- The Washington Times - Monday, August 4, 2003

The NAACP and its defenders

In his response to a recent column by Linda Chavez that criticized the NAACP as “stuck in a time warp,” James M. Waters (“Getting real about the NAACP,” Letters, yesterday) rushes to the defense of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Mr. Waters says racism is to blame for attacks on affirmative action, which is absurd.

It is not racist to oppose discrimination. He asserts that illegitimacy is not just a problem for blacks and Latinos, which misses the point, because only about two out of 10 non-Hispanic whites are born out of wedlock, versus seven out of 10 blacks and four out of 10 Hispanics.

But Mr. Waters’ fundamental disagreement with Mrs. Chavez centers on her observation that “racism is no longer the major problem facing American blacks,” which he counters by declaring that “racism is as much a problem today as it was 50 years ago.” That pretty much sums up the dispute between the NAACP and its defenders, on the one hand, and those of us who live in the real world, on the other. Brown vs. Board of Education; the 1964 Civil Rights Act; the 1965 Voting Rights Act; the 1968 Fair Housing Act; the end of the Jim Crow era; the rapid growth of the black middle class; the overwhelming national popularity of Bill Cosby, Colin L. Powell, Oprah Winfrey and Condoleezza Rice; and the absence of any mainstream politician or other public figure today who can be fairly characterized as racist — none of this counts as progress?

Sure, racism still exists — it always will — but to say that there has been no progress and to say that racism rather than illegitimacy, failing public schools and crime is the principal problem facing black Americans today, is just silly.

ROGER CLEGG

General counsel

Center for Equal Opportunity

Sterling

Coverage of animal rights

For months The Washington Times has been featuring columns and articles by environmental and animal rights activists. John Grandy, one such long-time professional activist, denigrates Canadian management of harp seals with emotional propaganda and misinformation (“Expanding the harp seal hunt,” Commentary, Sunday). The truth is that Canadian management of its harp seals by regulated hunting is good for the harp seal populations, good for the harp seals’ habitat, good for Canadian commercial fisheries, good for rural Canadians and good for the Canadian tax base.

The story “Suburban dwellers at rabies risk as housing sprawls” (Metropolitan, Sunday) is as outrageous a piece of animal rights lies as I have seen. It is a farce to claim that outbreaks of rabies result from urban sprawl by quoting animal welfare radicals and government employees who are either ill-informed or are animal rights advocates. Rabies outbreaks, while naturally occurring for several reasons, are most severe where dense populations of mammals spread an outbreak quickly.

The dense populations of such animals near urban and suburban areas are not caused by urban sprawl “displacing” them, but by the elimination of proactive management of wild animals. Eliminating hunting, trapping, and other lethal controls meant to limit and distribute raccoons, foxes, skunks, etc. is exactly what these radicals aim to accomplish. This propaganda piece shifts attention away from the real cause of suburban outbreaks(the animal rights activities) and wrongly gives people a reason to oppose “urban sprawl.” Urban sprawl is but one more targeted practice slated for elimination by animal rights activists and their fellow environmentalists and anarchists.

Finally, and in line with the above, you (like Arthur Conan Doyle’s infamous dog that did not bark) reveal your agenda by your silence. Papers from The Washington Post (on Sunday’s page A7) to the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported the torching of a condominium complex in San Diego causing more than $20 million in damage. A banner reading “If you build it we will burn it” with the initials “ELF” (Earth Liberation Front) was found next to the burning building.

People who understand and desire a natural environment that supports American values should be cautioned. People who use plants and animals, from loggers and hunters to pet owners and circus goers, should be alerted. People who see and are vitally concerned about how these environmental/animal rights radicals are perverting our entire system of government to totalitarianism by these tactics should take note. Regardless of how other topics are covered, The Washington Times should be believed at your own risk.

JAMES BEERS

Centreville

John Grandy’s claim that Canada allows the killing of seal pups is untrue and cannot go unchallenged (“Expanding the harp seal hunt,” Commentary, Sunday). Canada has prohibited the killing of seal pups for many years, and this prohibition is strictly enforced.

Society makes use of many different animals for food and clothing. Seals are one of those animals that we harvest. A recent study in the Canadian Veterinary Journal confirmed that acceptable humane practices were being employed in all but a few rare instances. Failure to observe humane harvesting practices is severely punished with court-imposed fines of up to $100,000 Canadian ($71,223 American) and the forfeiting of catches, gear, boats and licenses.

The 2002 hunt provided income for more than 12,000 sealers in Eastern Canada, a livelihood they and their families have followed for centuries.

The Humane Society’s claims may make for good fund raising, but they are just plain wrong.

BERTIN COTE

Charge d’affaires.

Canadian Embassy

Washington

Judicial impasse

There will be hoarfrost in Hades before Senate Democrats “uphold the Constitution and vote fairly on judicial nominees” whose religious opinions differ from the Democratic Party’s secular views (“The ‘religious litmus test,’” Editorial, Saturday). Yet the blame for this continuing fiasco is no longer with Senate Democrats. After more than 21/2 years of such delaying tactics, it is well past time that President Bush exercise his constitutional prerogative and make recess appointments of those “filibustered” judicial nominees who already have received majority votes of support in the full Senate. Democrats will, of course, spout. Let them.

As a wise sage once observed, “politics ain’t beanbag,” and if the president refuses to use his constitutional powers to break this impasse, he has no one but himself to blame.

ROGER JOHNSON

Kensington Weekly Dish column (Op-Ed, Friday) began by quoting the frustrations of homosexual- rights proponents with conservative Republicans. Mr. Sullivan wondered how he could continue to support the conservative agenda when conservatives seem so against homosexuals. I believe Mr. Sullivan is too focused on one tree to see the forest.

If he is a conservative, Mr. Sullivan should find himself at odds with the homosexual-rights agenda, which is a facet of humanity’s unending culture wars. Homosexual-rights activists have organized to use the power of government to force everyone else to condone sexual behavior many regard as unhealthy and perverse. The use of such force is, of course, at odds with the idea of limited government.

If Mr. Sullivan wants to affirm conservatism, he should reply to his liberal critics that he is for limited government. He should state that he does not want the government to participate in the establishment of what are essentially religious beliefs. He should note, for example, that the government must provide legal recognition of heterosexual unions to protect the rights of the children that can be expected to result directly from such unions. Mr. Sullivan should ask homosexual- rights activists why they are not content to let people live their lives without unnecessary government involvement.

Mr. Sullivan should remind his critics of the results we can expect when the government’s power is abused. In societies that do not limit the power of government, culture wars become violent in the extreme. Dominant cultural groups use the power of government to punish unbelievers. Rulers use the power of government to force people to surrender their rights of free speech and freedom of religion. They force people to raise their children in the religion of the state and to condone behavior they find offensive. The exercise of such force invariably meets determined and violent resistance.

RICHARD T. SALMON

Gainesville, Va.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide