Updated: August 24, 2013 6:20AM
If you did not hear President Barack Obama’s whole speech Friday, it is totally worth the full 17 minutes. He showed deep concern and honest emotion with no TelePrompter and no practiced cadence. It was even more moving when I re-listened to it on the Internet.
How I wish he would had just added “Replace everything I just said about blacks and African-Americans with any other minority you can name such as Hispanic or Asian or Middle Eastern or Native American and you have a start toward understanding minorities.” This would have taken a political offering about his established base and transformed it into a long-remembered presidential moment.
Pamela Ames, Hyde Park
Racism goes both ways
In response to Margaret Hall’s letter [“Black youths must learn a whole new set of rules,” July 21, 2013), my white children were given the same lessons about how to act while driving if stopped by the police and that was 30 years ago in the suburbs. Our suburb is a melting pot of races and cultures. While the suburb is predominately white, no black youth has a problem while walking down our streets. But I have to admit I would not feel safe walking, or for that matter, driving down a street in a black neighborhood. I have no doubt that I would be asked what I was doing there. You see, racism is a two-way street and unless we all are willing to let go of it, nothing is going to change. Many of the youth of today are doing a good job of eliminating racism, so why don’t the adults follow their lead?
Janet Lumm, Schaumburg
Middle class no longer prosperous
The middle class is the new poor people. Not so long ago, we were going about our lives, day to day, enjoying life’s simplest of pleasures. We were not rich, not poor, but comfortable. We were able to pay our bills, put food on our tables, and gasoline in our vehicles. We worked hard and played hard. No longer are we a double-income family with two kids, but rather, a triple-income family with two kids, and yet, the threat of foreclosure is imminent. We have changed nothing in our personal lives on our own accord. We live in the same house that we have owned for the past 20 years. We are driving the same cars that were paid for long ago, doing our best to keep them going, with the knowledge that if they cease to operate we are in deep trouble. We have done nothing to cause this strife on our own; this strife has been cast upon us like a plague, devouring our resources, and depleting our strengths to endure. We apply for assistance wherever possible, we job hunt voraciously, and we cut our meager living expenses even further. With our expenses increasing and rising and our income stagnant, we are stressed, angry, and depressed. I think the gap between the haves and the have nots has grown so extreme that there is a disconnect. We may be down but we are definitely not out. We will survive, we will endure, and we will overcome.
Jenny Anderson, Crete