Letters to the Editor
Readers write about prejudice in the US, the benefits of returning to the gold standard, and American ideals.
Obama didn't run on race, but prejudice still exists
Regarding the Nov. 14 editorial, "Will Obama focus on race issues?": This editorial correctly asserts that Barack Obama did not run on race in his campaign for the presidency. Recognizing, however, that racism in America still lives, the editorial could with equal justification have asserted that various other forms of ethnic prejudices have long tarnished our society – even after "liberty and justice for all" became the solemn commitment of the American people when pledging allegiance "to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands."
Explicit dedication to that ideal has been missing too long from the political campaigns that I can recall, including our most recent national election.
I hope Obama makes "liberty and justice for all" a credible commitment in all he undertakes as president of the United States.
David J. Steinberg
Benefits to reviving the gold standard
In regard to the Nov. 17 Opinion piece, "Forget Bretton Woods II – we need a gold standard": I really enjoyed reading this commentary on returning to the gold standard. It cuts through the politics of big government versus small government and economic stimulus versus laissez faire, offering a clear, if unpopular, alternative the world can adopt to stabilize the financial system.
Returning to a gold standard would have many tangible benefits for America. For starters, we wouldn't be able to finance an interventionist foreign policy that has placed troops and missiles in many countries. By letting other nations manage their own affairs, we would have fewer enemies abroad (and thus, fewer reasons to engage our armed forces abroad). Savings would be boosted because people wouldn't worry about inflation eating away the value of their money. Fairness would be restored in Washington because corporate CEOs would know that they cannot get free handouts from Uncle Sam.
I cannot agree more with this suggestion, and I hope that it becomes widely accepted as policy someday.
Bigotry is not an American ideal
Regarding the Nov. 17 article, "After Obama's win, white backlash festers in US": I read with continual amazement about disenfranchised whites in the South who are ready to secede from the country. They currently feel "left out" and that "something strange and radical has taken over the country."
That's ironic. I have felt left out (and baffled) by the strange and radical changes of the past eight years, as we lost rights through the USA Patriot Act; saw the executive branch override the other, equal branches of our government; and the president thumb his nose at us with his "executive privilege."
If being devoted to racism and bigotry is important to this small band of white supremacists, they should leave America, for the ideals this country was founded on do not include racism and bigotry. Sure, we have freedom of speech, and we are allowed to express our opinions. But does this kind of hateful speech ever not spill over into violence? Can you be a white supremacist and not take action against those you hate?
We must show wisdom and patience with those who have irrational fears in this time of change, as change is hard for everyone. However, we, the people, will not tolerate hate, or any crime derived from it.
Santa Rosa, Calif.
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