Change must start in our own hearts

Intolerance: unwillingness to accept views, beliefs or behavior that differ from one’s own (definition from Oxford Dictionary on-line). Note the word “unwillingness” — it does not say unable or incapable.

Intolerance is the nucleus of the atom of racism. It feeds racism, giving it the energy to survive. A nucleus is also defined as: the central and most important part of an object, movement or group, forming the basis for its activity and growth.

Intolerance feeds racism and division (racism is on both sides). Each of us must be willing to change our hearts and our views of those who are not the same as we are. (This includes me personally).

We can bring up our children to have the same values and views that we do, but we cannot change others. We cannot change them anymore than they should expect us to change our views to be more like theirs. Change your heart — agree to disagree. We are able and capable of changing ourselves.

We need peace in this country. Insanity has taken hold. Each of us needs to rethink how we see others. That includes those on both ends of this chasm of different lifestyles and all those people in between. All the statues can be removed and history books altered, but the intolerance will remain if we don’t start within our own hearts.

Violence and destruction are never the solution. You don’t have to like a person and their lifestyle and behavior, but you must love them, God says. Be kind. Be willing and be tolerant; and pray for them and for yourself for strength.

Mary Howell

Owensboro

Remember history so that we don’t repeat it

For the first four score and seven years of this great nation, and for centuries leading up to that moment, Democrats did some pretty terrible things to the Blacks of America. As a Republican, when I hear about Juneteenth Day, I think to myself, “You’re welcome,” and I wonder why no one thanks me, and then I realize ... I didn’t do any of that. I didn’t fight any Confederate soldiers or free any slaves. I have no reason to feel that way.

To my liberal friends, I’d like to offer these healing words: You didn’t, either. You have no reason to feel ashamed.

Yes, what happened in America was wrong. No, it should never happen again, but before you remove this statue, I want you to remember just one word, Auschwitz. Everyone remembers what happened in Auschwitz. No Jew anywhere in the world wants Auschwitz to reopen and resume practice, but I doubt there’s a single Jew that wants it torn down either, because they made a promise to those that didn’t make it, that what happened would never be forgotten.

No one wants to see a rise of slavery or a rise in white supremacy. Just like Auschwitz, we know it was wrong. No one denies it. Terrible things did happen, but we’re better human beings now, and just like Auschwitz, let’s keep that promise to future generations ... never again.

Chris Holt

Owensboro

Nothing honorable about Confederate statue

In her June 27 letter to the editor, Cynthia Evans couched the validity of the Confederate statue in Owensboro by expounding on America’s history of unbiased racism, evil doled out to Native Americans, Asians, Latinos, as well as blacks, a perspective unique to Euro-American’s as if demeaning all cultures equally other than your own has merit. Break out a copy of Kipling’s White Man’s Burden!

She then speaks of police being necessary to keep order and to avoid anarchy and eventually military takeover. Good intentions aside, I can’t help but ponder how different her position would be if she were Black and experiencing that order being perpetrated on people who look like her, murdered by men dressed and armed like soldiers. Soldiers that seldom if ever face any consequence for taking the lives of so many unarmed civilians, not even collateral damage. Even in war there are war crimes!

Statues, and most certainly monuments, are erected to honor great figures in history, and Evans makes a point to tell us the statue in Owensboro was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Does she know that the United Daughters of The Confederacy also erected a monument to the Klu Klux Klan near Charlotte, N.C.? I wonder if she knows the UDC is the premier group in America that has a long history of “white-washing” actual history in order to harmonize the evil apartheid that was American slavery? The right of states to declare people as property? Seriously? That is the real departure from history in evil script.

For me, that statue is the tombstone over honor itself.

Randal Lanham

Owensboro

Remove statue to show we believe that all men and women are created equal

The June 28 Messenger-Inquirer featured an excellent article on Page 1 about the difficulty African-Americans face having a future in Owensboro.

On the Opinion page was an In My View from Marcus Bosley that explained why that difficulty exists. Bosley’s misty-eyed glorification of the Confederacy lacked only a comment that “the slaves never had it so good.”

Mr. Bosley cherry-picked what he considers bad behavior from the Black Lives Matter movement but could find nothing bad to say about the Confederacy. It was just more of the tired lies we’ve heard for more than a century. The Civil War wasn’t about slavery, it was about “states’ rights.” Yes, the states’ right to own people. There was no other “right” at issue, which anyone interested in history beyond a statue could learn.

Sure, slavery was wrong, but the people who fought for the Confederacy “believed they were right,” and therefore are heroes, Mr. Bosley said. How convenient. That’s the same argument used for every society that stood by and did nothing while an atrocity was committed. Bosley claims to find slavery abhorrent, while wanting us to believe the people who favored it deserve honor. They don’t.

We have a statue on our courthouse lawn honoring a Confederacy in which Kentucky was not a member. It was installed not for honor, but as a reminder that some people aren’t considered equal to others. Remove it from our public square and say that we believe that all men and women are created equal.

Dan Heckel

Owensboro

KWC forum did not present both sides fairly

I attended an “education forum” on June 25 at Kentucky Wesleyan College about the courthouse statue. I thought I knew quite a bit about the statue, but I wanted to learn more.

The speakers were all one-sided and most, if not all, were liberals. Limited comments were accepted or welcomed from the public, especially from any wishing to present opposing views. This forum was a joke and an embarrassment to all the sponsors.

Years ago, I was a presenter at KWC during forums on two major issues. Large crowds were present, and both sides were allowed to ask questions. The audience got a fair and balanced view from opposing sides. It’s sad, but not surprising, that KWC, Brescia, OCTC and WKU are bowing to political correctness.

Gary Boswell

Owensboro

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