Letters to the Editor -- February 22, 2013


Reader thinks state needs to ‘keep it real’
Editor:

Just like a cartoon, a bulb lit up over my head today. Inside the circle appeared these words: “Stop thinking Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Left or Right.” Think real. Think true. No newspeak. No propaganda. No Armageddon scare-tactics or polarize-speak.

Do we really believe the planet will submerge unless we go vegan, extinguish cattle, buy GE light bulbs, designate land off-limits to humans, trade carbon credits and drive electric cars? Critical thinkers please stand up.

A real question: How do miles of windmills across the landscape aid the environment? If we care about wildlife or smart land use, why plant behemoth metal structures that chop birds in flight?

As revealed in videos from Spain and Texas, windmill farms inevitably end up as rust fields. These high-tech windmills are high-maintenance; they weather badly; they cannot run without electric backup and they emanate unhealthy vibrations. They are also inefficient. Energy experts say that even the best long-term estimates reveal that electricity produced from windmills will cost 50 percent more than reliable sources.

On nature and the environment: Who gave environmental lobbyists the authority to claim nature for themselves? Anyone with a child, a garden, a pond or a pet, anyone who lives by a stream or has a well or has farmed foodstuffs, anyone who drinks from a faucet, anyone with a brain big enough to think beyond today, knows instinctively that our air and water are all we have.

Why must we be lectured to or regulated by ideologues hatched in academia? Who are these people who preach to us of good stewardship of the land? They are the new gods of the universe, but their fervor is no replacement for the Biblical view.

Environmentalists have one major goal: To eradicate human footprints. When all human footprints are gone, the air will be pure — or not. We won’t know.

The governor speaks of raising taxes in order to keep teachers, policemen and firefighters working. Maybe it’s time for the politicians to drop this chimera. State government employs hundreds of employees in: tourism (neither beaches nor bike paths need advertising campaigns), economic development (Fiskar?), historic preservation (How is this within the State’s purview?), archeological preservation (same question). This is the tip of the State iceberg. And last: DNREC is the largest employer in the state.

I repeat: Let’s keep it real.

Fred W. Silva
Seaford

Letter writer offers mea culpa
Editor:

I spend a great deal of my time preaching to everyone that whatever you get from the Internet should be fact-checked by reliable sources. I now find that I have violated my own preaching. I took facts that I thought came from an unimpeachable source and sent them to your paper. There is no way to put lipstick on this pig. They were just plain wrong.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Barbara Schreiner and Ms. Beth Kravetz for doing the work I should have done and checked the facts. I would also like to apologize to the editor and your readership for misleading them. In short, I could have done better, I should have done better, and, in the future, I will do better.

Charles Griffiths
Ocean View

Reader champions crime control, not gun control
Editor:

Imagine you are home alone with your children and you hear someone breaking in your home. What would you do? Well, some think your weapon of choice should be your phone and 911. My weapon of choice is my gun, and I know how to use it to protect my family. Molan labe.

Theresa Garcia
Magnolia

Family thanks all for their kindness
Editor:

The family of Irma C. Pittman would like to thank Rev. Barry Townsend and Melson’s Funeral Services and staff for their acts of kindness following the recent death of our mother, Irma C. Pittman. Also to relatives and friends for their many donations, cards, food and gifts.

Many, many thanks to the Millville fire department, Ladies Auxiliary and Fire Police for your compassionate service during the loss of our mother. Thanks again, and God bless.

The Family of Irma C. Pittman

Elling: IRSD teaching ‘an acceptable racism’ to students?
Editor:

Aldous Huxley wrote, “The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” The Indian River School District gives clear indication of promoting this definition with their “Indian” images.

The IRSD has no direct connection to the living people of over 500 tribal organizations of Native American people. Their images of the descendants of the First People on the American continents are of no one who has ever lived.

The IRSD has never “honored” Native Americans by celebrating Native American Month in November annually. The IRSD has never demonstrated “pride” of Native Americans on Veteran’s Day, who have been presented with the Medal of Honor.

Why does not the IRSD annually send our elementary students to the Nanticoke & Lenape Indian Museum in Millsboro, Del., or our middle school students to tour the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., or our high school students to attend an annual Nanticoke Indian Association Powwow, or have a sister/brother school with a Native American nation? Why are we so disconnected to the living people? Is it an absence of “respect”?

We have heard the IRSD statements of claiming to be honoring “Indians” and insist our schools’ sponsored activities are not offensive or demeaning to “Indians.”

Dr. Cornel D. Pewewardy states, “There is nothing in indigenous cultures that aspires to be a mascot, logo or nickname for athletic teams.” He further stated, “Teachers should research the matter and discover that indigenous peoples would never have associated the sacred practices of becoming a warrior with the hoopla of a pep rally, halftime entertainment, or being a sidekick to cheerleaders.”
“Making fun of indigenous peoples in athletic events has become American as apple pie and baseball. … The image and education regarding indigenous peoples has radically shifted from any reference to living people,” and the Indian River School District is guilty of this action.

Why do we permit our school district to allow our students, educators and administrators to “adopt a noncritical cartoon version of indigenous cultures through the use of a mascot/emblems portrayed by our sport teams”?

The words of R. M. Dennis speak to this question: “People engage in racist behavior because they are reasonably sure that there is support for it within their society. Their cultural lens, for example, may be highly ethnocentric; yet no distortions are perceived in the field of vision.”

According to Steele (1997), “Racism is the social-psychological threat that rises when one is in a situation or doing something for which a negative stereotype about one’s group applies.” Dr. Pewewardy stated, “Sport teams with indigenous mascots, nicknames and logos teach children an acceptable racism that demeans a race or group of people.”

Are our students learning “acceptable racism” within the Indian River School District? Is it a respectable cultural expression to wipe your shoes on the “Indian facial image” at the entrances of the Indian River High School and Selbyville Middle School and their gym floors? It is not!

It would be responsible of the DIAA to terminate athletic competition for the Red Clay School District’s “R*d*k*ns” (a racial slur) and the “Indian” River School District’s “Indians” until they completely change their human mascot images, which teach an “acceptable racism that demeans a race or group of people.”

However, the DIAA lacks the authority on issues of “acceptable racism.” The State of Delaware’s Attorney General could pursue a “hate crime” charge against these school districts, but is it a hate crime to teach children an “acceptable racism”? The DEDOE appears to have no “guiding principles” to apply regarding “acceptable racism” being taught in our Delaware schools.

The Indian River High School Administration was invited to attend the discussions titled, “Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports Discussions” on Feb. 7, 2013, 10:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Everyone can see and listen to the entire discussions on YouTube, Smithsonian NMAIS, Lectures & Symposia, Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports (three sections).

No one at IRHS responded to the invitation. Was it an intentionally missed opportunity to expand the educational world of the IRSD Board of Education, the IRSD administration, the IRHS principals, athletic director, educators and students in relation to the “Indians” of the IRSD?

Dr. Monica Patterson, 1993 IRHS graduate and senior class president, was paraphrased in the Coastal Point story by Laura Walter (Feb. 15, 2013), “At the time, and compared to her other homes, Patterson encountered less diversity and more racist attitudes in Southern Delaware.”

Everyone should read this wonderful story about a vast IRHS academic success story. Dr. Patterson’s history, education and experiences shine a brighter light on the remaining question before us: Are we still teaching our children “an acceptable racism that demeans a race or group of people”?

Respect, honor, character and pride are highly valued, but shallow, guidelines within our IRSD as stated by the definitions of Pewewardy, Dennis, Steele and all the speakers at the Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports Discussions of Feb. 7, 2013. Our school district has serious-minded changes to make that morally and legally demand immediate actions.

Lloyd E. Elling
Ocean View

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to all 38th District registered Republicans and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

SCRC seeks participation from registered Republicans

Do you want a voice in who represents you in the Republican Party? Here is how you can become involved and elect those you want to represent you in our open election March 11, 2013, but you must file before noon Feb. 21.

Do you know you are a member of the Sussex County Republican Committee (SCRC) right now? To be a SCRC member, all you need to do is to be registered to vote with the Delaware State Department of Elections as a Republican. If you are already registered, you are automatically a member of the SCRC, and you now have a voice in how the party operates, who the party nominates for elections and what goes on within your representative district (RD), as well as your election district (ED) (your ED is sometimes called a precinct or ward in other states).

Do you know that you can be an officer or committee person in the SCRC? Yes, you could file to run for election as the SCRC chairman, vice chairman, secretary, or treasurer or run to be a representative district chair (RDC) or an election district committeeperson (EDC).

Yes, the party leadership is open to all registered Republicans and you can play a vital role within the party. Now is the time to step up and become active — this is where it all begins. To file for any of these party positions, see the SCRC Web site for more information: http://www.sussexgop.org or file your desires for any one of the above positions with the SCRC Secretary, Mrs. Carol Bodine, email: chick42@gmail.com, no later than noon, Feb. 21, 2013.

Do you know that you can vote for the two EDC’s who represent you on the SCRC Executive Committee? The election will be at 6 p.m. on March 11 at the Georgetown CHEER Center.

To be eligible to vote for the two EDCs who represent you on the SCRC Executive Committee, all you need to do is be registered as a Republican with the State Department of Elections. You may go here to be certain you are registered to vote: http://pollingplace.delaware.gov (this site also tells your election district).

The SCRC seeks your participation in this open and transparent process. Become a candidate by filing for office no later than noon, Feb. 21, 2013, or at least come out and vote for your two EDC candidates on March 11.

Philip M. Drew, Republican Chairman
38th Representative District