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Mask madness

Dear editor:

I feel I will implode if I don't write this letter to the editor. How can you naysayers get so angry and feel your rights are being violated when being asked to simply wear a mask for a bit? Are you just being defiant because you don't want people telling you what to do? We are not telling, but asking you do so to get this deadly virus under control. Watch the news, for heaven's sake. While other countries' rates of infection are steadily going down because of their willingness to wear masks, the USA is off the charts with new cases.

I just don't understand why you can't help with the very simple noninvasive, nonreligious, nonpolitical, nonracial act of wearing a mask when you are around other people? I have got children, grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends who I love dearly (don't you?) and I am really scared that one of them will contract this virus. And me and my husband. I implore you to please, Please wear a mask until we can get a handle on this if not for you but in consideration of the health of all of us.

Janet Fotioo

Hot Springs

Who is the UDC?

Dear editor:

Who are the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Hot Springs? Why don't we ever see any faces? Why does the group only speak through its attorney? Let's think about the history.

The Confederacy lasted a total of five years from 1860-1865. The overwhelming majority of Confederacy monuments and memorials were erected in the late 19th and early 20th century. Long after Reconstruction was terminated in the late 1870s. These memorials were not erected to remember the long-dead Confederacy, but to cement Jim Crow. In the Hot Springs case, the Encyclopedia of Arkansas reports a woman from Alabama moved to Hot Springs in 1907 and led an effort to raise money for a memorial. It took until 1934 to erect the statue. During that effort, in 1913 and 1922, two African American men were lynched in the site where the statue was eventually erected and stands today.

So, extending history to its reasonable maximum, there had to be actual "daughters" of the Confederacy in 1907 and perhaps in 1934. But it has now been 86 years since the statue was dedicated. It is very remote that there are still daughters of the Confederacy? Are there granddaughters of the Confederacy? Great granddaughters? If so, why do they remain anonymous and shy from public attention? Or is there only a trust, a trustee, a board and a lawyer?

Steven Rittenmeyer

Hot Springs Village

Not promoting diversity

Dear editor:

"We are deeply committed to diversity ... " That was one line from National Park College's canned statement they sent to The Sentinel-Record regarding the resignation of instructor Paula Muncrief Ford, after she made a social media post regarding race relations.

First, let's be honest: Ford was fired; resignation was a nice way of saying that she probably received some sort of severance pay for not fighting it or threatening litigation. The highly educated folks that run NPCC are certainly smarter than me, so I looked up the definition of "diversity." According to Websters, diversity is "the condition of having been composed of differing elements, variety especially, the inclusion of different types of people." So by the very definition, NPC is not promoting diversity.

That's not what specifically troubles me about their handling of the Ford situation, however. Since it was never made public, only a handful of people know what Ford said in her social media post. It may very well be something I find terrible, ignorant, or that I may disagree with. What is disturbing is that punitive actions were taken by a publicly funded institution for something an individual said on their own time, using their own resources, outside of the NPC property. Not a criminal action, simply a U.S. citizen exercising their right to free speech. If a private company receiving no taxpayer or government funding had fired Ford because they found her speech to be a poor reflection, I'd have no problem. But NPC is not a private company, they are a college that receives federal, state, and local funding from taxpayers.

It should send a chill into the spines of all teaching staff at NPC. The fact that their administrators have determined that your own beliefs, values, morals, etc.; must align with their own or your careers are in peril. Even if you wish to express those beliefs outside of your workplace, on your own time. Ironically, if Mrs. Ford had taught at a lower level, such as a public K-12 school, she might have had a teacher's union to help her challenge her right to free speech. And NPC administrators, what message are you sending to your young students? Fall in line with your future employers' beliefs 24 hours a day or be fired?

As for me, I will no longer be supporting any NPC activities or functions, and will definitely be voting against any future millage increases they may seek.

Noah Little

Hot Springs

Needed support

Dear editor:

Bob Foster (in his Tuesday, June 16, letter) took a much-needed stand in support of our policemen both here and around the nation. Thank you, Mr. Foster, for speaking up for our most essential government service! Without the daily protection of our police, our nation would be completely destroyed by the anarchy that would come upon us all!

Our policemen risk their lives every day for the rest of us. Their job is extremely demanding and very stressful! Instead of being appreciated for all the good things that they do, they are far too often criticized and disrespected. Some of the liberal-progressives even call them "pigs!" How dare you insult them like that!

Most of our policemen should, instead, be considered as heroes. They are the good guys. I really appreciated The Sentinel-Record for featuring a large (10-by-10-inch) space that expressed the gratitude that our police officers deserve. The Sentinel-Record published this wonderful praise of our police on two different days in May.

In case some of you may have missed it, here's what it said: "Spa City Heroes; Thank you for all you do! A hero is defined as someone who protects our world and continues to make it a better place. To all the Police Officers: We see you, we appreciate you, and you truly are all heroes!"

I hope most of the policemen saw this in the newspaper. Our policemen's morale is very low nationwide. They are discouraged and disgusted about how they are being treated. Some of the liberal, progressive, left-wing groups (like Antifa and Black Lives Matter) are calling for a defunding or disbanding of our police departments. That is absolutely insane!

Some of you may be saying that there are some policemen who should be considered as being bad cops. I believe that most people consider the vast majority of policemen to be good policemen who deserve to be supported and respected. There can be a small number of "bad apples" in any organization. For example, some people who work for a bank are embezzlers, but that certainly doesn't mean that most bank employees are embezzlers! We should not wrongfully generalize about the police departments being bad organizations either. It is also very unfortunate that our police are not properly supported by many of the governors and mayors who are almost always, liberal-Democrats! Just look at New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Minneapolis and Atlanta as some of the examples of bad governments that desperately need to be voted out!

One last comment: Judy Ladd had a very negative letter (Friday, June 19) toward the police and even told us "how ashamed I am of my country." Perhaps she might be happier in another country. Perhaps a country with a cruel communist dictator! How about Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, China or Russia? She wouldn't even have the freedom to criticize the police and governments in those countries!

Please pray daily for the protection of all of our policemen.

Lloyd Hoffman

Hot Springs

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