Letters to the Editor, March 14

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Hiding bigotry

There has been a prevailing believe that teaching history of racism is teaching racism. I respectfully disagree that teaching history of racism is teaching racism. Racism that conjures up hate crimes is well recorded throughout our history. These are no less prevalent today than those in the yesteryears. In 2019, the number of anti-race hate crimes as per FBI record (data source: fbi.gov) were 3,963, almost 11 daily. Almost all of these hate crimes resulted in physical altercations including deaths.

It can be safely assumed that the number of hate crimes committed far exceed those recorded by the FBI. The point is that such hatred is deeply rooted and widely spread, past and present in the USA.

State after state governments (Florida, Texas, Tennessee, among others) are passing laws (”Stop W.O.K.E,” “Don’t Say Gay,” and numerous others), and banning books (”Maus,” “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” and hundreds of others), to regulate teaching and even conversation in schools and workplaces about Holocaust, racism, gender identity, sexism, among others. In the light of overwhelming evidence of hate crimes arising out of bigotry, it is hard not to conclude that the intention of these censoring laws and regulations is to hide the existence of these hate crimes.

Like an alcoholic justifies drinking by denying alcoholism, these censoring laws and regulations are a part of a campaign to justify and even promote hate crimes arising out of bigotry. Bigotry is a disease and cannot be cured by hiding it. Teaching history of racism could be the only path of our recovery from racism and hatred that arises out of it.

Mukhtar Ali, Marco Island

Address affordable housing crisis

The lack of affordable housing means that our service people can no longer afford to live in Collier County which in turn means that they either must require more income impacting  our cost of living or live and work elsewhere causing us even more costs and inconveniences.  Putting these service folks out of commission puts us residents out of commission. 

If our commissioners had hearts they would think of people like teachers, nurses, police and first responders, waiters, housekeepers, electricians, carpenters, air conditioning services not to mention all the people we never notice who serve us and make our lives so comfortable.  On a more selfish level, what about us citizens who bear the costs of lack homes for our service people in Collier County, which shows up every day on our bills at restaurants or the hospital, etc.  To put it all back into commission, we need county commissioners who acknowledge the elephant in the room and act immediately.

One of our commissioners, Rick LoCastro, writes an overly lengthy newsletter with stories and photos which promote him and ignore the real problems facing Collier County.  No mention is made of the need for affordable housing.

Without hearts, the county commissioners only think of themselves.  It is time to demand that they recognize this crisis and utilize all means to find areas for affordable housing throughout all of Collier County.

Sally Lam, Naples

Age restrictions not a threat 

I have read several letters concerning “burning books” but I have read nothing that said books were actually being burned or eliminated from public consumption. I have read where the Legislature and governor have restricted some books on specific subjects from being available to students below a specific age in the public schools. This action was taken on the belief that the subject matter was best left to the parents to handle with the children in that age category. I am long past child rearing days, but from what I have read I would have wanted to be involved in the subjects discussed with my children.

It is not unusual for the state to declare some things inappropriate below a certain age. Cigarettes and beer cannot be purchased until a specific age. Pornography is not permitted for young people. Movies are reviewed to determine if they are appropriate for those under 17 unless accompanied by a parent. In fact, parents can often be charged with child endangerment if they permit or encourage some of these things by their children. So long as the subject matter in the controversial books is not prohibited but age restricted without parental consent, I see no threat to our freedom.

James Thomas, Bonita Springs

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