Speak Up

FIU’s troubles

I was stunned to read Colleen Wright’s skillful summary of the palace intrigues at FIU in her June 20 article, “FIU’s board isn’t happy with the main campus’ namesake. $100M might get them to change it.”

FIU’s board and administration have really lost their way. I thought their nadir was the divisive and doomed attempt to push the Dade County Fair off the only suitable location in the county. Then came the collapse of its ill-conceived triumphal entrance arch onto the Tamiami Trail.

But now FIU’s board has taken an even darker and more damaging course in proposing the removal of Modesto Maidique’s name from the central campus. Maidique’s sin was criticizing the failed bridge fiasco. Is the board really so thin-skinned?

Maidique is an MIT-trained engineer and a former president of the university, credited with improving FIU by every metric. He has every right, and even a responsibility, to express his opinion. Does the FIU board have any awareness of the chilling effect implementing their vindictive proposal would have on the intellectual climate of the university or toward the recruitment of world class faculty?

I may have my disagreements with Maidique (whose partisan political sympathies I do not share), but if he has anything to say about the governance of FIU, I want to hear it, and the board and the community should want to hear as well.

His accomplishments cannot be erased by this or any future board just as the human cost of the failed bridge can never be erased from memory. When will FIU get the governance its students and the community deserve?

Bartholomew Motes, Coral Gables

FIU feud

Re the feud between FIU’s board and Modesto Maidique: FIU would not be where it is today without the guidance and vision of Maidique.

It appears that this issue is purely a result of some FIU board members upset as a result of Maidique’s criticism of the board and school. Perhaps that criticism is warranted.

Regardless, to seek to change the name of the campus purely for money, especially considering what Maidique did for the university, is somewhere between disrespectful and tacky.

William Rivenbark, Coral Gables

We’re a country

Re Miami Mayor Suarez’s June 22 letter, “U.S. mayors: Family separation is not a partisan issue.”

The U.S.A. was founded by educated, decent immigrants. Those immigrants were followed by educated, decent America loving legal immigrants, and all those were followed by more U.S.A. loving immigrants with abilities that would contribute to improve the country.

Those decent, educated and willing to help the U.S.A. they love, have been demonized and even obliterated from American history by the groups of indecent, U.S.A. haters and illegal immigrants forcing their way into our homeland and provoking chaos in our society.

Miami has been turned into a foreign sewer. Perhaps that’s why the mayor’s thinking is from inside the anti-U.S.A. box of thought.

Brigida Gutierrez, Miami

Hitler analogy irks

The usual spate of dimwitted, anti-Trump nonsequitors in the Herald’s Open Mic section is annoyingly inane, but the June 22 letter, “Just like Auschwitz,” comparing Trump and his policies to Hitler and Auschwitz, are beyond obscene.

The worst I have heard about the children’s detention center is that the eggs tasted bad. (Worse than the breakfasts at Auschwitz, you think?)

For a letter writer, such offensiveness might be attributed to ignorance; for the Herald to publish such desecration requires a profoundly noxious bias. One might expect a newspaper to be more responsible. Or not.

Stanley Spatz, Hollywood

Human rights

How ironic that America has pulled out of the U.N. Human Rights Council just as we face a humanitarian crisis at our southern border. President Trump and his administration’s policy advocating the separation of innocent children from their parents is cruel and unjust. They have failed the litmus test for human rights — credibility, decency and compassion.

Decent Americans across our great land have shown overwhelming disdain for this draconian policy. Our voices and ultimately our votes can make a difference. We need leaders who reflect our shared values.

Laura Hyams, Miami

Voter information

Re the June 20 letter, “Voter’s dilemma,” I too, am upset about voting for our governor and his cannabis ideas.

As a lifelong Republican, what terrible fate could the writer possibly endure if he voted for a candidate who thinks as he does, if (the unthinkable) candidate is a Democrat?

It might feel good to use your brain instead of just blindly following tradition. Give it a try.

Phyllis Koplin, Pembroke Pines

Re-screen applicants

Re the June 21 article by Carol Marbin Miller, “Felony drug defendant tells shocked Miami judge: I work caring for kids seized at border.”

I agree with the judge’s response. Children who require supervision or care in any facility deserve the best caregivers, preferably with no criminal record.

It makes one wonder what kind of people made it through the job application process. I certainly hope that this is an eye-opener to many employers to re-screen the people they have employed working around our kids.

Sean Jagpersad, Boca Raton

Melania’s jacket

I really do care. Perhaps that is why I am not wealthy. Perhaps that is why I did not marry for money. Perhaps that is why I did not set up a sham foundation and exploit it for my own advancement. Perhaps that is why I am not a self-centered, self-aggrandizing egotist.

In fact, perhaps this explains almost everything. I care. Do you?

Dirk Lorenzen, Coral Gables

Bad English

Can we give Melania Trump a break for the jacket she wore while visiting the detention center? It seems to be nothing more than a sarcastic comment directed at those who would believe that she doesn’t care about the families being affected by the administration’s zero-tolerance policy.

Of course, the jacket does not succeed at making a sarcastic comment, but sarcasm is often the single most difficult rhetorical device for a non-native speaker to master.

Her strangely named “Be Best” campaign proved that Melania is not a native speaker (and hinted that no one in the White House is vetting her decisions). Let’s give her a break on this one.

Ron Bernard, Miami

Melania’s message

We should give FLOTUS a break and re-interpret the message on her cheap jacket as: I Really Don’t Care (what my husband says). Do U?

Bill Silver, Coral Gables