Letters

When you're in the 'wrong' neighborhood

Regarding your July 14 article "Outrage in Denver after police shoot a disabled teen": It is hard to walk the streets of my neighborhood at night - not because of gang violence or drugs, prostitution, and other criminal activity, but rather for fear that a cop may stop me and harass me for any number of reasons. I am a white man, living in a black neighborhood - an immediate trigger for police, who marginalize any white male in my neighborhood at night, and categorize him as a drug seeker, or a "john" for the prostitutes. It is disgusting to see the amount of racial profiling that is condoned in law enforcement.

I feel for the families of the Denver child whose life was taken by police officers. I do pray for justice, though I fear, as in many cases of minorities being killed wrongly by police officers, the police will walk away unscathed by this incident.
Michael Franklin
Portland, Ore.

A futile cry for help?

Regarding your July 18 article "Stretched in Iraq, US may return to UN": It is amusing that the United States, which went to war against Iraq in the face of opposition from many countries, should now expect these very same countries, including India, to pull its chestnuts out of the fire. As an Indian, I see no reason why soldiers from my country should risk their lives for a mess created by Americans.
Daniel S. Mahanty
Bangalore, India

Seniors behind the wheel

Regarding your July 18 article "Age and driving: a closer look": It is time to divest ourselves of the notion that driving is a right without responsibilities.

All drivers of all ages should be required periodically - say, every five years or less - to (1) take a full day of driver training, which includes reaction testing; and (2) take driving tests both for knowledge of the law, and for knowledge and use of driving skills. There isn't a driver who won't benefit from driver training - if only to reinforce good skills and habits already held.
Joe D. Howe
Sedona, Ariz.

I am 77 and my husband is 79. I have often wondered what I will do if the moment ever arrives that I find myself unable to drive safely. I live in a Connecticut town with no public transportation. My alternatives would be to hire a driver, use taxis, or move to a city where public transportation is easily available. The latter solution is the most drastic, but, until public transportation is more available to the elderly in every state, it may be the only answer for people like me.
Barbara Pleskow
Weston, Conn.

I am an 81-year-old driver. I still feel very capable in every way. I believe that drivers should not be treated disrespectfully because of age and have their license and independence taken away. There are many young drivers who are careless and cause accidents. Should they not be allowed to drive? I find older drivers are more respectful to others than younger drivers. Drivers should be judged by ability - not by age.
Sally Laffer
Royal Palm Beach, Fla.

Gambling on the wrong deal

Regarding your July 15 article "Lottery isn't always a boon to schools": I personally voted for the lottery, but only because all the proceeds were said to be earmarked for public education. What a joke! We later found out that "earmarked" didn't necessarily mean the money would go to schools. It seems "other" things came up that limited the school funds. Had I known this was just another way for the state to acquire money for its coffers, I would've voted "No."
Jim A. Bartram
Hagerstown, Md.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.

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