Speak Up

Get up, stand up

In appreciation of the First Amendment of our Constitution, the right of free speech by public demonstration should be remembered by an annual Right To Protest day in accordance with our finest traditions.

I would be privileged to fly my flag each year on such a day.

Alvin M. Chester, Miami

Tom Wolfe tribute

The call came late one night about 10 years ago. Dr. Barth Green of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis was calling to inform me that he had recommended me to Tom Wolfe as a historical resource for his next book, a novel centering on Miami.

I heard from Tom the next day, with an invitation to join him and his wife, Sheila, at the Standard Hotel for breakfast and a discussion about the Miami of yesterday and today. Thus began for me a wonderful, year-long journey with the celebrated writer that included tours through different Miami neighborhoods and along its waterways, and lengthy discussions over dinners at restaurants ranging from the Versailles to Joe’s Stone Crab.

In our times together, I was struck by Tom’s humility, his deep interest in seemingly everything, a wry wit accompanied by an elfin grin, and, always, his bespoke white suits. Most importantly, he was a great listener who wished to absorb as much knowledge as possible. Tom eventually returned to New York to write his Miami story, Back to Blood, which appeared in 2012.

I last saw him at the Miami International Book Fair that year. He was very excited about several other books he planned to write on a broad array of topics, and with the full expectation that despite his advancing years, he would live long enough to complete these projects. Though he died on May 14, he gave us a lifetime of good reading.

Paul S. George, Miami

Inhumane policy

Presidential Chief of Staff John Kelly said that our government’s policy of separating the parents and children of families seeking refuge is a “tough deterrent.” The hope of this policy is that by deliberately causing this suffering, it will make refugee-seeking families think twice about coming to America. In addition to the pain caused by taking a young child from its mother, we know that these separations can cause permanent damage to the child’s personality, resulting in lifelong depression and addictions.

In the 1940s, we saw the Nazis as evil mainly because of their cruelty toward other human beings. Deliberate cruelty toward others is inhumane behavior. At Nuremberg, we made a statement to the world. No matter how legal an inhumane policy is, it is evil and must be rejected by civilized people.

Daniel R. Collins, Hollywood

Traffic mayhem

Re David Bersch’s May 25 letter, “Miami drivers,” he couldn’t be more correct. Miami has the most rude, aggressive and dangerous drivers. How negative was his experience while driving in Miami-Dade County that he felt compelled to write a letter to the editor to point this out? How pathetically embarrassing.

Unfortunately, it will not make a single ounce of difference, as these drivers are also arrogant and moronic, and simply don’t care.

His experience, however, is but a microcosm of what happens every day on our streets — to residents and tourists alike. But I suspect that we have already passed the point of no return in trying to reverse this ugly phenomenon. Miami has consistently placed in the top 10 of many different lists of “worst cities for driving.”

Luis Cuellar, Weston

NFL players

The May 25 opinion by columnist Shaun Harper, “There would be no NFL without black players. They can fight the anthem policy,” alluded to the recent NFL ruling requiring players to either stand or remain in their respective locker rooms during the playing of our national anthem. Harper pointed out that without African American players, who make up 70 percent of the rosters, there would be no NFL.

As with many of today’s tunnel-visioned columnists, Harper fails to see, or chooses to ignore, that without millions of patriotic football fans who love our country and respect our anthem, there also would be no NFL, and those players would now be job hunting or perhaps flipping burgers just to make ends meet.

Larry Solomon, West Kendall

NFL and race

The May 25 opinion by Shaun Harper on the new NFL anthem policy is like reading an opinion by Herald columnist Leonard Pitts. One can anticipate all the events being labeled as racist, anti-black, etc.

However, Harper states that of 32 head coaches, only seven are black. That represents 20 percent. About 12 percent of the U.S. population is African American, so that is more than what would be expected in an even distribution.

Guillermo A. Martinez, Coral Gables

Kids killing kids

It is not the North Koreans nor the Russians who are killing our children. Our children are being killed by our own children. They don’t use sticks or stones. They use guns. Are our elected officials so enthralled by the NRA that they will not support anything the NRA opposes?

What about it, President Trump? What about it, Ileana? Marco? Why the silence?

When Republicans blocked Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Senator McConnell said that no Republican can vote for a candidate that is opposed by the NRA. How many more children have to die before our leaders prize the lives of our children more than NRA dollars?

Howard Golden, Miami

Consistently crude

Anyone condemning the NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, who might now rush to defend Roseanne Barr’s freedom of speech, would do well to remember her mocking rendition of the anthem in 1990, when she screamed and screeched out the lyrics, then ended the song by grabbing her crotch.

Respectful, hard-working middle class families in America’s heartland deserve better representation than this grating, sarcastic entertainer who has gone from merely annoying to downright offensive.

Silvia Lopez, Kendall

Decency declines

Why we are talking about Roseanne Barr and not the fact that the present administration thinks it is just fine to rip children from their parents’ arms? We have come so far from the decency of what this country used to stand for. Are we living in Nazi Germany?

Kate Arce, Miami Beach

Never ending case

I must give Trump credit: He is smarter than I thought. Every day, there is a new outrageous action by Trump and/or his cabal for Mueller to investigate. Thus, Mueller’s investigation can never wrap up, and Trump gets to continue to break every law and ethical standard in existence with impunity.

Frederick Mitchel, Fort Lauderdale