816 Opinion

Letters to the editor

Conversations on race

A recent letter to the editor in the 816 insert asked everyone to talk about race. Otherwise we would continue to hide our discrimination. For years in the United States, race restrictions were posted.

No eating here. Don’t drink here. Ride in the back of the bus, and many other signs were put up. Open use of the N-word was a part of many every day conversations.

In almost all cases, discrimination practices are taught and taught in the home. Small children mimic their parents.

Talking about race is like a preacher in church. It is talk, talk, talk and hope it sticks someday.

Changing hearts is not the result of a short conversation. Changing hearts is only done by the individual themselves.

External conversation may or may not have an effect. Just ask the preacher.

The message should be that politics, religion, race, etc. are not forbidden subjects but should be open to polite conversation exchanges at any time. The key is polite conversation without brow-beating or haranguing.

Don’t put me on a guilt trip.

Richard Blaisdell

Kansas City

Greenwood mayor

Apathy, more than a word, it is a state of mind that will destroy our democracy. The midterm elections demonstrated that voters do not take the time to learn about the issues and did not vote.

Bad things will happen. Kansas and Missouri are perfect examples. Both states have Republican super majorities. Both have huge problems.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is destroying his state with his conservative experiment. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon cannot veto bad legislation without facing an override.

But apathy also is destroying governments. In my little town of Greenwood, Missouri, with a population of about 5,000 people, just over 400 people voted recently.

Mayor Marvin Megee now has dictatorial power. He now has four aldermen who will give him total support.

Everyone who has every opposed him has been fired, including at least four police officers, or have been defeated by his chosen candidates. Volunteer park board members challenged him when he hired people to cut trees in a park without consulting them; his solution was to dissolve the board and make himself the only person to appoint new members.

Gene W. DeVaux


Banneker School

Su Bacon's update on the preservation of the old Banneker School building in Parkville was appreciated (4-15, 816, “Preservation is the priority”). Her story might have noted that this was the only education afforded African-American children there until the 1950s.

No high school was offered. Anyone wishing secondary education had to leave home and attend Lincoln High School in Kansas City. We should not forget this shameful treatment of black students who only wanted the education that supposedly was legally available in this segregated state.

And Parkville was just one of the towns around Kansas City that treated its black citizens so shabbily under Jim Crow.

Darryl Levings

Kansas City

Earth Day activity

It’s Earth Day, and there will be a Southside Kansas City litter cleanup at 8 a.m. today. Volunteers are to meet in the parking lot of Home Depot on Bannister Road and U.S. 71.

Residents may pick up Missouri Department of Transportation provided trash bags, for cleanup on their streets, or help with the litter abatement on U.S. 71 and Interstate 470.

We would ask that all Adopt -A-Highway adopters work that day to clear the litter from their adopted roadways.

We encourage all citizens to not litter and to dispose of their trash properly. Instead of throwing your trash out your car window we suggest that you put it in a can.

Mark Cipolla

Lee’s Summit