I was shocked at Monday’s editorial cartoon from Glenn McCoy depicting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with an exaggerated, stereotypically Jewish nose. (9A) I showed it around, and people asked, “This is recent?”
I understand caricature, and this isn’t it. This is anti-Semitism on the editorial page, where the readers deserve better. Zuckerberg’s ethnicity should be irrelevant to the legitimate topic of the cartoon. It simply sullies the message, the artist and the newspapers that publish it.
You can probably ascertain from my first name that I am not Jewish. But I do teach an advanced college course in stereotyping and prejudice, and this week focuses on those realities in the U.S. today. You can bet this editorial cartoon will be Exhibit A for the section on current anti-Semitism.
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Please seek out artists — left, right, center or loony — who do not traffic in the ancient stereotypes with a history of contributing to hate crimes, war, murder and genocide. Greater Kansas City is barely past the recent murder spree, motivated by anti-Semitism, of F. Glenn Miller Jr.
The Kansas City Star has a duty of care, and it was not employed in this case.
Power of print
It’s déjà vu all over again. During the Vietnam War and Watergate, television was all powerful and arrogant. The joke was, “The words no CEO wants to hear: Mike Wallace from ‘60 Minutes’ is here to ask you a few questions.”
But newspapers brought us the truth. Now it is social media, with President Donald Trump as master, that are all powerful. Once again, though, print media — The New York Times and The Washington Post — are ferreting out the truth.
Thomas J. Hogan
I spent 12 years officiating basketball in the Kansas City area. I discontinued when health problems interfered. During my time as an official, it seemed to me that the attitudes and behaviors of the coaches had more influence over the game atmosphere than any single call — or no-call — by a game official.
If the coaches’ behavior showed respect and courtesy toward officials, the behavior of the players and fans seemed to follow in line. If not, then the atmosphere might have deteriorated.
There are some coaches whose sideline behavior should earn them an ejection but seldom does. Officials curry favor from coaches because their evaluations can elevate or lower an official’s status.
Many of us have witnessed coaches acting in a manner that would get most teachers disciplined. But if the win-loss records are acceptable, school administrators seem to ignore coaches’ offenses.
Wouldn’t it be great to see a school administrator send a coach to the locker room for objectionable sideline behavior, as opposed to an official having to do so? Only when school administrators get serious will the game atmosphere improve.
In the last couple of weeks, I have read two letters in The Star condemning marijuana, comparing it to all manner of other substance abuses. This is ridiculous.
Studies have overwhelmingly shown that using pot does not lead to harder drugs. A recent study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse says, “The majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, ‘harder’ substances.”
We have ample evidence that the tide in favor of its legalization is turning, with 29 states having legalized medical marijuana, recreational or both. Twenty-nine states. That’s more than half, folks.
And if the hundreds of thousands of people like me who are working to get it legalized in Missouri have any say, a measure will be on the ballot in November. Look for it.
Vote for legalization in Missouri.
Timothy Earl Osburn
A tech update
Wires strung on tall wooden poles still transmit power, just as they have for 150 years.
Periodically, storms knock them down, power is lost and entire cities go dark. Workers then risk life and limb to repair the damage. This cycle happens over and over again. Some Puerto Ricans are still waiting for power restoration after the last hurricane hit the island.
Engineers have accomplished great things, from sending astronauts into the vastness of space to manufacturing microcomputers that fit in our pockets. They must be capable of inventing an independent power delivery unit for dwellings that would not be affected by storms or similar problems.
This would benefit the entire world.