Letters to the Editor

From the week of February 15, 2001

Unions fear giving employees the right to a well-informed, secret ballot election on the question of union representation because they know that they will probably lose. The vast majority of employees have decided against union representation. In 2000, only 9 percent of all private-sector employees were union members. The working people of America have rejected the unions' class-warfare, us-against-them approach to employer-employee relations. It is not surprising that they must now rely on their still-significant political power to attempt to induce elected officials to become partners in their efforts to impose unionism on employees.

David Denholm, president
Public Service Research Foundation

Vienna, VA

Clean Plate Club

There auto be a law: I regard the continued proliferation of "specialty" license plates -- as described in Jonathan Shikes's February 8 "License Revoked" -- as a state-sponsored exercise in creating another "special class of PC." Where will it stop? It's hard for me to conceive that the state actually profits from this activity (except maybe by creating several additional overpaid bureaucratic positions to administer this ever-expanding program); never mind those of us who may not recognize the plate color, pattern and so on when identifying the plates on a car that may be fleeing the scene of an accident, bank robbery or whatever.

The KISS system of [state] organization is most effective for things that are supposed to be clearly legible and distinguishable from an "alien" plate. We presently have adequate levels of state-sponsored confusion. Enough is enough.

Roger J. Day

A Sporting Chance

School flunkies: I think Julie Jargon's February 1 story about Thomas Jefferson High School, "Faking the Grade," is very important, and it really disgusts me. I am so sick of how much emphasis and importance society puts on athletics. It's great to be involved in sports, but for an education "professional" to put his students' ability to play for their team over his students' education (not to mention lessons of responsibility, accountability and ethics) is appalling!

I am horrified that people in these high positions of children's education can be so self-serving at the expense of their students' personal growth and development -- and get away with it scot-free!

I admire Joy Kay for standing up for what she knows to be right. I feel sad for the parents who either accept these practices or simply have no other alternatives for their children.

Crystal L. Marie

Quilty As Charged

Character counts: I have known Jackie Tobin, author of the book described in T.R. Witcher's "A Fraying Yarn," in the February 8 issue. I know her as a close friend, a dedicated mother, a leader, an outstanding lecturer, professor and author, but most of all I know her as a longtime advocate of civil rights for everyone. With that in mind, I would say that Oprah missed out more than Jackie did. What a shame: Oprah would have really liked Jackie. Perhaps someone should take a longer look at the fact that a white woman was interested enough in another culture that she invested years doing research, writing a book, and sharing with others what she learned. I don't know, maybe diversity, education and value of self mean different things to different people. One thing is certain: Jackie is someone who can be judged by her character, and this experience will simply enhance that character.

Some people, regardless of color, choose growth, and others just stay the same. Genuine diversity, value of self and educating others when you learn something require growth and maturity, so my guess is that Jackie Tobin will receive the credit which she is due -- and then some.

Julia L. Horn

Taking Up a Collection

Dialing for dolors: After reading T.R. Witcher's story on the Black American West Museum ("Month to Month," February 1), I got very angry. If the black community itself does not care about what happens to the museum, why should anybody else?

If the African-American mayor and other black city and state so-called leaders won't pull together to save the museum, that should tell us something. When it takes only ten black people to give $1,000 each to save the museum in a city like Denver and you can't find them, you don't deserve the museum. I say pack everything up and ship it off to a city that would cherish having such an important historical institution. Ship the priceless artifacts to other black museums around the country that honor and uphold the historical value of such items. Better yet, give everything to a white museum that would make sure people could see them during Black History Month, at least.

What is it going to take for the black community to stand up and do the right thing? To have your black theater group and the museum struggling like this is a disgrace.

The bottom line is this: If the black community does not care enough to preserve its own history, then that's the community's loss. Stop complaining about your history not being remembered, written about and honored -- your non-action speaks louder than words. If you don't care about your own community, why should we? You give the first dollar, and then we'll come forth and give ours.

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