A scary message


for all our children


I’m the grandmother of an 8-year-old white grandson. I’m also the great-aunt of a 9-year-old great-nephew whose mother was born and adopted in Nepal and whose father is an African-American — they live near Atlanta.


This week my grandson and his mom had a difficult conversation about racism. He was very distressed, talked about his multi-racial friends, and decided he would use some of his allowance to send to Black Lives Matter. On the other hand, my great-nephew’s parents are having “the talk” with my great-nephew. He is learning that he faces real dangers in our society because of the color of his skin — something over which he has no control. What a scary message for any child.


Please keep in mind as we endure this upheaval, that all parents with children of color have this problem. This isn’t right. We all must work for real change.


Pat Oakes, Austin


Limiting mail-in vote


is voter suppression


Voting is our right, let’s weigh the facts. Voting by mail is limited to those over 65 or disabled, but what about the caregivers who tend our elderly and disabled?


Nurses working our hospitals and nursing homes? Folks living with elderly relatives?


What about parents who have children with asthma?And those living with someone with immunodeficiency, cystic fibrosis, COPD or other chronic lung conditions? The result of these caregivers contracting COVID-19 could be tragic.


Weigh this against the rarity of mail-in voter fraud cited to disallow expanded voting by mail. How do these numbers compare? Disallowing vote by mail is the worst voter suppression, the kind that could make voting punishable by the death of someone for whom you care deeply.


If the Texas Supreme Court believes that it’s against our current law for these people to vote by mail, then we immediately need a special legislative session to grant Texans this right.


Ann Patterson, Austin


If we disband the police,


who will fill the vacuum?


I am appalled by the people in this country who want to disband the police force.


Who do they think will fill that vacuum? It will be the anarchists, the criminals and the terrorist organizations, and when they take over no one will be safe. Are there bad cops? Yes, but there are also bad doctors, lawyers, teachers and bad people in any other discipline you can name. Nobody is talking about getting rid of them.


I have never been more frightened for the future of the United States of America than I am today.


Carolyn McAndrew, Georgetown


Tax money for police is


funding for oppression


The city council should defund the police department now.


In a grossly privatized economy, one wonders why while almost every single public service in this country has been undervalued and defunded, money is still poured into our police departments to a staggering degree.


Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this is one of few public services wealthy people depend on, and yet wealthy people have little to no interaction with police officers in their daily lives.


But impoverished people do. Vulnerable people do. Black and brown people do. As long as our police department is ridden with people who see themselves as vigilantes rather than public servants, there's no reason taxpayer money should be poured into this instrument of oppression.


Pour our money into parts of the city budget that actually promote people's safety. Increased reliance on this quasi-military force will continue to put underserved communities at risk.


Jeff Karr, Austin


Reason must lead way


during this pandemic


This COVID-19 catastrophe should be galvanizing citizens in an effort to preserve our way of life and protect those who are, so far, not infected.


What can we do? The obvious answer is: Wear your mask and keep a safe distance when in public. Wear gloves and wash your hands frequently.


Support those who are risking their own safety to provide for us. Don’t scoff at those of us who are following the guidelines. Don’t be a sucker by thinking the worst is over. Use your common sense and be a good example to the young ones who are impatient to return to the the way of life they enjoyed only a few months ago.


It’s a pity that the necessary leadership at the top has proven inadequate, to say the least. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us, the reasonable, to show the way.


John Edson, Austin