Letters to the editor 

Native Americans

In response to Charles Gillihan's letter to the editor (July 9th issue), referencing Booker Davis' previous letter, I must take issue with Gillihan's statement that, "As far as Native Americans go, they were nomadic in nature; the settlers did not 'steal' their land."

Some native tribes may have been somewhat nomadic in nature, but not all of them were. Many were farmers, settled and living an agricultural lifestyle, especially here in the southeast part of the country.

Gillihan's assertion that settlers did not steal the land is akin to the "Holocaust never happened" school of thought. The bloodshed and genocide that marred American history after the European arrival in the New World was unconscionable. If the settlers were not stealing the land, then why the Trail of Tears? Why all the forced removals of native people?

If Gillihan wishes to debate and discuss historical notions of politics, I suggest he study history — real history — first.

Heather Baddley

(Former Memphis Native American Inter-Tribal Association Princess)

Hernando, Mississippi

Middle-Class Groan

History has shown that the increased burden placed upon a nation's middle class through big government and reprisals of basic human freedoms diminish productivity and the status of hegemony within the world. The U.S. middle class, currently too tired and encumbered to stand up for changes in society, is now breathing heavily to maintain the oxygen needed for survival in an economic theater of high taxes and unchecked federal and state spending.

We now live in a place where extreme monitoring and standardization of all man's activities have plundered and squelched the spirit of hope and charity. It's been replaced by the ever-increasing "groan" that characterizes our existence. Our hearts of charity and generosity shrivel to survival mode. We are too tired to speak up, encumbered and burdened, but we move forward, groaning, hoping that one day, our groan might be heard.

James Mensching


Business As Usual?

"Business as usual" seems to be the best description for what is going on in Memphis — and has been for years under the direction of Mayor Willie Herenton. The "Letters" column is not long enough to list the millions of dollars misdirected by the self-proclaimed "only person qualified to lead the city of Memphis as mayor." And the taxpayers foot the bill.

Another bill the taxpayers will be on the hook for is the estimated $750,000 to $1 million needed to hold a special election should the mayor decide to resign outside the 180-day window that would allow an interim mayor to take charge. What happened to Mayor Herenton's position — which he often alludes to when questioned regarding his controversial decisions: "I made that decision based on what is in the best interests of the citizens of Memphis, a city I love."

Well, Mr. Mayor, make another one in the best interest of the city. Stay in your postion until the legal time-frame allows an interim mayor to take charge, and then get the heck out of Dodge.

Two issues will be resolved by this decision: 1) Memphis taxpayers will not have the burden brought on by an additional $750,000 to $1 million taken out of the budget that you are so proud of (and claim to be leaving in such good shape); and 2) Memphians who want no part of having city government decisions shoved down their throats can finally watch the local news again and not shake their heads in disbelief over what the heck is going on at City Hall.

Billy Gaines

Olive Branch

Guns in Restaurants

Now that it's legal to carry guns in some restaurants that serve alcohol, the Flyer needs to update its restaurant listings with a new symbol indicating whether a dining establishment is "guns" or "no guns."

I suggest a simple circle with a line across the image of a pistol. If I see such a symbol in your listings for a restaurant that serves alcohol, I'll know it's a place I can feel comfortable taking my business to. I plan to remove establishments that serve alcohol and allow guns from my list of acceptable places to eat.

Governor Bredesen, the state's top cops, and restaurant owners who opposed this "guns in bars" bill were right: Guns and alcohol are a deadly combination. I'd just as soon be out of the line of fire.

Ron Taylor


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