Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss marijuana while pregnant, harping on slavery and Brazil fires

Imprudent policy?

According to the Aug. 23 front-page story, “Missouri doctors can OK pot for pregnant women,” nothing in the state’s medical marijuana law prevents doctors from prescribing cannabis for pregnant women. Given that some of our lawmakers and others only see dollar bills in legalization, I am not surprised.

The article quotes doctors who are strongly opposed to this idea and mentions that Missouri ranks in the bottom half of states in infant and maternal health.

We probably have forgotten the thalidomide debacle. It seems there are some people who will genuinely be helped by medical marijuana, but it pales compared with the potential fallout in the long term.

Linda Lockwood

Kansas City

Complainers’ fault

In his Aug. 21 op-ed, “Yes, you need to hear ‘how hard it was for the slaves,’” (13A) columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. wrote contemptuously about the comments posted by some visitors after touring Southern plantations. He crassly posits “white fragility” as the motivation behind them.

First, if he wants to explore fragility, then please consider those who complain about “microaggressions” and “unconscious bias” and then demand sensitivity training.

What Pitts calls white fragility is really an undercurrent of resentment that he helps foster. By memorializing the sins of our ancestors, cherry-picking the worst transgressions and constantly confronting the current generation with an accusatory narrative, he is keeping old wounds open and doing nothing to promote racial reconciliation. And this newspaper does society a disservice by propagating it.

Joe Fopeano


A new look

I want to shine a light on a new way to view stories in our lives, especially those that can divide us. One such story is about the arrest and deportation of a Mexican gentleman named Florencio Millan last month.

In that narrative, we saw an ICE agent breaking Millan’s car window with his girlfriend beside him and their two children in the backseat.

The new way to view this and all stories in our lives is called “form in matter.” Matter — the people in the story — is the substance that carries the form, which consists of our subjective impressions and conclusions of what we see and feel from the story.

What creates the division between us are the different impressions and conclusions each of us takes from a story. All our conclusions are justified in our minds, and most of us don’t want to listen to an opposing point of view.

Here is the question I want to pose: What is causing our differing points of view, and how can we use these divergent outlooks to come closer as a community?

Scott Hankins

Lee’s Summit

Action needed

The lungs of Earth are on fire. The Brazilian rain forest is experiencing unprecedented fires, and regardless of the reasons, this is accelerating climate change. NBC News reports that this will affect “rainfall patterns around the globe, including the U.S. Midwest, threatening food production and destabilizing ecosystems.”

I am a longtime resident of Kansas City, and I’m soon going to be a father for the first time, so my fears for this planet have red-lined. I feel an urgency to act.

I joined the local Missouri/Kansas chapter of the nationwide 501(c)(4) nonprofit Citizens Climate Lobby. It has backed the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, now pending in the U.S. House of Representatives. This act would raise fees on corporations that have taken little to no action to reduce their carbon footprints, and the revenues from these fees would be returned directly to each American household. This act has bipartisan support, but our united voice must be amplified.

Please help me spread the word about this important legislation. All readers and concerned citizens of this planet need to reach out to our elected officials, including U.S. Reps. Sharice Davids, Steve Watkins, Emanuel Cleaver, Sam Graves and Vicky Hartzler.

Erick DeGrote

Overland Park

Talking points

The Star’s new conservative voice, Michael Ryan, derides U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids’ supposed “evasiveness.” (Aug. 23, 9A, “Davids is hard not to like but also hard to pin down”) He reports The Star’s Editorial Board asking her about “Medicare for All” and her responding, “Not where I’m at.” Ryan calls that ambiguous. Baffling.

Ryan says Medicare for All would be “government-run health care.” That is mythology. Under current Medicare for All proposals, doctors would not be government employees, hospitals would remain in private hands and consumers would have choices.

I encourage Ryan to pin down conservative positions on important issues. Given the policies pursued by the Trump administration and the unbending support for them by conservative lawmakers, the evidence suggests they believe:

▪ It’s fine to have 50 million people without health insurance. That’s anti-life.

▪ There is no reason to be concerned with election security, and it’s OK to make it harder for people to vote. That’s anti-democracy.

▪ Undocumented adults brought to this country as children should be deported, and those seeking asylum from dangerous conditions in their countries should go home. That’s anti-Christian.

This is not to mention climate change denial, attempts to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency and on and on and on.

So, Mr. Ryan, please pin down true conservative positions on the issues for me.

Dave Pack