Sunday, February 25, 2018

Letters on anthem protests, accessible playgrounds

Nov. 16, 2017 at 12:03 a.m.

Overton parks need

I am writing to bring your attention to the need for accessible playgrounds for special needs children in Overton.

I have a special needs child who has a neurological disorder called Rett syndrome, which leads her to have impairments affecting her ability to walk, speak and use her hands effectively. She is unable to hold onto swings and is confined to a wheelchair. I tried to find an accessible playground where she could have fun. Unfortunately, there was not one close to where we live. After going to several parks nearby, I was amazed that none of them had an accessible playground.

The only one I have found was the Liberty City Park, which has a swing accessible for wheelchairs with a ramp and safety belts to secure it.

Special needs children need a park with accessible space and equipment to accommodate impairments. I would be grateful if an accessible playground were built near Overton. I feel many people would benefit from it, including my daughter. If you require additional information regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Elia Barron, Overton

Celebrate the protests

We have seen much discussion about athletes "taking a knee" during the national anthem. We should applaud the protest! Anyone can stand, but throughout recorded history, taking a knee has been the highest symbol of loyalty, allegiance and respect.

Here in the U.S., we have a very serious problem with police brutality, racism and abuse toward minorities. When citizens die after being stopped for an improper lane change, a burned-out taillight or for trying to help someone suffering an epileptic seizure, that is wrong. And we all should be protesting.

There are many ways to protest: One can take a gun and kill someone, a policeman, a judge, a room full of schoolchildren; one can stand on the sidewalk with a large sign; one can demonstrate or throw rocks; or one can commit public suicide. The manner in which these players are protesting is:

A) peaceful— nobody is injured

B) highly respectful — showing the greatest possible respect and allegiance, and

C) very effective — I doubt anyone who can read or write or watch television is unaware of the issues.

Here in the U.S., we also enjoy a highly charged and divisive political climate. Unfortunately, some politicians and demagogues welcome this opportunity to divert attention from the base issue of racist police brutality and transform it into an issue of pseudo-patriotism. This serves the racist, white-supremacist agenda, as the protesters are primarily black athletes.

If you were a famous sports personality, how could you best express your concern about systemic injustice?

J.B. Nabors, Longview



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