First lady took the focus off
Trump’s pandemic response
While Melania Trump’s speech was very gracious and tried to calm the rhetoric of hate, I was a bit put off by her suggestion: “I want to take this moment to encourage the media to focus even more on the nation’s drug crisis.”
She is trying to take the focus off the terrible job her husband is doing with the pandemic which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has killed almost 180,000 Americans, while in 2019, 70,980 died from drug overdoses. She seems to have missed the fact that during his tenure drug overdose deaths had a significant rise of 4.6% in 2019 and, in part, due to the pandemic, will see an even greater rise in 2020. Drug overdoses do not cost jobs and they do not keep children from school.
Perhaps it would “Be Best” for Americans if Donald just “went away.”
Harry Kilman, Leander
Column on newsroom
diversity off the mark
Re: Aug. 23 commentary, “From the editor: Going on the record with our newsroom diversity pledge.”
The Austin American-Statesman (and for that matter, the news industry) totally missed the point. It is not the staff or the management that determines diversity and inclusion. It is the reporting.
Just like in sports, the umpire, the referee, the officials are not the story or the point. It is the game, the sport and calling a fair game that is important. The question is: are the newspaper articles (and news reports) diverse in opinion, inclusive and equal in amount of coverage? No. The Austin American-Statesman has failed in reporting in the newspaper articles and thus failed as a newspaper.
Daniel Arredondo, Austin
Nature, artful surprises
bring joy along this trail
Painted rocks placed on the Brushy Creek Trail have been a wonderful, unexpected find for me during the past two months.
Thank you to the artist, CC, for your thoughtful gesture. We all need a reason to smile right now and these creative little treasures do just that. Small joys make a big difference. Keep painting!
Valerie Goranson, Austin
A war on the truth is
even more dangerous
There is a force even more dangerous than President Trump that’s undermining society: the war on truth.
Two alternative realities are vying for Americans’ minds and loyalty, but if we can’t even agree on facts, science and the historical record, how can we possibly communicate?
This issue pre-dates Trump, and most of the blame lies with far-right talk radio and news outlets like Fox, which have (mis)interpreted current events to fit their preferred narrative for decades.
These uber-conservative media outlets often utilize propaganda techniques, such as omitting facts, twisting the truth, playing on peoples’ fear and fostering a resentful “grievance” mindset.
As our competing versions of truth keep diverging, it feels like we’re trapped in a horrifying “Twilight Zone” episode. It really is getting that bizarre. How can we get back to a basic shared reality that all sides can use as a jumping-off point for discussion and decision-making?
Richard Lowenthal, Leander
It is time we outlawed
these guns at protests
The killing Tuesday night of two protesters and the serious wounding of another by a 17-year-old white “vigilante” in Kenosha, Wisc., is yet another tragic example of why we should ban these weapons and not allow anyone to own or carry these type of firearms in public.
We should not allow vigilante groups to be patrolling around streets, especially at potentially explosive Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Enough is enough!
We have seen the tragic results when folks carry guns at demonstrations, even here in Austin. When will Congress address the deplorable level of gun violence and racial injustice in America? Only when a Democratic House, Senate and president are elected will anything be done.
More guns on the streets only leads to more deaths. Sens. Cornyn, Cruz and my House representative, Chip Roy, can I please hear your proposals to reduce the killings by the police and white, right-wing supremacist vigilantes?
Brian Clark, Austin