New York

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, June 24

Your Voice

Rabbi unfairly lumps all white people together

I’m writing in response to Rabbi Cutler’s June 22 letter (“We all must change to end racism”) regarding white privilege. Once again, he’s lumping all white people into a racist category. As a white person I grew up on the East side of Buffalo. We were poor. My dad worked two jobs to feed us. Many days we only had pork and beans to eat. My dad went to the Buffalo Armory to get surplus food for us. All four of us kids made something of ourselves through summer jobs and hard work. Martin Luther King Jr. marched 54 years ago, we’ve had a Black president and Democratically-controlled Congress and what has been accomplished for the Black community? Where have you and everyone else who has come on the bandwagon been all these years?
Sandra Harrity

Cuomo has the wrong priorities

It was alarming to observe Cuomo’s callous reaction to a woman presenting the severe hardships of New Yorkers protesting the state lockdown (5/1/20, “How Gov. Cuomo Responds to Jobless Protestors Begging for Work Is Completely Out of Touch,”, JoshtheJosher).
Never did Cuomo consider that protecting the vulnerable from an otherwise mild virus didn’t require sacrificing the state. Instead, every hardship, whether domestic violence or no money for food, Cuomo absurdly dismissed as preferable to death from COVID-19.
When questioned about lock-down-induced suicides, our governor, without grasping the horror of suicide, without pondering whether he has a right to trade some lives for others, bizarrely retorted: “Yeah, but the illness may be my death as opposed to your death.”
With a sense of ethics and logic disturbing in a ruler, Cuomo essentially claimed that caring about New Yorkers vulnerable to COVID-19 death is selfless, it’s thinking about “we,” while caring about New Yorkers vulnerable to suicide and unemployment is selfish, it’s thinking about “me.”
Cuomo implied that if our minds and bodies respond poorly to the lockdown, we’re to blame, but if our minds and bodies respond poorly to COVID-19, we deserve help. Who is he to judge that succumbing to the lockdown’s negative effects is a sign of personal weakness while succumbing to the effects of COVID-19 is not?
No matter how New Yorkers suffer, democratic decency requires caring equally for all, not only those who suffer from COVID-19, upon whose defeat Cuomo has staked his ego and ambition.
Kristin Young Christman
Clifton Park

Re: Niskayuna racial inequality task force

I’m writing in support of a task force to address racial inequality in Niskayuna proposed by Council Member Rosemarie Perez Jaquith. A task force, led by people of color, should investigate and redress discrimination in the areas of housing, hiring, policing, and education.
In an example of racial insensitivity that recently came to light, Niskayuna Comptroller Paul Sebesta posted images of himself in black-face on the internet. He resigned, but that won’t solve the problem. His behavior is one example on a broad spectrum of long-standing racism in affluent American suburbia.
Niskayuna is comprised of 3.3% African Americans and 4% Latino or Hispanic people, with another 3% biracial, according to the U.S. Census estimates. The United States is comprised of 13.4% African Americans and 18.3% Latino or Hispanic people. Why the discrepancy? What can we do as a community to begin to redress decades of systemic racism, which is, through protests against police brutality, garnering nationwide attention?
Our district is to be commended for hiring an equity officer and setting diversity goals. The Gazette and local media are reporting on Black Lives Matter and race. Zachary Matson recently interviewed NHS former football player Ismail Stewart, who took a knee in 2017 during the anthem in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Stewart received death threats, among other negative reactions on social media and in the community. We can do better.
Students and the media are doing their part in speaking out about racism. Now it’s time for the Town of Niskayuna.
Meisha Rosenberg

BLM-related changes are going too far

The acts of those policemen deserve to be dealt with. The protesters believe this is indicative of all the police, a system of racial injustice. However, when some protests result in looting and burning the leaders say it’s the actions of a very small minority looking for trouble and shouldn’t be confused with the movement. Double standard? In an attempt to further equality the government is razing discriminatory statues and changing fort names. Mount Rushmore should be torn down. The busts of two slave owners, Washington and Jefferson, have to be offensive. Getting rid of Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben are only the start. The picture of Washington on the dollar bill has to be a sorry reminder. Perhaps people would feel better to see Barack Obama or George Floyd.
Defunding the police without affecting their presence could happen by not having them respond to domestic abuse calls, the most common call. Even though the calls may result in violence I’m guessing it’s a good chance that relationship was doomed to fail anyway. Restrict overtime to covering for missing patrolmen due to sickness or vacation. They leave at the end of the shift and let the new shift take over. When you see how the public doesn’t seem to want to help, what’s the rush. That sports announcer was fired for saying all lives matter. Don’t they?
Pete Pidgeon

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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