photo for pulse

In this July 10, 2018 file photo,  a protest sign has been placed on a fence outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash.

Justice for immigrants

A group called Mothers and Others has been gathering on 72nd and Hickory Street every Thursday morning since last July to express outrage and grief at the deaths of seven immigrant children at the hands of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The group recently added “Justice and Mercy for Immigrants” to its name, indicating alarm over increasingly cruel U.S. policies at the U.S./Mexico border and the ghastly treatment of immigrants in packing plants and other “essential” work situations during the pandemic. COVID-19, racism and the horrors of police brutality are on our minds now.

But the detention, deportation and abuse of families who have fled their homes seeking safety continues. The internationally recognized right to seek asylum is all but decimated in the United States. Thousands of parents and children will never be reunited. Their grief and despair are now part of our national history. Regrettably, there are still some U.S. citizens who express the sentiment that it’s not our problem and “they” should stay in their own country.

Yes, it is difficult to process the growing awareness of systemic injustice and prejudice that is part of human history. But this is an important moment. It has potential to allow all of us to learn, create a new ethic and explore the complexity of our interconnectedness.

We might build a world based on acceptance and equality of all. That is possible only if as a society we do the hard work of “fact-checking” U.S. history and examining our own attitudes.

Kathleen Erickson, RSM, Omaha

Stopping the violence

The protests are fine until it turns into destruction of property, looting, setting fires when angry, and totally disobeying police. We know the cause of Black Lives Matter is valid, but also all lives matter is valid. That’s where the protests went awry.

Please, parents, teach your young sons to obey policemen when stopped, hands up, no back talk, yes sir, and do as they are asked, no matter what race you are.

Otherwise there may be more lives lost, police officers fearing for their lives or quitting their jobs. It’s a win-win if everyone obeys. Policemen need to learn to de-escalate, and if someone runs away, don’t shoot, just call for back up and let them go temporarily. Recently, there were two incidents in which black men have lost their lives after fighting with policemen, and several policemen’s lives and their families’ lives ruined.

Most reasonable white people mourned with the black people when the policeman put his knee to George Floyd’s neck, and agree the policeman deserves the harshest of punishment.

Policemen do need to learn de-escalation to protect all concerned, including themselves. It’s time to put an end to the violence for the sake of all citizens.

Please obey the police, and I believe they will also do their part to try to be more sensitive. Stop the violence. Otherwise, the relationship between blacks and whites will take one step forward and many steps back. What good will that do?

Janice Walker, Omaha

If no masks, then a lawsuit?

Gov. Ricketts, I see that you are opposed to requiring masks in county offices. Will you also require us to sign waivers that we won’t sue you or the state if we get sick after visiting these places?

Ann Kathleen Doig, Omaha

Action against smoking, vaping

The COVID-19 crisis has and will rightfully have the attention of the Nebraska Legislature. Two bills of utmost importance: LB 1064 raises the legal age to purchase cigarettes, cigars, electronic nicotine delivery systems and tobacco products to 21 years. LB 840 expands the Nebraska Clean Indoor Act to restrict the use of e-cigarettes indoors in public places and places of employment. Both were undecided prior to the Capitol being shut down.

Considering the current health crisis, I would like to express how important the passing of this legislation would be for the state of Nebraska. COVIS-19 is a virus that affects the respiratory system initially. Tobacco and vape use compromise the user’s respiratory system and puts them at a higher risk, since emerging evidence suggests that exposure to aerosols from e-cigarettes harms the cells of the lung and slows the ability to respond to infection. In an April 6, 2020, report the National Institute of Drug Abuse stated, “the research community should be alert to the possibility that it could hit some populations with substance use disorders particularly hard. Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape.”

When the Nebraska legislation is back in session, LB1064 and LB840 should be allowed to pass to help protect the health of not only our Nebraska youth but also those who may become susceptible to other diseases and illnesses in the future. It should not take a pandemic like this to show how tobacco and vaping can increase the user’s vulnerability to illness and death.

April Dixon, Omaha,

Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition

11-Worth closing

The old saying “Two wrongs don’t make a right” applies to the 11-Worth situation. I disagree with Rev. Richard Lane Bailey (Pulse, June 21) when he says it’s a joke to claim the employees and customers are being harmed. To threaten someone’s livelihood and possibly show up at their house is not a joke. A statement about rubber bullets is equally bad. However, as far as I know, police do not base policy or enforcement on the whims of a racist comment.

The point is, the threat of violence is wrong on either count or parties involved.

Larry Kaiser, Omaha

Bring back the 11-Worth

I was sickened to read the article in The World-Herald on Thursday about Tony Caniglia shutting the doors to the 11-Worth Café. I have been eating there for the last 25 years. I finally found the greatest Denver omelet I have ever tasted.

And why! Because Mr. Caniglia’s son decided to post on his Facebook page that it was time that we put away the rubber bullets used in the recent protests to the lethal kind. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” — thank you, Donald Trump. And David Mitchell just wanted an apology and a name change for a dish that had been on the menu for God knows how long. Not sure if Mr. Mitchell actually ate there but if so, it obviously didn’t bother him until the Cancel Culture became the rage of the “Woke.”

I would hope that Mr. Caniglia Jr. and Mr. Mitchell would take the time to apologize to the hardworking staff (many there for years) who are now out of a job. They made that place hum on the Saturday and Sunday mornings when I ate there.

Say it ain’t so, Tony. I need my Denver omelet!

Michael Connor, Omaha

University fairness

In response to the June 12 guest editorial from Jacqueline Font-Guzmán proposing how to make universities agents of social change, let me ask a few questions about her specific proposals:

“Create ‘courageous spaces’ on campus so that everyone feels free to name the violence, racism ... .” Great, that’s always good. And when white males name the sexism and racism directed against them in hiring and promotion, will you show them the door, or listen? When conservatives talk about the suppression of their voices (less than 10% of faculty nationwide identify as conservative, and they know to keep quiet), will you listen and do something about it?

“... prioritize hiring and retention of faculty and staff who belong to underrepresented groups.” You can either optimize merit or diversity, but not both. So, you are arguing to bring down your standards. Creighton is a private university and is entitled to do that. State-supported universities and colleges would violate the law if they did.

Now the real agenda comes out. We thought it was about police brutality, but it is really about giving jobs and promotions to the less qualified and keeping conservative voices away from college campuses.

Dwayne Ball, Ph.D., Bellevue

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