Success offers no escape from racism for blacks

Success offers no escape from racism for blacks

For most of my adult life, I have made it part of my daily routine to read The Vindicator. While I have not always agreed with everything I’ve read, I have never felt compelled to comment, complain, or respond to anything that had been written. That was until I read the July 16 column by Bertram de Souza titled “How to combat racism”.

I should have stopped at the first paragraph because what followed made me so upset that I had to wait a day before I could calm myself long enough to write this response.

First Mr. de Souza did acknow-ledge that racism does indeed exist. Then he dipped into the “Stupidity DNA” and said, “The antidote for racist behavior can be found in one word: Success.”

Whose success? Ask any educated successful black man or woman if being successful ever made them less of a target for racist behavior or made them immune from being called the N-word or being discriminated against in the workplace based only on the color of their skin or being stopped and questioned for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or driving while black, and I could go on and on. Would being educated and successful have saved Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Michael Brown, Eric Gardner, Yvette Smith or any of the other over 250 black men, women and children killed by police in 2016? When do you think, Mr. de Souza, was the last time a police officer asked a black person how successful he or she was before he harassed, arrested or killed them? Racism has nothing to do with success or achievement.

You commented on the forum where racism was discussed. Where were you when they talked about white privilege? Or the three types of racism or the comments made by the mayoral candidates concerning how racism can be combated? If you heard anything they said, it truly baffles me to understand how the only conclusion you could make is that if we strive for success and speak proper English racism will not be an issue.

I’m a black woman who is educated, successful and lives in Youngstown. I’m from a family of educated and successful black men and women, and I could line them up one by one and they would tell you their truth: No matter what you do or achieve in this country and specifically in Youngstown, the one thing that can never be changed is the color of your skin. At the end of the day for those having a master’s degree, speaking perfect English and making a six-figure salary, what a racist will see is just another n-----!

Shelia Triplett, Youngstown

Naloxone must be used to protect right to life

The article titled “To Revive or Let Die” in last Sunday’s Vindicator classified as a “debate” the use of naloxone by first responders. It certainly caught my attention and compels comment.

The Vindicator’s accompanying before and after photos of the beautiful young woman shown in the article are a testament to the power of proper treatment and the result it may have on young lives.

Unfortunately, the culture of death that this generation has adopted is reflected not only by withholding lifesaving drugs from addicts but in euthanasia and abortion as well. Life is sacred, and we do not possess the knowledge or authority to disrupt it. In our newfound “throwaway society”, we tend to treat lives as we treat paper napkins, milk containers, plastic spoons, and, yes, even wives and children.

Hippocrates, a notable ancient Greek physician, authored the still relevant Hippocratic Oath. The modern version contains the following phrase and should serve as a guide not only for physicians but for EMTs, their supervisors, and all in authority making decisions relative to the use of naloxone.

“I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.”

There need not be a debate over the use of naloxone. There is absolutely no question that all means necessary to save the life of any human being must be employed and anyone withholding a drug designed specifically to restore breathing induced by drug overdoses must reconsider his position.

Art See, Canfield

Let’s stop reviving opioid addicts with naloxone

Apparently, politi- cally correct do-gooders think reviving overdosed addicts is a “wake-up call” for them to change their ways. Wrong! Most of them go right back to the drugs hours after being revived and often days later have overdosed again.

So much for almost dying. They haven’t learned a lesson and/or try to get treatment. They just keep doing the same stupid thing over and over again. As a taxpayer, I’m taxed out (how many of them pay for the naloxone)? I see no sense or end to giving them anything to bring them back to life – for what? So they can live another day to get stoned again.

You don’t have to take a survey to know they don’t want or care (quote from a bleeding-heart paramedic) ‘‘to have a chance to live long enough to address their addiction.” I’m not heartless and have some pity for addicts, but getting treatment is slim to none on their list.

Naloxone is just an enabler to keep taking opiates. They figure if they OD, they’ll get the naloxone and keep on taking drugs.

Why have the OD rates risen so much since naloxone came out? When people really get sick and can’t get an ambulance because they’re tied up with overdosing addicts – that’s the last straw.

Personally, my thinking of those chronic overdosers, due to their choices is: “They’re on the ledge – let them jump!”

Terry Gallagher, Youngstown

Mature Services program must be revived for seniors

A federal govern- ment program, officially called SCSEP and commonly called the Mature Services Program, helps low- income seniors. To participate, a senior citizen applies, attends an information meeting and passes a few basic tests.

If they have a low enough income to be eligible, the senior becomes a trainee at a nonprofit agency and works up to 20 hours per week and is paid minimum wage ($8.15/hour in Ohio). This wage is paid by the U.S. Department of Labor, not by the nonprofit.

The program gives the trainees experience working in a new career so they may be better able to find employment. It is neither welfare nor “workfare,” but a training program. Training is available in various jobs and skills.

Training positions exist at agencies throughout our community. It has benefited thousands of our seniors and allowed them to live a little more comfortably while searching for regular employment. In many cases, participants have not reached the age to be eligible for Social Security benefits but still have trouble finding jobs because of their age.

Last week, the suspension of all work by SCSEP participants was announced due to the DoL’s failure to send out notice of grant awards and to release funds to pay the enrollees.

The government didn’t pay its bills, so seniors aren’t allowed to work. The hope is that this is a temporary problem, but no one is sure; no one seems to know why it even happened.

The SCSEP Program is one that the Trump administration’s proposed budget would kill, but of course that budget has not been passed.

Could this failure to release the funds be an extra-legal attempt to end the program de facto without actually ending it legally? This action has already been devastating to many area seniors, especially to those who have no income other than that of their Mature Services earnings. We need to know what is going on, and we need these funds (which Congress has already budgeted) to be released.

Pat Russo, Niles