Letters to the editor

Newspapers protect right to free speech

Receiving attention is something many people thrive on, and perhaps it is what drives Zak Cummins to write controversial commentaries.

I applaud those who’ve taken a stand in their opinion by writing to the editor. However, I find it hard to believe that in this day and time people are discouraging the Herald to print articles like Cummins’ because these articles may offend a majority.

I realize Cummins’ opinion disturbed many, and though I don’t share his beliefs, I understand he has the right to share them publicly in print.

Freedom of speech is something our country celebrates because it gives everyone a voice, not just a select group of privileged individuals. Editors have the responsibility under the ethics of journalism to present many different views in their papers and not be biased toward single ideas.

People should remember and appreciate this factor when they open a newspaper.

Amy Roberts

Owensboro sophomore

Witnessed racial intolerance

I witnessed a saddening display of racial intolerance on campus.

As an Indian student walked by a group of white “men,” a piece of trash was kicked at him. As he looked up for some sort of reason, a voice from the group admonished him to “Walk on, brother.” He did.

I’m usually not one to meddle in the business of others, but I had to ask, “Do you not like him or something?”

“He’s a … towelhead,” was the best response the group could muster.

I asked if they even knew what country he was from, but they didn’t care, since they “wouldn’t be hanging out with him anyway.”

Though I know that not all members of (an organization) are prone to acting on their racially intolerant urges, I suppose, by (this group’s) reasoning, it’s OK for me to label them and kick a piece of trash at them. I won’t be hanging out with them anyway.

I don’t mean to stoop to their level, but such actions should be exposed and understood to be harmful to everyone. Especially the instigators, for it damages their reputation and their organization’s reputation.

For those who have read this far, and still disagree, thinking, “I have the right to feel this way,” you’re right. You do. And others have the right to judge your maturity level.

Brady Somerville

Bowling Green senior

America built on ‘backs of blacks’

While the average American is concerned about the possibility of war, Zak Cummins is foolishly disturbed by the legacy of the famous civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I wonder if Cummins would be more content if segregation was a dominant issue. Would he rather see blacks sitting in the back of buses, signs that read “whites only,” or any other anti-black rules? I think so.

Cummins said that George Washington founded this country, but he failed to mention that it was the backs of blacks that built it. Our ancestors were forced to slave for the things that we now take for granted. Why should we not receive equal rights in a country that our forefathers contributed to the most?

King might not have lived a perfect life, but I wish Cummins would find someone who has.

Cummins has proved in his article that he would much rather erase the recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. than accept the fact that he was a very important, inspirational and effective figure in American history.

Angela McCarley

Russellville freshman

Clarifying education comments

I am a WKU student teacher at Warren East High School in Bowling Green.

I have been told that my comments, which ran in the Feb. 13 article “Taking a Stand,” reflect negatively on academics at Warren East. Please allow me to clarify my opinion.

Every public school in Kentucky wants its students to reach proficiency by 2014. Cuts in education funding will affect every school’s efforts to reach this goal.

Warren East, like every school, is proceeding toward this goal with the funding they have. But in my opinion, the task will be too great — for every school — without sufficient funding.

I am a graduate of the Warren County school system, and I received a superior education. I have now been working with Warren East students and faculty for six weeks.

I am nothing but proud of the students and their accomplishments and grateful to Warren East for allowing me to complete my teaching certification there.

My intent in speaking to the Herald was only to convey my concern for the continuation of superiority in Warren County education.

Ashley Atkerson

Woodburn senior

Letter writers show hypocrisy

I have been reading with interest the readers’ comments about Zak Cummins’ commentary.

Many feel that attacking MLK is attacking the dignity of black people.

As one writer put it, Mr. Cummins has “used his voice to try and decimate the character of one of the few positive African American role models we have.” The same letter asked,”Why not present a more positive message about an African American?”

In order to dismiss Cummins’ commentary, other writers have attacked the credibility of his main source, which has links to Stormfront, because it “boasts the slogan ‘White Pride World Wide.'”

I find it paradoxical that some readers are offended about criticism of a black icon, but dismiss as bogus an organization having a slogan for “White Pride.”

Are only non-Whites allowed to speak up for themselves? In addition to the letter writers’ hypocrisy, no one has refuted any part of Cummins’ commentary.

Another writer, an educator no less, states that one should look for Web site sources ending in .gov or .edu for a stamp of approval.

I find it astonishing in this age of psychotic American foreign policy and retreating liberty that anyone would think those sources incorruptible.

It’s been more than 10 years since I’ve been a student, but I can see that the ratio of thinkers to learners in “higher education” hasn’t changed.

Steve Singery