Letters: Black Lives Week matters for Philly students

Tamara Anderson (upper right), a Black Lives Matter Week organizer, talks to teachers (from left) Catherine Khella, Shaw MacQueen, Kathleen Melville, and Madison Fialkowski.

Black Lives Week matters

 

As an elementary school teacher, it is difficult to figure out how to address major real-world events in a way that is both sensitive and honest. Yet it is our obligation to do so. When we refuse, it is a choice to rob our classroom of relevance and deprive our students of the opportunity to consider events and alternative perspectives within the space where they are supposed to be developing their skills at critical thinking and thoughtful dialogue.

I would like to thank the members of the Caucus of Working Educators' Racial Justice Committee for bringing the Black Lives Matter Week of Action to Philadelphia schools ("Teachers see lessons in Black Lives events," Friday). Their resources, events, and encouragement helped many teachers, myself included, find ways to thoughtfully address issues of discrimination and tolerance in age-appropriate ways. It also provided a platform for dialogue among educators about the BLM movement that went beyond many people's prior assumptions.

|Jesse Gottschalk, Philadelphia, gottschalk.jesse@gmail.com

 

A bridge too far?

 

The bidding to replace the Scudder Falls Bridge ("Bidder wins deal for Scudder Falls bridge," Tuesday) is a vivid illustration of government behavior that has contributed to the rise of Donald Trump.

Planners expected the bridge to cost $300 million to $325 million. The only bid came in at $396 million. Nonunion contractors said they felt discouraged from bidding, and the deal includes "goals for 'disadvantaged' subcontractors" and "protections for sturgeon, bats, and other . . . creatures." In effect, taxpayers are being asked to pay $325 million for a bridge and $71 million to support admirable social objectives that have become calcified over time in our government.

To have a problem with that is to risk being called antiunion, anti-diversity, and anti-sturgeon.

Who could give voice to the frustration that working people feel over stuff like this? It might take someone who is gleefully obnoxious, financially independent, prominent, but never-quite accepted in the highest reaches of the establishment.

And here we are.

|Andrew Greenberg, Bryn Mawr

 

Shining light on gun violence

 

Thank you for your editorial, "Gun violence; so what" (Friday). I'm the Philadelphia group leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to reducing gun violence through commonsense measures.

I appreciate the Inquirer's plan "to regularly shine a light on gun violence in the city and examine possible solutions." When my cousin was shot and subsequently paralyzed, the shooter was brought to justice fairly quickly. However, as I meet other survivors in Philadelphia, I find that my family's experience is the exception.

Mayor Kenney is right - in recent years, the number of shooting deaths has been declining. But as any parent who has lost a child in a shooting can tell you, the numbers are still unacceptable.

Our organization advocates legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of criminals and domestic abusers, and our gun-safety program, BeSMART, encourages responsible gun ownership. I invite readers to visit MomsDemandAction.org for information on how to join the efforts to reduce gun violence.

|Laura Fletcher, West Chester

 

Inquirer leaning too far to the left

 

A letter writer disagreed with the Inquirer running Daily News content (A two-newspaper town?" Monday). It is a great idea - I get more for no extra cost. But, I strenuously disagree with total imbalance of thought. The Editorial Board, the columnists, and, to a lesser-extent, the reporters, all lean to the left. I know that will not change. I feel that by adding more left-wing writers, you do not want me as a subscriber.

|Andy Anderson, Glassboro, ajanderson2747@comcast.net

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