Americans must speak out against bigotry, prejudice

Americans must speak out against bigotry, prejudice

As a Catholic and a social justice advocate for many years who promoted equal rights for both minorities and women, I am horrified by this election as many of you are. I diligently worked for civil rights in the ‘60s and the ERA in the ’80s, and I am in total dismay by the country’s choice for president.

I find it a source of hatred for all those I fought for – minorities, the LBGT community, and women – demonstrated by this past election.

I refrain from using our president-elect’s name because that for me denotes hatred and inequality for many of our citizens. We are all the progeny of immigrants. I am from a family of immigrants from Italy that emigrated from a stony mountain area in southern Italy that could not be farmed to maintain sustenance. They were starving. On my maternal side, I have ancestors who fought in the American Revolution on the side of King George III at the Battle of Saratoga who opted after the war after three years of servitude to stay in America.

There is a famous and provocative poem written by Pastor Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran minister who was sent to the camps in 1937 after he protested against the Nazis about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis rise to power.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak-out because I was not a Socialist.

“Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak-out because I was not a Trade Unionist.

“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

“Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”

You can use your imagination and insert the names of the groups that the president-elect railed against during the campaign. It becomes quite sobering.

We must speak out against bigotry and prejudice in all their forms.

Mary Lou Mack, Canfield

Anti-trump protesters labeled un-American

As a newcomer to the political arena, President-elect Donald Trump shocked not only our country but also other countries of the world.

Those protesting this election might be wise to acquaint themselves with our country’s voting laws and the meaning of what a democracy is.

Donald Trump won the election fairly and anyone who fairly is allowed to serve in our country’s highest office deserves to have that office treated with dignity, respect and the love and support of its people.

While I believe in peaceful protest, I find those protesting Donald Trump’s election un-American, tarnishing our country’s image and being viewed as sore losers who will gain sore feet and a choice of going home or going to jail.

In my over 60 years of voting – whether the candidate I favored and voted for did not win election – I have never or would ever protest a fair election. I don’t know if President-elect Donald Trump will be another Jimmy Stewart, but this I do know. Yep, the president-elect Trump is going to Washington. The best of luck.

Mary Lou Jurina, Youngstown

Under Trump, US may find path back to virtue

In his inaugural address after the tempestuous presidential election of 2000, George W. Bush referenced a letter written to Thomas Jefferson by Virginia statesman Thomas Page after the signing of the Declaration of Independence in which Page asked, “Do you not think an Angel rides in the Whirlwind and directs this Storm?” Here, at the end of an equally tempestuous presidential election, there can be no doubt that our guardian angel, once again, mounted the whirlwind to direct the storm.

Many have labeled it a miracle what our founding fathers achieved, and rightly so. Without Divine Providence, they could not have accomplished what they set out to do, and it was undoubtedly their dedication and devotion to the Creator that earned them a favored reward.

However, over the years, our country has turned away from God, prompting him to forsake us as well. However, like the Jews wandering in the desert for 40 years, he never entirely abandoned us, and it appears as if he has given us a second chance. Perhaps, he could not bear to watch our nation become entirely compromised and corrupt, feeling pity for the people he had blessed 240 years ago, guiding them in the formation of a government under the mantle of his love.

The promise of this campaign has been to “Make America Great Again,” and, in doing so, we will also make America good again. Like the Prodigal Son, our nation has strayed from the path of virtue, embracing things like abortion and the debasement of marriage, but now is the time for change and a time to celebrate and rejoice because we were dead and have been restored to life; we were lost and have been found.

Joseph K. Waltenbaugh, New Castle, Pa.

Divisive Trump cannot expect unity anytime soon

We put an accused rapist in the highest office in the land. I am certain that any victim could not “unite” with him.

How could Trump think that his words of hatred would do anything but incite hatred? Or that they would “unite” people? He bullied unapologetically his way to the White House. This is not a real estate deal! These are real people’s lives.

When he mocked that disabled reporter, he mocked disabled people who are already marginalized and mocked in this world. And now they have to get it from their president! Really? How did he think that mocking of a human life would be received?

Then the Christian vice-president. The Bible says, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity (sin).” Pence, as a Christian, should have parted ways with Trump. If his Christianity is the kind that stands by while Trump hurts people of every race in this country, for which Christ died, then he is the worst example. If he were truly following the Master, he could not stand by and watch this, or be party to it.

The Bible also says, “Out of the issues of the heart the mouth speaketh.” We have seen Trump’s heart and it’s as black as the coal he’s claiming to save.

Don’t tell us how great a guy Trump is when you are alone with him, Mr. Pence. If he was that great, people wouldn’t be protesting in the streets, angry, fearful and frustrated.

And now children repeating Trump’s hate. Hurting other children and themselves. This will follow them for the rest of their lives.

Trump should know he brought no unity to the table for the last year and a half and therefore cannot expect to walk away from the table with unity in hand.

Lisa Beth Moore, Youngstown

Right to pursue fracking issue merits protection

The “Our Voice” column of Nov. 12 spoke to the charter amendment to ban fracking in the city. It was referred to as a “misguided”, “foolhardy”, and “futile” initiative by “self-righteous” and “clueless” anti-fracking leaders who refuse to accept a “hulking” defeat though failing six times since it began “polluting” city elections in 2013.

I get it. “Our Voice” is so fed up with these continuous attempts that it is recommending placing limits on the number of times a defeated issue can be on the ballot. Talk about misguided!

Even if all the adjectives used to characterize the leaders and efforts of Frack Free Mahoning Valley are accurate (they’re not), it is clearly and completely unwise to promote restricting democracy in any way. How many tries did it take before the right to vote was extended to all?

Disagree with their proposal but, never take away their right to try, try and try again. The citizen’s right of initiative petition is much too valuable to even consider limiting it. As long as people use thoughtful consideration when voting, that’s restriction enough.

Richard Fogo, Youngstown

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