Terre Haute

A different read on racial history

In response to Gary Daily’s letter in the Jan. 2 Saturday/Sunday Tribune-Star I can first reply that: 1) I cannot fix stupid, and 2) I cannot argue with ignorance. I can, however, clear up a couple of historical references made in Gary’s letter for those who read it.

First Gary, Lyndon Johnson was the most racist pig of a president that the Democratic Party ever produced and trust me there have been some extremely racist Democrats in the White house. LBJ was simply a crude racist S.O.B. Just one of LBJ’s enlightening quotes about welfare (his Great Society) and his view of people of color goes like this, (remember he is speaking of blacks and welfare), “this will keep the (plural “N” word) on the plantations.” Using plantations as a metaphor, LBJ referred to the Democrat-run major cities where the nation’s largest slums exist(ed), and where great numbers of people of color on welfare live. It is said that he made single motherhood a viable trade.

Your second pluck from your back yard tree of facts was that during the 20th century there was this great flip-flop of Democrat to Republican or visa versa. We have to go back to the 1860s and the passing of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments; all of which dealt with providing equal rights to people of color in the U.S., to clear this one up. (Keep in mind Gary that Southern House and Senate members could not yet vote because of that little war we fought for people’s freedoms.) Those three most important amendments were passed overwhelmingly by Republicans in Congress (about 10% yes votes by Dems for the 13th and not a single Democrat yes vote for the 14th or 15th) which meant that only the — enlightened, Northern Dems produced these historic numbers. Fast forward to the 1960s.

The Dems could not fight the racial progress, as it were, that the country was making after the great migration (about 6 million) of blacks north and also the progress of racial relations after WWII so they had to act fast. Van Buren and Roosevelt provided the model of how to buy votes and how to prolong suffering and loyalty through gifts and subsidies.

They passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act which was nothing more than a weak echo of the previously mentioned Constitutional Amendments — only this time the bill included more free stuff, particularly money, than even Roosevelt had in mind and of course 100% Democrat support. 

This made Dems look good to people who could not, and especially chose not, to work for a living and made Republicans who have historically been against the economy-killing narcotic of government subsidies, look racist. And hence a great “philosophical” switch to make Dems look good took place. Not an actual switch of parties by anyone.

I dumbed this up for you, Gary, and did not include a bibliography nor a boat load more of real facts.

— Melody and Jeffrey Aitken, Terre Haute

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