In his column “On race and the ‘tea party' ” (Page B11, Tuesday), Leonard Pitts Jr. seems to pit the races against each other. His objective is to identify racism, and he is using Keith Olbermann of MSNBC as a backstop to pin all tea party members as racist.
Olbermann, championed by Pitts, is the alter ego of Rush “the mouth” Limbaugh. The majority in this country have great difficulty digesting either man.
Are there racists in the tea party? I'm sure there are, just as there are racists in Pitts' sphere and elsewhere, but he is unable to see them through the political filter that shades his own objectivity.
The American experience tells us no subsequent generation of Americans leaves the same America to their children that they inherited. One thing of which I am certain, there are many fewer racists today than when I grew up, and they become fewer and fewer as the decades pass. But to think they can ever be entirely eliminated is not realistic, for they exist in both likely and unlikely places where they wallow in the weakness of human fear.
Pitts paints everyone in the tea party who obviously does not share Olbermann's and his political views as racist, or at least it appears so. Every disagreement is not racist-motivated or racist-driven, but some in our society are unequipped to tell the difference.
Michael R. Wimberly, Houston
Regarding “On race and the ‘tea party' ” by Leonard Pitts, when an opinion piece begins with a quote from Keith Olbermann, I'm better off reading my cereal box.
Ellen Murphy, Houston
I pay a fair amount of attention to politics. I believe that the tea party movement was born out of frustration with the status quo and a lack of accountability in politics.
President Obama was elected because he offered a promise of hope and change, of which he has delivered neither. People put his skin color aside to elect him.
Pitts alluded to Obama's “fierce intelligence.” Have I missed something? I see fierce arrogance, fierce partisanship and a fierce detachment with the electorate of 2010.
Someone who is fiercely intelligent does not need a teleprompter to speak to a classroom of elementary children. People of intelligence should be able to “read between the lines” as well. Hello, November elections!
Don N. Lee Jr., Dickinson
In his attempt to characterize the tea party movement as racist, Leonard Pitts ignores the fact that President Obama's personal approval numbers are, and consistently have been, higher than his job performance numbers. To accept Pitts' premise, one would have to believe that a significant number of Americans hold racist views toward what the president is doing, not who he is. Sorry, that dog just won't hunt.
President Obama was elected by a voting population that crossed all racial, ethnic, cultural and religious lines. It is not his race, it is that he is either unwilling or unable to fulfill his campaign promises that has fueled much of the tea party backlash against his administration.
Rick Fontes, Waller
Bias doesn't get his blame
I want to correct the Chronicle's characterization of my position relating to the results of this week's Republican primary election (“Incumbents blame losses on ethnic bias,” Page B1, Friday). I have never in my life directly felt the effects of racial bias, nor have I ever accused anyone of exhibiting prejudice against me due to my Hispanic heritage. This includes my assessment of the Republican voters in this week's primary election.
I am more determined than ever to work for our Republican principles and the leaders who uphold them. Now, more than ever, we need to rally around qualified and credible leadership. Our future and our way of life are at stake.
Leo Vasquez, Harris County tax assessor-collector
How dare we?
Regarding “Up or down; Bring on the congressional vote on health care reform. Let's get it settled” (Page B10, Friday), nice editorial. The Chronicle along with President Obama have proved yourselves incapable of doing or supporting the will of the people. Another giant government program to burden the taxpayers so Obama will have at least one accomplishment.
How dare you? Is this presidency so important that bankrupting the nation is OK in your opinion? I am ashamed of my own hometown paper.
William Bailey, Houston
Warning on prostate story
I read with great interest Todd Ackerman's article “Caution urged on testing for prostate cancer” (Page A1, Thursday). However, I was disappointed to see his story led with the overly broad statement that “routine prostate cancer screening can lead to harmful and unnecessary treatment.”
Your coverage of the American Cancer Society's revised prostate cancer guidelines is absolutely correct — improved education efforts are needed. What you missed is that while prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and digital rectal exams are not perfect, they are the diagnostic tools we currently have.
Prostate cancer screening is not clear-cut, and testing is an individual decision that men should discuss with their physicians. And because every case is different, there is no single standard that applies to all men, nor should there be at this time. The American Urological Association recommends patients 40 and over talk to their doctors about their own individual risk factors, and about establishing a baseline PSA score to know where they stand.
We can agree that more research and better tests are needed. Until we have them, we must be careful to encourage men to speak openly with their physicians, not scare them away. Doctors and patients cannot make informed treatment decisions if they never know cancer is present.
Anton J. Bueschen, M.D., president, American Urological Association
Dirty political business
E.J. Dionne Jr.'s column “Summit revealed fundamental split” (Page B9, Monday) was right on — as usual. But I would also like an explanation of the terrible anger and many vicious lies the Republicans are putting out these days. I was a Republican for many years, as was my whole family before me, but I'm now looking for an explanation of what has happened to us, a democratic nation founded on a two-party political system. I have always heard that politics is a very dirty business, but this dirty?
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