Crowding Out Issues - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1842128

Crowding Out Issues

I would rather not write this letter, but readers Ed Surgan and John Porta, in their responses to my recent letter, have made statements that I cannot leave unaddressed.

Mr. Surgan claims that progressives “seek not truth, goodness or justice but to impose yet another form of subjugation” [“False Promises,” Letters, December 9]. Really? Please tell me how standing up for the rights of our LGBT neighbors in any way subjugates you, Mr. Surgan. Please tell me how exposing our children to an accurate version of our great nation’s history in any way categorizes them as “oppressors,” as you claim. And please tell me how any open discussion of race, gender or issues of sexual orientation will leave our children open to manipulation, as you also state.

Reader Porta correctly points out that slavery still exists in the world [“Troublesome Truths,” Letters, December 9]. But then he falsely claims that progressives want to ignore this fact. “Where is the outrage?” he writes.

Well, Mr. Porta, progressives have been shouting about this issue for years. Just this week, Congress passed a bill requiring U.S. corporations to guarantee that items they are importing from China are not manufactured by slave labor. The only vote against this bill came from a Republican. And in the Senate it faces opposition from Republicans who are concerned that the bill’s provisions might affect some companies’ bottom lines.

Mr. Porta claims also that Dr. Seuss books are being banned by leftists. Not true. The trust that controls the copyrights for the Seuss books decided on its own that it would no longer publish a few of the books that contained outdated and inappropriate racial stereotypes. Sorry, Mr. Porta, but there is no banning going on here.

And as for Mr. Porta’s statement that Black Africans sold other Blacks into slavery, I doubt there are many history books being used today that omit this fact. More important, how does this in any way affect the history of slavery in our country?

The issues raised by Mr. Surgan and Mr. Porta are important ones and deserve an open discussion. But I am afraid that folks on the right are using them to crowd out many other important topics.

So I am going to mention a few of them and ask my Press pen pals to tell our fellow readers how they think these problems should be solved:

Prescription drug prices are out of control. Democrats want to regulate them. Your thoughts?

Millions of hardworking Americans are struggling with no health insurance. Your plan?

Many American corporations and billionaires pay little or no taxes. Are you OK with that?

We have homeless veterans. We have homeless veterans!

John Neely

Westhampton Beach