Aug. 8: Letters to the editor

August 8, 2013 

Minority rights not respected by Sen. Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul's recent claim that "no one in Congress has a stronger belief in minority rights than I do" took more political chutzpah than Anthony Weiner's run for mayor of New York City.

Repeatedly, Paul has opposed policy issues important to most Kentuckians, especially minorities. These include immigration reform, the right to basic health care, raising the minimum wage, early childhood education, supplemental food for poor children and violence against women prevention programs. Also, Paul has relished stoking white resentment among his friendly audiences with his condescending comments and dog whistle rhetoric about President Barack Obama.

Most outlandish, however, is that Paul's sudden claim that he is the best advocate for minorities came just days after he was forced to terminate Jack Hunter from his Senate payroll. Hunter co-authored books with Paul and was his social media director before it was revealed to the public that Hunter is a white supremacist and neo-Confederate from South Carolina.

Walter Goedeke

Lexington


Rhyme time

If Sen. Mitch McConnell is going to put out a video and ask what rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes and then offer suggestions like "not ready for prime time" and "sticks to the party line," it might behoove him to learn what an actual rhyme is.

For "time" to rhyme with "Grimes," it would need to be plural. And "line" does not rhyme with "Grimes" at all.

Sorry, Mitch, you don't get my vote. I require my candidate to be literate.

Charles Edward Pogue

Georgetown


Lingering racism

When Trayvon Martin was shot, President Barack Obama said "this could have been my son." After the trial, he said "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago."

I had always thought that, as generations pass, racism in the United States would cure itself. I see now that my simplistic reasoning was totally flawed. There will always be white people who hate black people and there will always be black people who hate whites. Also the media and the Right Reverend Blowhards who thrive on inciting hatred will continue to fuel their malevolence.

I am proud to say that George Zimmerman could not have been my son, nor could he have been me at any time in my life. What a sad world we live in.

Jimmy Helton

Frankfort


Bevin not involved

I am a registered Republican precinct captain, Tea Party member, 9/12 member and proud, conservative American who has worked for the cause of freedom and the Constitution for many years.

Since the Tea Party was started I have only missed one local gathering and missed only a few Jefferson County Republican meetings.

But not once have I seen or met Matt Bevin doing anything to promote our values. And now he comes out of the woodwork, claiming Tea Party backing to disrupt the re-election of our highest positioned elected official.

I do not agree with all of Sen. Mitch McConnell's actions but applaud the bulk of them as being in the best interests of our values and principles.

Why not get some experience in the battlefield before criticizing someone who is fighting for our cause? We need help at the bottom of the ladder more than at the top. It is not too late to change your target. There is nothing wrong with aiming high, but we the people need to know your capabilities as well as your words. We need to see in order to believe.

A simple question: Have you ever asked our senator to do or not do anything? After all, input is the start of the process.

M. John Clark

Louisville


Do math for Fayette

On Aug. 19, the General Assembly will convene in special session to create Kentucky's legislative districts. This redistricting occurs every 10 years and is based on census data.

Redistricting is one of the most important responsibilities of the General Assembly. On the one hand, it is a political nightmare. Mathematically, however, it is quite simple.

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that counties should not be unnecessarily split and the districts should be drawn with little deviation in population.

The Herald-Leader's July 29 editorial outlines the math: "Take Kentucky's population of 4,339,367. Divide it by 100 House seats, and you get an ideal district of 43,394 people. The state Supreme Court has said districts may vary from the ideal by no more than five percent."

Yet, in Fayette County, this basic math is being ignored. Fayette county's population of 295,805 divided by the ideal number, reveals that Fayette is entitled to 6.81 House districts — or rounded up — seven districts. Yes, Fayette county is entitled to seven intact House districts.

Why then, in House Bill 2 (2013 regular session), did the General Assembly penalize Fayette county by reducing the number of districts to six, each with the maximum, or near maximum, population that is allowed per district? And why were four partial districts created including one that stretches into Rockcastle County?

Fair and equitable representation for each Kentuckian is fundamental to redistricting. Fayette County is due seven intact House districts.

I hope our General Assembly will do the math.

Alayne White

Lexington


Millionaire club

I'm not a political advocate for either Republicans or Democrats. But I do know right from wrong and Mitch "McConMan" McConnell is wrong in everything that he votes on. Everything he advocates for is just the opposite of what Kentucky needs. He has gotten approximately zero done that has helped Kentucky and Americans in 30 years.

Too many wealthy and ultra-rich people only look after their own.

How many multi-millionaires can you count in the NBA, NFL, MBL, NHL, golf, tennis and other sports?

Darrell G. Gross

Lexington


Racist bias

The George Zimmerman trial has elicited many over-the-top comments. In the Herald-Leader on July 21, Annalee Abell regurgitated most of them. Early on, some in the media tried to force the facts into their contrived story line — white, privileged racist guns down unarmed young black male because he was guilty of "being black with Skittles." Then the picture of Zimmerman was emblazoned across our screens. The guy looked Hispanic. Then the media mavens told me he was a white Hispanic. (Hey, I'm open to new concepts). Then, finally, the truth came out. George Zimmerman is a self-identified Hispanic.

But, that doesn't faze Abell and others awash in white guilt. She actually posits the notion that she knows Zimmerman better than he knows himself.

The most egregious thing that Abell has done is to compare the Trayvon Martin case with that of Emmett Till. The only similarity between the two situations is that both Martin and Till were African-American teens. For Abell to present Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin to her readers as legal or moral parallels is beyond outrageous.

Now, we are all told that it is time to have a conversation about race. Maybe. However, folks like Abell have already disqualified themselves from being taken seriously in that conversation because they have demonstrated deep personal bias.

Rick Shannon

Lawrenceburg

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