Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss officials changing parties, KC housing and missionary John Chau

Who changed?

A Sunday letter writer bemoaned GOP office-holders who have changed parties. (19A) As I understand the situation, they had been members of the Republican Party for many years. In the last few years, their party changed its beliefs. It is now different from what they believed.

There is no one to blame but the Republican Party itself.

Stephen Shaffer


This isn’t progress

After reading Sunday’s front-page story, “KC area becoming less racially segregated,” I agree that racial segregation in Kansas City is a vital topic. However, I think the authors mischaracterize the nature of racial- and class-based inequality in the city.

The increasing whiteness of the urban core and the increasing minority migration to suburban areas are not celebratory indexes of diversity and integration. They are outcomes of urban policies that allow private developers to dictate our housing market and cost of living.

Kansas City is allowing developers to create increasingly unaffordable urban housing under the guise of “urban renewal” and redevelopment. This contributes to the suburbanization of poverty and pushes low-income minority residents to the city periphery.

The fact that the urban core is becoming whiter doesn’t mean that Kansas City is becoming more diverse. It simply means that our geographies of inequality are changing, but they are becoming no less oppressive.

Chhaya Kolavalli

Kansas City

Let’s move, KU

As a University of Kansas graduate and Jayhawks basketball fan, it astounds me that KU athletic officials seem to just be sitting on their hands waiting for the notoriously slow-moving NCAA to rule on Silvio De Sousa’s case.

Get up and file a suit to force the issue, KU. Do something to get De Sousa off the bench before you lose another star like you did with Billy Preston.

Dick Horn

Overland Park

Like dominoes

If the partial federal government shutdown extends to months, there will be a chain reaction of discord.

About 12 percent of Internal Revenue Service employees are working. Information centers are closed. Revised tax documents are in the draft stage and will not be accepted for reporting purposes. Most states that impose income taxes, including Missouri, require that copies of federal tax returns accompany state returns. That will be impossible without updated 2018 forms.

The Coast Guard is severely weakened in force and response time.

If a border wall were erected, the dope and people smugglers would adapt. The wall would not stop drugs if Americans mindlessly stake their lives on narcotic highs. Drug shipments would go from embarkation points on Mexican shores to disembarkation on U.S. beaches. Drones, with dual controls on both sides of the wall, could easily transport drugs.

It is fortunate that President Donald Trump can’t shut down the U.S. Postal Service. If he did, total turmoil would erupt and nothing could protect him from the fallout.

Ralph J. DeLisle

Buffalo, Mo.

The wrong spirit

Missionary John Chau smuggled himself onto North Sentinel Island. So he, as well as All Nations — the Kansas City missionary training agency he attended — surely must have known this was illegal. As Christians, they should have known that the Bible has many verses telling the people to obey the law.

For example, Romans 3:31 says: “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means. On the contrary, we uphold the law.”

The population of North Sentinel Island is small, essentially leading a Stone Age existence. The Sentinelese have rejected, often violently, any contact with the outside world. To protect them from exploitation and disease, India bans visitation to the island.

Chau and All Nations arrogantly believe that it is their duty to impose their religious and cultural views on the whole world. This is no different from radical Islamists who want to impose Islam on everybody.

In her Dec. 5 guest commentary, “The story of John Chau’s death is still unfolding,” All Nations’ Mary Ho tried to prove her innocence by saying, “We were not involved in (the trip’s) final planning or execution.” (17A)

Pontius Pilate did the same by washing his hands after ordering the crucifixion of Jesus.

Shirish R. Shah

Overland Park

A sad disparity

A recent news report from the BBC expressed serious concern with London’s homicide rate, which reached 132 in 2018. This is in a city of more than 8 million people. For the same period, Kansas City — a community of fewer than half a million — experienced 135 such crimes.

Are Americans a more violent people, or is the difference related to the massive number of firearms available on our streets?

Timothy Kelley

Kansas City