America must never let diversity upstage unity

America must never let diversity upstage unity

In our country for many years now, diversity has been the mantra preached by political, social, and educational people in authority. When did the mantra of “unity” become obsolete? I think that diversity and unity can co-exist only if one does not overpower the other.

Years ago, legal immigrants (including my grandparents) arrived at our borders hoping for a better life. They were of diverse languages, religions, educations and political backgrounds. My grandparents were eager to assimilate and learned the English language, worked hard, educated their children, supported the government, and eventually became loyal citizens.

They maintained their diverse special religious and cultural holidays and traditions but were very happy and proud to become citizens of the United States of America.

We are not a country like Canada with provinces speaking different languages. We hopefully will not become a country where various cities or states adopt different laws and values very different from those that our country was founded upon.

I agree with the ideology of presidential candidate Donald J. Trump: “We must be very careful that we do not permit people into our country who do not desire to assimilate and support our values.”

Yes, diversity and unity can co-exist in a thriving Republic but when diversity continues to out trump unity, we will begin to fall just as many great republics have in the past.

Shirley McMahon, Canfield

Americans have right to see Trump’s tax returns

We have a choice to make this November on who will lead our nation for the next four years. I suggest we get to know our candidates better. On the one hand, we have a candidate who spent most, if not all, of her adult life under the microscope. Millions upon millions of dollars have been spent investigating Hillary Clinton. Her life is an open book. Millions of dollars more of taxpayer money will be spent by Senate Republicans, looking for anything to disqualify her for president. We know just about all there is to know about the Clintons.

On the other hand, we know very little about Donald Trump. A lot can be gained by taking a look at his tax returns. The IRS says there is no reason why he cannot produce them if he wanted to. This only fuels speculation as to why he is not disclosing his finances. Does he owe big money to China or Russia? Has he paid his fair share of taxes for the advantages he has as a U.S. citizen? Has he “parked” money overseas in secret bank accounts to avoid taxes? Has he really given to charities as he said he has?

Donald Trump has never run for any office of any kind, so we have no track records on what he will do in public office. We know so little about him other than he hates a lot and he reacts too quickly.

We know there will probably not be 11 million immigrants being deported, and there will probably not be a big wall. These were programs that got him the Republican nomination. Donald will backtrack on these promises. How many other things are we being told that will fall by the wayside such as “Obama is not a U.S. citizen.” Remember that one?

Mr. Trump, all we want is to see your taxes. We can then determine who you are. Show us your taxes!

Kenneth Drombosky, Boardman

Warren couple’s electoral math leads to Johnson

It’s presidential elec- tion time again. It reminds me of a time we voted for a class president in high school. The leading contenders were a boy who was the class clown and a girl who was the class cheat. No one liked either one of them. And when the election was held, the class voted in a dull boy who had previously been designated as “most likely to succeed.” He made a great class president.

Now my wife and I can’t agree between Trump or Hillary, as to who would do the most harm to the country. But, our normal voting would probably cancel each other out. So, we have decided to make a pact, and avoid both the clown and the cheat.

We will cast our votes for Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. He’s a dull fellow who has already had a successful life. If he doesn’t win, our votes will not have changed the Trump/Hillary ratio, and we will have voted for someone who could be a good president.

Donald Butler, Warren

Generals for Trump harken to Vietnam era

Beware! Don’t be influenced by all those generals and admirals who are for Donald Trump, especially, all you parents who have young sons or already have someone in the service.

These generals and admirals are the same ones who got us into Vietnam.

Think of that wall in Washington, D.C., with more than 58,000 names in deciding who to cast your presidential vote for.

Alice Dyce, Austintown

Stand up for Kaepernick’s right to sit out anthem

On Aug. 14 before his team’s first preseason game, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick remained seated during the playing of the “The Star-Spangled Banner.” His action was repeated but remained unnoticed until the third preseason game.

When prompted, Kaepernick offered justification stating, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Using statistics compiled by The Guardian, Dr. Todd Beer of Lake Forest College revealed several findings regarding lethal force by police officers. Most tellingly, the data showed that “ ... unarmed whites continue to make up a smaller percentage of victims than their portion of the population, while unarmed blacks make up about 21/2 times the portion of the unarmed victims compared to their portion of the general population.”

When we think about the United States and its values, we take mental shortcuts. Our brains conjure symbols of national pride. Prominent among those symbols is the country’s flag and its namesake anthem; but what is a flag or an anthem without corresponding principles underlying them? The answer is nothing more than arbitrary allegiance and acquiescence.

The real reason we take pride in our flag and anthem is that we, as a people, believe in the principles our country holds dear, principles our military fights to sustain and protect. Included among them are expressive freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment of our Constitution, freedoms that allow us to speak up when we recognize injustices – freedoms that allow us to sit when “The Star-Spangled Banner” sounds through a stadium’s PA system.

On that note, I offer one more consideration.

“The Star-Spangled Banner” originated as a poem written by Francis Scott Key in 1814. The third stanza of that poem contains the following lines: “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave: / And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave, / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Considering the historical context, the “land of the free” came with some qualifications – namely, if you were black, you did not qualify.

If we, as a people, are truly proud of our country, then lambasting those of oppressed and marginalized groups for exercising the freedoms that should be underpinning our pride is not only ironic, it is corrosive. Thus, as Colin Kaepernick sits for the national anthem, I stand with him and his freedom to do so.

Jacob Schriner-Briggs, Youngstown

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