Letters: Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Letters to the Editor 8/31/05

Just Ask

To the editor: Your article “Hushed Up and Unhappy” was superlative journalism and presented in the real time of our politics, changing landscapes, and demographics.

The realities, as the story was written, go beyond compelling. Blacks have suffered, as have other ethnic groups, and have certainly endured discrimination. The key to all of it is avarice; money is the access to political proselytizing to gain favor in the circles of development for a prime company.

As your article points out, RadioShack devoured and displaced residents at the Ripley Arnold housing project and received a lucrative tax abatement for their new corporate office because of their lobbying efforts. Perhaps developers hesitate to renovate or build in black neighborhoods out of fear that the residents would want a prohibitive price for their property. If only developers would attempt to communicate and form a continuity with the neighborhood residents, they might be surprised and be rewarded with participation in their ideas to clean up the “ghetto-type” areas. It would benefit everyone and put the word “proud” in their vocabulary in reference to their neighborhoods!

Delores Taylor

Fort Worth

Eschew the SPLC

To the editor: I read Fort Worth Weekly every week. As I understand that your paper comes from a “progressive” viewpoint (otherwise known as “leftist”), I can take a lot of your perspective and assertions with a grain of salt.

However, it’s irresponsible to reprint an article from the Southern Poverty Law Center (“Playing Army,” Aug. 17, 2005) and attempt to portray it as anything but a propaganda/fundraising tool. This bunch is the modern-day equivalent of the preachers in the ’80s who found Satan in every rock album.

Even the left-leaning Harper’s Magazine has criticized this group. Ken Silverstein in “The Church of Morris Dees” (Harper’s, November 2000) wrote, “The SPLC is already the wealthiest civil rights group in America. ... Today, the SPLC’s treasury bulges with $120 million, and it spends twice as much on fund-raising —$5.76 million last year— as it does on legal services for victims of civil rights abuses. The American Institute of Philanthropy gives the Center one of the worst ratings of any group it monitors.

And — before you poke fun at the Minutemen for speaking of “Aztlan” — you should do some research on the groups such as “MEChA” who openly endorse such an idea.

Wil Lefever

Fort Worth

Sense and Liberty

To the editor: Thank you for your consistent objectivity in giving a voice to the voiceless and working to uncover issues that are disregarded by mainstream media.

As Americans, we are duty-bound to uphold the constitutional principles of this great nation. It was through much bloodshed that this timelessly essential document was drafted. As the “War on Terror” continues and the climate of fear and uncertainty escalates, the reverence for constitutional safeguards is being undermined and exploited.The reauthorization and expansion of what was sold to Americans as “anti-terror” legislation poses a growing threat to many of our essential civil rights in this nation, while serving to validate and even prompt human rights violations across the globe. The grassroots efforts of Americans nationwide have proven that we, as Americans, can make a difference and influence our representatives to uphold and defend civil rights. We must do our part here locally to uphold and abide by the Constitution in all facets of society, government, and life (“Battling for the Bill,” June 15, 2005). A resolution to adhere to these principles and avoid discrimination thereby indicates our unconditional dedication to the very principles that made our nation great. We cannot allow freedom to be manipulated or overshadowed in these times of crisis. Individual freedoms, when exercised, undoubtedly strengthen us as a whole. Until a bill is passed to restore common sense, we must work together to restore the integrity of our nation.

David Motwani

Fort Worth

The Never-ending Tragedy

To the editor: How in the heck did my freedom wind up in Iraq? Every fight for our civil rights has been on American soil, fighting politicians, corporations and land hoarders. Sadly, instead of standing up to thugs, we have gladly given up our freedoms, justice, credibility and common sense for misguided, ignorant revenge. Cindy Sheehan (“Fighting War with Grief,” Aug. 17, 2005) has so much courage to stand up for all of us moms who don’t want to send our children, who are too young to buy a beer or rent a car, off to kill and die in an unjust, never-ending since the beginning of religion, war. Again.

Grace Giles


Error on the Wright

To the editor: Dan McGraw has an interesting take on the Wright Amendment (“Wolves and Sheepdogs,” Aug. 17, 2005), but I don’t think his argument holds water. By noting that airline fares have reduced in cities that have two airports, he concludes that competition between the airports is what caused it.

I don’t think there’s any evidence to support that conclusion. The competing parties are the airlines themselves, not the airports in which they fly. The controlling authorities of those municipalities are charged with making both airports successful, to serve the needs of the public. When they made more gates available, it’s true that the cities were then able to allow more airlines to compete for more passengers, but the airports’ only role was in facilitating, since the airlines would compete anyway.

McGraw also says that the Wright Amendment debate is about reducing airfares, but I have to wonder. If Southwest Airlines announced that they were increasing all their fares by $300 on all their routes, would that mean the amendment should stay in place?

No, if Wright is to be repealed, it must be because it makes sense. There should be a proven need for it, and proof that it would serve the public good for Dallas and the community (which in this case includes Fort Worth) , no matter how many airlines fly from Love and no matter how much they charge.

If Love did not exist today, and Southwest came to Dallas and asked them to build an airport for them because flying from D/FW did not fit their business model, would Dallas do it? And if they did, would they build it where Love Field is now? Somehow, I doubt it.

I think that it’s perfectly reasonable to say that Love (and Meacham) is for short hops, and D/FW is for longer hauls. There ought to be some way to enforce that - if it’s the Wright Amendment, then let’s leave it.

Greg Shirey

Fort Worth

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