Black on black crime destroying community
There is a sad legacy being printed in the daily edition of The Vindicator. It speaks to a small segment of the population bent on destroying itself by any means necessary. Young black males in the prime of their lives are killing and being killed to the dismay of mothers, friends and family. They are being gunned down, sometimes in broad daylight by a segment of the populace that would be the first to talk of black pride and thug life. With their headbands and earrings and painfully loud and expensive sound systems, they seem bent on destroying that which seemingly reminds them of themselves. We can point to the loss of hope and despair through unemployment and the lack of strong black fathers in what used to be the traditional two-parent home.
We can point the finger at bigots or apa thetic politicians. To the influence of negative Rap culture, with its throbbing message of sensuality and violence targeted at our youth. Or talk of the negative effects that racism and police brutality have on the self-esteem of all minorities. But the fact remains: Young black males are killing, shooting, maiming other young black males and females. Young black males are raping, robbing, killing and pillaging the very neighborhoods in which they themselves live. Young black males are shooting down other unarmed black males.
And so I ask -- where's the outcry? Where is the chorus of voices shouting in the street lamenting the loss of our children? Where are the pickets? Where are the representatives from the Urban League or the NAACP? What, no Al Sharpton?
If this were the story of a white police officer gunning down an unarmed or armed black male during or after the commission of a crime, the scenario would be noticeably different. We would put on our "victim mantle" and parade in the streets shouting, "No justice, no peace!!" to display our displeasure and our hurt at another life lost at the hands of local law enforcement. We would ask, (no we would demand) for a full investigation into the practices and training of a police force apparently run amok. And as in Cincinnati, we would turn our anger inside and devastate our own neighborhoods in protest. To date, 22 souls have been lost to violence in the city of Youngstown compared to 20 last year.
In the last 11 days, four others have lost their lives as well. It appears that the passing of a young black male in the streets of Youngstown barely elicits notice from a public used to reading the same headlines through the eyes of an unsympathetic press.
I am the father of a young black male, and I cringe at the thought of reading of my son's loss or worse yet, the loss of another black youth at the hands of my son. The symptoms are rooted in the heart; and only Jesus can change the heart.
Until then, I guess, black males will stop killing black males when there are no more black males left to kill black males.
Petroleum companies' efficiency just amazing
In the very near past, a back-page article in your newspaper reported a refinery fire in Illinois that was affecting gasoline supplies and causing price increases in northern Ohio. Many kudos to the repair teams that had to have labored long, torturous hours even through the Labor Day week-end to bring the facility back on line because now that the holiday is over, retail prices are being reduced dramatically.
Fortunately, neighboring Pennsylvania must have been supplied from a different source since they did not experience a similar shock treatment as Ohioans.
E. J. HASSAY Sr.
Surplus didn't disappear, it went back to the people
What happened to the surplus?
Well, I would say, my dear confused Democrats, it went to the people as it was intended. Why all the mystery? The astonishing thing would be that after giving the surplus back to the taxpayers, we still would have a surplus.
The federal budget for fiscal 2001 is $1.9 trillion. The surplus was the amount above and beyond that. If $1.9 trillion is not enough to operate this country for one year, we should elect better managers.
And all this fear rhetoric about dipping into the Social Security Fund would not even be possible if the Social Security dollars were safely deposited in personal individual accounts putting them totally out of reach of all politicians.
For the sake of all our younger money earners, I hope that soon they will be able to place part of their mandatory Social Security contributions into an account in their name and in a safe investment (like 6 percent CDs) and not be able to touch it until retirement age. It should continue to be withheld as it is now, and the allowable options should be only in safe conservative investments (no gambling in the stock market).
Eventually all, not just part of this Social Security contribution should be in a personal account which over a 20- or 30-year period would result in a retirement fund far out performing the yield of the current system. And for certain, no politicians could ever get their hands on this money. No need for a "lock box."
ALBERT S. CELEC D.D.S.
Mahoning Valley comes through for Jerry's kids
I knew we could depend on the kind people of the Mahoning Valley to come through again. Thanks to the many generous people in the Youngstown area, you helped the 2001 Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon raise a record $56,780,603 in contributions and pledges.
Across the country, nearly a million volunteers, including hundreds of celebrities, donated their time on Labor Day weekend to help people of all ages with neuromuscular diseases, including many families in your community. I applaud the people of Youngstown for phoning in pledges to the Telethon and for so generously supporting MDA programs through out the year, such as Shamrocks Against Dystrophy, MDA Lock-Ups and fire fighters' Fill-the-Boot drives -- to name only a few.
Thanks to you, MDA is able to maintain a network of 230 clinics nationwide. There, children and adults with muscle-wasting disorders can receive the best possible care from a team of medical experts. You also help enable MDA to sponsor worldwide research seeking treatments and cures for these devastating disorders.
MDA National Chairman