Saturday, September 6, 2003

Readers' Views

Dream achievable for those who want it


The headline about the famous 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech on the front page Aug. 28 read: "To some, the dream of equality is closer."

The headline implies that a reasonable person could question whether any change has taken place. That implication prompts a more logical question: Was any member of the Enquirer's editorial staff alive in 1963?

In case 1963 was missed, black people in our country at that time suffered from terrible racial discrimination. They were denied equal opportunity in education, employment and housing. To varying degrees throughout this country, they were denied equal protection under the law. Much of this discrimination was institutionalized - that is, supported by our laws and by the institutions of our government.

Institutionalized racial discrimination was eradicated more than 30 years ago. Plenty of black citizens of this country today have achieved great success through their own hard work, by making the most of their much-improved opportunities.

The primary reason why many others have not achieved success is that they have not chosen to take advantage of those opportunities. Instead, they have believed the lies of people who derive their power, fame and wealth from perpetuating the illusion that black people are powerless to change their circumstances. Those lies are in direct opposition to the teachings of one of the wisest, bravest and greatest citizens in the history of our country - the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Nick Noel, Springfield Township


Truants would go to a hot concert

I was so appalled that one-fourth of the Cincinnati Public Schools' enrollment did not attend the first day of the school year. Where were the parents or parent of these absent schoolchildren? Are our children being so coddled that if they don't feel like attending, they don't?

I would be willing to make a wager - if a special rock group were in town the same day, the same time, and there were no air conditioning at the venue, these children would show up, most likely before the doors opened.

Should they be lucky enough to get a job later in life, will they dictate to the boss when they show up and when they'll take off?

Jeanne Young, Green Township


Access was available for Riverfest rides

I am responding to the Sept. 4 letter concerning Access bus service at Riverfest ("No Access home from Riverfest).

For several years, Access has provided transportation both to and from the Riverfest fireworks, as we did again this year. In addition, Metro's special park & ride services offered lift-equipped Metro buses to help people with disabilities enjoy this great end-of-summer event.

Access provides more than 1,000 rides per day that connect people with disabilities to work, medical appointment, shopping and leisure activities. While Access cannot meet all needs, many people with disabilities do use this service to participate more fully in our community.

Sallie L. Hilvers, Metro's Director of Public Affairs


School vouchers offer more freedom

The opening of a new school year reminds us that any truly positive renovation of the formal education of our nation's youth must promote and ensure authentic freedom of choice.

Substantial vouchers, a GI-type program or home schooling are but three feasible steps towards providing such freedom. Under our current compulsory system of public education, Catholic parents, for example, are financially penalized for conscientiously choosing a God-centered, Christian-oriented philosophy of education in their schools.

Such parents are not demanding special privileges but are exercising an inalienable parental right and responsibility, as well as undeniably contributing to the common public good.

A fair voucher program would provide at least the current average per-capita expenditure in the current government-funded public school. And parents of children requiring special education services would welcome, and use effectively in their chosen schools, vouchers equal to the per-capita cost for such services in the government-funded programs.

Leland F. Schneider, Dent


Growth hormones promotes vanity

Regarding the article "Growth hormones could get a lift" (Aug. 27), about growth hormones for healthy children, what is the message we are giving children?

I love you just the way you are, but, according to our silly, vain societal standards, you would be better if you were taller. So take a drug and have a perfect life.

I wonder what growth hormones would have done for Stuart Little? Hmmm . . .

Betty Porter, North Avondale


Keep your religion to yourselves, please

As a result of the church scandals, apparently some believers are leaving the fold. Perhaps now they will make the effort to discover a true spiritual relationship for themselves.

Here's a bit of unsolicited yet sage advice for those who do: Spare us the crusades, holy wars and suicide bombings, and don't tell a soul.

Steve Hennessy, Westwood

Beale, but different
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