About Your Letter… is a weekly feature of PFT330.  Observations are culled from select letters to the editor published in newspapers in the 330 as well as the 216 and 412. 


Two letters are high on my radar today.

Sounding the diversity alarm

A writer to the editor of Youngstown’s Vindicator this morning invested some ink in making diversity a threat to our republic, alleging that heterogeneity is a danger to the country if it is not held in check by unity.  Wrote S.M:

“I agree with the ideology of presidential candidate Donald J. Trump: ‘We must be very careful that we do not permit people into our country who do not desire to assimilate and support our values.’

“Yes, diversity and unity can co-exist in a thriving Republic but when diversity continues to out trump unity, we will begin to fall just as many great republics have in the past.”

I wonder how the writer feels about this:

“… [I]t is that fundamental belief – I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper – that makes this country work.  It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: E pluribus unum, out of many, one … there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.  There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America…

“We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.  We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.  There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

“We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”

Given S.M.’s evident embracing of Trump’s narrow immigration views, my guess is the above quote is not their cup of tea if only because it comes from President Barack Obama.  However, S.M. and the President clearly agree that unity and diversity are celebrated hallmarks of our great American Experiment. There is a subtext in the letter, though, that suggests diversity should be filtered through a single lens as it sounds a warning that if inclusiveness isn’t held in precise balance with unity, then like matter combining with anti-matter we will all get annihilated.

Gen. George S. Patton once said, “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”  Unity and diversity can indeed co-exist, but it needn’t be a zero-sum game.

Under construction: Don King Way

There is an apparent movement afoot in Cleveland to name a street after native son Don King, the fight promoter who’s still alive at 85 and known not only for hair in his younger days that looked like salt-and-pepper ornamental beach grass but also for legions of lawsuits filed against him by boxers and allegations of ties to murder and the mob.   Writes M.C. in the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

“Don King has a well deserved reputation for decades of thuggish and criminal behavior. It reflects badly on the Cleveland City Council to name any section of any street ‘Don King Way.'”

I’m okay with it as long as the street they have in mind is crooked and like his business dealings is one-way and veers off into a dead end or over a cliff.


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