Letters to the Editor

Ferguson, volunteering at charter schools, hemp benefits

Kudos to Marcos Breton

Re “Fear, force collide in Ferguson” (Marcos Breton, Nov. 26): As I read the paper this morning, I could not help but feel strongly about this column. I am still very angry about the outcome of the grand jury in Ferguson, Mo. I could not be in more agreement with what I read. Being old enough to have been around for all the events mentioned makes me question what, if anything, has really changed. Considering Darren Wilson’s comments, I can sadly answer, “nothing.” As a Latino, I still can remember my father discussing with me how to deal with white cops. Does that ever happen to white kids? Nothing could be more right than Breton’s comment about whether Michael Brown would be alive today if the police mindset was different. Sadly, we may never know.

Alex Alarcon, Sacramento

What if Brown complied?

In his article, Marcos Breton states “Maybe if (Michael) Brown had encountered a different authority figure …” Like who? His mother? His pastor? A black police officer? Here’s a “what if” that is much often overlooked: Brown was walking in the middle of the street. The officer was simply doing his job when he repeatedly asked Brown to walk on the sidewalk. Liberal or conservative, you’ll agree that this was a justifiable request by any police officer. What if Brown had complied? If he had, he would be alive today. People are responsible for their actions and the choices they make. One could say that Brown did not comply just because the officer was white.

Paul E. Adler, Roseville

What is ‘justice’?

Re “No indictment, no peace” (Page A1, Nov. 25): In the South, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, black people suspected of crimes were sometimes lynched when mob mentality was allowed to get out of hand. Blacks rightfully demanded justice, which in our country is defined as a presentation and evaluation of evidence in a courtroom and judgment of guilt or innocence by a jury. Now in Ferguson, we hear black people demanding “justice” in the case of Officer Darren Wilson.

Wilson received a hearing before a grand jury where all evidence in the case of the Michael Brown shooting was presented and the grand jury verdict was to not indict because the evidence overwhelmingly supported a justifiable shooting. The response in the streets has been rioting and looting, with a rationalization repeated by the rioters that they demand “justice.” When asked by media, the rioters’ definition of “justice” is indictment, trial and conviction of Wilson, regardless of the evidence. What they are demanding is a lynching. How ironic.

Kurt Ohlinger, El Dorado Hills

It’s not the cops, it’s the guns

I’m amazed at the letters and the Bee editorials I’ve read advocating better policing, criticizing the grand jury and decrying rampant racism. Not one mentioned guns as the source of the problem. In Britain, police officers only carry weapons when going after a major, armed offender. We are the only Western nation that allows our police to routinely carry guns and to use them as they see fit. It is indefensible that our current laws allow law enforcement to shoot an unarmed person whose offenses included walking down the middle of the street and stealing a few cigars. No other civilized nation would suggest that it was an appropriate action. We must change our gun laws, or this will continue to happen.

Deborah Russell, Gold River

A deal is a deal

Re “Rights group questions charter school volunteer rules” (Page A1, Nov. 25): This sounds a lot like unions complaining that parent volunteers are holding down jobs that dues-paying members should be performing. Children are required to go to school; why shouldn’t parents be required to directly support that requirement? Failure of parents to become involved in their child’s education is a leading cause of failing students. Charter schools that mandate parent participation in the various aspects of running the facility forces parents to always be aware of their responsibilities beyond simply sending their kids off to school.

It should be a requirement at all public schools, not just charter schools. Don’t build a house at the end of an airport runway and then complain about airplanes. Don’t buy a house downwind from a rendering plant and then complain about odors. And don’t agree to volunteer at your child’s school as a requirement for enrollment and then complain about what you have agreed to and what an imposition it is. A deal is a deal – and a pretty good deal, at that.

Steve Liddick, Sacramento

Legalize hemp for manufacture

Re “Firm makes all-American hoodie using Yolo cotton” (Inside Business, Nov. 25): Cotton not only uses up a lot of water in areas prone to drought, it is not as “green” as the currently U.S.-prohibited plant hemp. Legalizing hemp, as Canada has, will create new jobs in the U.S for making products that are currently made abroad.

Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

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