Seek out perspectives other than your own
I am writing because of my position as clergy and chair of the Social Holiness Committee of the Upper New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. This may add a different perspective to the discussion of the most recent “Nisky Days.”
When I saw the pictures in The Gazette of the floats and people dressed with sombreros and false mustaches, my first thought was, “This is one step away from ‘black face.’”
When I read some of the responses to Ms. Mattis’s letter, my second thought was, “This is a good example of ‘white privilege.’”
I have come to realize that the reality I have grown up to know as a white male has not always been the reality of other people. This is especially true of people of color and people of different national origins. Growing up privileged, I did not have to consider if my words or actions were offensive to others because I was privileged. I could falsely assume my reality was everyone’s reality, again white privilege.
Did the organizers or the float designers ask Mexican Americans if portraying Mexican people in this manner was offensive to them? If not, then this, too, is an example of white privilege. In a world of many colors, many ethnicities, many faith communities, and many orientations, I feel we can do more harm if we assume our reality is everyone’s reality.
It is time we try and build bridges of understanding to cross over the deep divides that have been established between cultures, races, orientations and faith communities. These bridges can only be built if we are not defensive and if we are willing to listen and actively seek voices that differ from our own from people who are different.
Rev. Alan D. Kinney
Tedisco will be great asset in state Senate
As the former Niskayuna receiver of taxes, I am writing in support of Jim Tedisco to fill Hugh Farley’s seat for state Senate.
In the Senate, he could do a lot of good by bringing his ideas and those of his constituents to the floor for honest up-or-down votes.
I have gotten to know Jim Tedisco very well throughout my years of volunteering for many community and civic organizations, where he was always supportive and understanding to their causes, and then later during my tenure as Niskayuna’s receiver of taxes.
I can honestly say that Jim Tedisco is not only a caring and compassionate individual, but a strong leader who has his finger on the pulse of his constituents and fights for them. Jim, isn’t afraid to speak his mind and has been one of the only sane voices speaking out against the corruption in Albany, all the while fighting for upstate.
Whether it be fighting for upstate real property tax relief, mandate relief or the like, Jim Tedisco is a name you can trust and depend on.
Jim Tedisco is a true winner who not only has the experience we need, but the knowledge and expertise to be our next state senator. I, therefore believe, that the only logical choice for the 49th Senate seat is Jim Tedisco, and I ask all that they get behind him and support him.
Marion R. Rhodes
Thanks to Gillibrand for supporting Arctic
A special thank you to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for adding her name to the growing support for protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) have introduced legislation to protect the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge as Wilderness. With Sen. Gillibrand signing on this week [June 23], we now have a record level of support in the U.S. Senate, with 36 co-sponsors.
The Arctic Refuge is home to wolves, wolverines, musk ox, caribou, migratory birds and more, and its coastal plain serves as the birthing grounds for the porcupine caribou herd and is the most important land denning area for America’s polar bear population.
It’s time this special place was protected once and for all. Thank you, Sen. Gillibrand.
Guns help protect us against government
Why did the Founding Fathers include the Second Amendment and why did they make it the second and not the fifth or sixth? Why was it so important to them?
They knew that in Europe, the rulers had the guns (weapons). The commoners, from which many of us descend, didn’t. Hence, the commoners couldn’t protest or rebel without reprisals. So many of them fled to the New World, where they could manifest freedom — freedom of speech, religion and action — without reprisals. Complete control of the people (us) is the result when the government has the guns and the people don’t.
Notice that many politicians, including Hillary Clinton, want to abolish or weaken the Second Amendment. Why? Because guns kill people? That is what they claim. The real reason is that they want the government to have more control over us.
Could guns have prevented the massacre in Orlando? Consider this: The killer reloaded his assault rifle several times. Had any of the hostages had a handgun, the terrorist could have been stopped.
What must we do for meaningful change?
Re June 23 article, “20 corrections workers faulted in killers’ escape, 9 remain on the job”: It is no wonder to me at least why people like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are so welcomed by millions of Americans who increasingly find our government, at all levels, dominated by special interests.
The Inspector General report on Dannemora is scathing. Yet those identified as complicit in the escape by two murderers cannot be disciplined because the union, not the state, controls the process.
Despite the horror of Sandy Hook, San Bernardino and Orlando, as well as polls showing more than 60 percent of the American people support a ban on the sale of assault weapons like the AR-15, the best Congress can do is hold a sit-in. How pathetic. The National Rifle Association rules.
There are plenty more examples of government incompetence, too. Just read your newspaper.
Good or bad decision, but at least 52 percent of British voters took a position and made something happen. I suspect, however, that voters will not turn out here in November and incumbents will be re-elected across the board. Plus, one of the two most unpopular candidates in modern times will occupy the White House come January. What will it take for meaningful change to happen here? Beats me.
I’m heading for the beach with a good book.