Letters to the editor

· Aug 1, 2001 Tweet

Bush dupes blacks

Dear Editor:

That the theocratic right dupes minorities to advance its agenda is neither a secret nor a surprise. Here in Wisconsin, for example, African-American families in Milwaukee have for years been used as trump cards by voucher lobbyists who know no bounds in their jihad to breach the constitutional wall of separation between church and state and pull the plug on public schools.

President Bush?s controversial ?faith-based? initiative is the latest scam to fool minorities. Many African-Americans, after being promised the moon by the Bush camp, have fast become unwitting converts to the groundbreaking scheme to fund religion with public tax dollars.

But the phoniest promises are the first to be broken. Those who once sang the praises of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program are now doubting it could hold a stick to the quality of education and opportunities already provided by public schools. And Bush?s pledged $700-million federal ?Compassion Capital Fund,? which rallied many inner-city clergy to support the program he expects will distinguish his presidency, has all but vanished from the Bush budget.

African-Americans in Wisconsin and elsewhere would be further ahead by aligning against the right?s stealth agenda to turn back the clock on civil rights and other liberties we take for granted. I suggest we all take the advice of the NAACP and the Congress of National Black Clergy and steer clear of those bait-and-switch schemes designed to undermine our success as a nation.

Dennis Coyier

Cottage Grove, WI

Attention: America.

Are you aware that much of the rest of the world is
becoming quite worried about the role the United States is playing in
global affairs? Are you aware that America is generally no longer
considered to be a good example for the world to follow? Are you aware
that the rest of the world does not consider the U.S. Constitution to be
infallible? Are you aware that many level-headed people throughout the
globe now consider America to be the greatest current threat to world
peace? This may all come as a surprise to you, but it is increasingly
self-evident to many who live beyond your borders.

There are good reasons for why America was voted off the United Nations
Human Rights Commission. Recently the U.S. was the only participant to
reject a plan to enforce the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
America’s unwillingness to be subject to inspections can be considered
hypocritical given your enthusiastic support of similar inspections in
Iraq. This move follows your efforts to impede the revised greenhouse
protocol, your repudiation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, your
rejection of an international pact on small arms trade, your opposition to
a global agreement to extradite war criminals, your refusal to sign the
international treaty to ban land-mines, and your remarkable failure to
ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. In all of these
cases the U.S. is the only Western democracy to have taken such a stance.

How serious must an issue be before the U.S. is willing to sacrifice
short-term “national interests” for the sake of the long-term common good?
Many other countries, while themselves being far from perfect, are at
least willing to forego a certain degree of national autonomy to work
together, realizing that we now face global issues that affect all of
humanity. And while most Americans might be oblivious to the actions
done on their behalf, this does not excuse them from responsibility.

The predominantly self-serving reasons behind America’s refusal to join
many global agreements is contributing to a growing tide of anti-American
sentiment throughout the world, a phenomenon which is largely of your own
making. So-called “rogue states” are not making threatening noises in
your direction because they fear freedom, as is often claimed. Rather,
for the most part they are acting out of frustration at a global order in
which the American style of economics, politics and culture is essentially
forced upon them, while the financial fruits of this system flow into the
U.S. at a massively disproportionate rate.

Would you be willing to give up your position as the sole super-power if
the fate of the world depended on it, or would you stubbornly hold on till
the end? We live in a globalized world, where the national interests must
now give way to the global interest, given that in the long run they are
one and the same. After all, the destructive effects of global warming
are not restricted by national boundaries, and they care not for “national
sovereignty”. Likewise, alienating the rest of the world with bullying
diplomacy, manipulative economic practices, and military might can only
have damaging long-term effects for the U.S.

I am not denying that there are some wonderful things about the American
experience, but I am suggesting that absolute power is a very dangerous
thing. The U.S. has won so many battles, most significantly the cold war,
and continually sits in judgment of the vanquished. Yet justice will
never be served while only the defeated are tried. Who now will prevent
the U.S. from using its position of global dominance for purely
self-serving ends? All countries would like to cater for their economic
interests, but there are larger issues at stake. To quote from one of
your own former leaders, “…we all inhabit this small planet, we all
breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s future, and we are all
mortal.” God does not love America any more than God loves the rest of
the world. It is time you took a long, hard look in the mirror. Grow up
America, for the sake of us all…

Mark Baumgarten

Perth, Australia

[email protected]


This article was published Aug 1, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Aug 1, 2001 at 12:00 am


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