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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Democracy Eludes Public School Systems

5/28/2014, 3 p.m.
The very idea that our own black children in Wards 5, 7 and 8, have been the targets of the ...
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton joined hundreds of demonstrators on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to call for greater support of beleaguered public schools on May 13. The rally and march to the Department of Justice was sponsored by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools and other groups. Photo by Roy Lewis

What a superbly written article, “Supporters Fight for Public Schools Survival,” May 22-28, written by Barrington Salmon.

As Mr. Salmon points out, the assault against public education where schools in mostly black and Latino communities have been ordered closed under the guise of education reform, speaks to the level of progress made since the Supreme Court’s May 17, 1954 ruling, which struck down segregation and inequity among the nation’s public schools.

The very idea that our own black children in wards 5, 7 and 8, have been the targets of the mandated closings is not only repulsive in this day and age, but highlights the need to more closely examine who’s behind the proliferation of charter schools – which are undermining the purpose of free public education.

While the article implores President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to “blunt the assault” against our public schools, it will also take the “sick and tired” attitude of parents, educators and community leaders to end this atrocity against innocent youth.

The continued decimation of their right to a fair chance at a quality, free education is a blatant affront to Brown v. Board, and for this kind of injustice to prevail, only exemplifies the real state of a country where democracy has long been touted the bedrock for all people, regardless of race, color or creed.

Margie Wright

Washington, D.C.

Seniors Susceptible to Acts of Mistrust

Thanks for enlightening the senior community in your article, “Seniors Cautioned to Beware of Scams,” published in the May 22nd edition.

It’s sad to hear of all the scams that are being perpetrated these days on our most vulnerable residents. In many instances, they are susceptible to scams, having no loved ones they can trust to help care for them or their financial affairs. This, of course, makes them easy prey for individuals who make a living taking advantage of others. It’s all the more heartbreaking when you hear about adult children stealing from their elderly parents.

Yes, we need to keep the doors of communication open when it comes to our seniors, as there are too many vultures lying in wait for an opportunity to rob them not only of their worldly possessions – which includes their life’s savings and ownership of the homes many labored for years to pay for but also of their dignity.

I’m all for the establishment of laws that can be strongly enforced to prevent – which, in most cases are – flagrant travesties of trust.

Deloris Robinson

Washington, D.C.

Arts Coverage Matters!

Eve Ferguson’s review of Arena Stage’s “Smokey Joe’s Café” in the May 22nd issue of the Informer was wonderfully written.

I had the opportunity to see the play, and I agree whole-heartedly with what Ms. Ferguson said. I found myself clapping and at times singing along with some of the performers. As a senior citizen, some of my fondest memories are of listening to those songs on the radio and dancing to those songs at some of the wonderful house parties I would attend.

If I were to have anything negative to say, it would be that some of the performances of some of the songs were, to me, a little shallow or light in texture. I only say that because having grown up listening to groups such as The Drifters sing, “Under the Boardwalk,” and The Clovers sing, “Love Potion #9,” I wanted to hear the songs performed exactly the way I remembered them, the way they sounded on the original recordings. Other than that, the show was fantastic.

I just love that The Informer is covering the arts in the city, and I look forward to reading more.

James Lemon

Washington, D.C.