Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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July 15, 2009 - MidWeek
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Blacks and gays

It’s obvious from his recent prejudiced letter “Poor comparison” that Randy Jenkins, who identifies himself as African American, needs a little educating on the link between gay rights and civil rights for all Americans.

“We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny,” said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be.” His widow, Coretta Scott King, a strong supporter of gay rights, said, “Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.”

Dr. King’s friend and closest adviser, Bayard Rustin, who organized the 1963 March on Washington, was a gay black man. Many years after the march, Rustin said, “Indeed, if you want to know whether today people believe in democracy, if you want to know whether they are true democrats, if you want to know whether they are human rights activists, the question to ask is, ‘What about gay people?’ Because that is now the litmus paper by which this democracy is to be judged.”

Robert Ristelhueber
Honolulu


 

Fighting for rights

As the mother of a gay son, I had to respond to Randy Jenkins’ letter in which he says there is no comparison between the civil rights struggle in the ‘60s and the gay civil rights struggle today.

Just like blacks, gays have been suppressed, oppressed and demonized for centuries. In fear for their lives, they stayed in their closets. More enlightened attitudes have allowed them to come out, but there are still those who want them to go away and hide.

Gays do not want to change or reinvent marriage, they just want the right to make a legal union with the person they have chosen - just as any loving couple would want.

In answer to the vote on Proposition 8 in California, just because a majority voted in favor of Proposition 8 does not make it right. Almost 50 years ago when we married, my husband, Chinese-Hawaiian, and I, haole, were not allowed to marry in 13 states. Someone else fought for my right to marry. Now I am fighting for my son’s rights.

Dede Young
Kailua

Gawdawful who?

In Dan Boylan’s column “How Liberals Celebrate 4th Of July” mentions “the gawdawful Reagan and Bush the elder years.” Mr. Boylan should be a bit more careful and think before he disparages President Reagan as he does so glibly. In 1980, Reagan received 7.4 million more votes than did President Carter. “Gawdawful” describes Carter’s administration, with its high interest and inflation rates. The American people liked Reagan’s first four years so much that in 1984 they gave him 16.8 million more votes than his Democrat opponent, Walter Mondale.

Is it possible that Mr. Boylan has also forgotten that Reagan laid the groundwork for the later downfall of the Soviet regime?

Stan Philbrick
Kaneohe


A brave column

I wanted to commend Jerry Coffee for his bravery in writing “A Final Word On Islam And Women.” Thank you.

I have studied the Koran, Hadiths and am presently studying Sharia law. I am a Honolulu lawyer, and a very strong proponent of the First Amendment.

The current attack of branding one a bigot, racist (most Muslims are not Arab), etc., is a favorite of those who prefer to deflect objective criticism of their position and/or belief system. It must be exposed each time it happens. Otherwise, the branding becomes a “brand,” often wholly unjustified. Moreover, truth slowly dies.

Keep speaking the truth!

Vann de Cordova
Honolulu

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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