The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


July 31, 2013

Readers' Forum 7-31 | Stop oppressing those we think are different

JOHNSTOWN — This country’s Constitution was founded on the concept that every man was created equal. Correct me if I’m wrong, but why are we, as Americans, forcing our beliefs on others?

Gay marriage should be a right for every man or woman according to the Constitution. Race shouldn’t even be a factor in today’s society, yet it is.

This country was founded to escape religious oppression, yet we are trying to use religion to oppress gays and people of other ethnicity or religious beliefs.

I’m an atheist. I couldn’t care less if someone was gay, Catholic, Christian, Muslim, black, yellow or white. Good people come in all forms and beliefs. We need to stop this oppression.

And make sure you thank a veteran for your freedom of speech. Otherwise, you might be killed for heresy.

Thank you, veterans.

Ricky Cassick


Race talk must be on Americans, not color

We’re told once again, almost daily, that we need to have a conversation about race in America. Yes, we do. But it needs to be a legitimate, two-way conversation that includes whites as well as blacks. It needs to be a conversation about Americans, not of color.

Where on earth, other than America, have blacks had the opportunity to achieve the highest level of freedom and prosperity and practice any religion they choose? Where on earth, other than America, has more money been spent to bring the black community into the mainstream?

We hear talk of “ladders of opportunity.” Yet we find that “deserving” whites are left out because of government, business and college discrimination due to affirmative action and quotas. No longer do the best of any color succeed. It’s now politics and emotions that drive the agenda. Why does color enter the discussion when success is the ultimate goal?

Is it America’s fault that crime and incarceration rates of blacks are more than seven times that of whites? What about the dropout rate of 50 percent, or the unwed birth rate of 72 percent? Is it America’s fault or perhaps the fault of the black community itself?

Why are successful blacks usually shunned and labeled instead of being examples of what others can be?

Why are poverty hustlers still promoted as leaders since we’ve seen that their rhetoric has done nothing for the black community?

Yes, let’s have that conversation about race in America. Let’s discuss just how far it has torn us apart and how harmful it has become for all America.

Marvin R. Gindlesperger


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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