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LETTERS: Missouri activism deserves applause

I praise the University of Missouri black students and their allied students and faculty for their victory against campus racism (“Forced out,” Tuesday Review-Journal). For years, black students at the university have suffered racism. Most recently, some were allegedly called the n-word and other denigrating names, the Nazi swastika was allegedly used in campus vandalism, and their grievances were ignored by a racially insensitive university president, Tim Wolfe.

This student protest is historic because graduate student Jonathan Butler on Nov. 2 began a hunger strike that he vowed to continue until Mr. Wolfe resigned or was removed from office. This was a major factor in black Missouri football players making a stand in support of Mr. Butler, as they vowed to refuse to play until Mr. Wolfe was removed. It was effective. Mr. Wolfe resigned Monday. Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, who oversees the university’s main campus, also resigned his position.

Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel supported the players’ protest, saying, “We are united. We are behind our players,” and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Mr. Wolfe’s resignation was “a necessary step toward healing and reconciliation.”

I applaud this campus movement because it was nonviolent and followed the integration coalition philosophy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Further, I posit: The speed of this victory changes the dynamics of the American civil rights movement — its paradigms, stratagem and fervor. The student’s hunger strike and athletes’ involvement have never been done with such immediate success.

Accordingly, in the context of the nonviolence philosophy of Rev. King and Mahatma Gandhi, I support this new stratagem by the University of Missouri students. Would that UNLV’s black students — especially black athletes and their allies — understand this in the quest for their rights and first-class citizenship.

Clyde Dinkins

Las Vegas

Starbucks’ red cups

Regarding the Starbucks “controversy,” oh my, where to start? (“The war on Christmas or tempest in a Starbucks cup?” Tuesday Review-Journal).

First of all, if you’re spending $7 for a paper cup full of coffee, I have to discount any rant that you might have, because you’re not exactly thinking clearly. Second, according to the article, “some Christians are calling the stark, unicolored cups … part of what they consider to be a continuing war on Christmas.” I followed the link in the article to see the cups of past years. I’ve read the Bible since I was 10 years old, and I don’t ever recall reading about snow, sledding, reindeer or glass ornaments in the story of Christ’s birth, either.

Lastly, if you’re spouting phrases like “war on Christmas,” stop being a Fox News sheep. Fox News is the only place you’re hearing about this, because the mantra at Fox News is, “All negative, all the time, even if we have to create it.”

If you’re trying to get your Christmas spirit from a coffee house, perhaps you need to step back and see exactly what Christmas means to you and your family. My Christmas spirit comes from family, friends and social interaction, not from a paper cup.

Randall Buie


Clinton and gun control

As usual, our government needs to enforce existing gun laws, not make more of them. If you commit a gun crime, you should get five years in prison minimum. No bargaining.

Hillary Clinton, like every other anti-gun advocate, wants more background checks, but she also pushes for even more than that: holding gun manufacturers accountable for the lowlifes who break into our houses, steal our guns and then commit crimes.

So, can we then hold accountable the manufacturer of the car that was stolen by some lowlife who caused a wreck that killed an innocent person? Does Mrs. Clinton ever listen to what comes out of her mouth? More importantly, will the voters?

Gordon Carr

Las Vegas

Hospital bombing

J.J. Schrader describes last month’s U.S. bombing of a humanitarian hospital in Afghanistan as an apparent mistake (“War crimes,” Nov. 6 Review-Journal). Yet on at least three occasions, top U.S. military brass have given disgusting and contradicting explanations for the hour-long Oct. 3 attack that killed some 30 medical staff and patients.

Mr. Schrader writes that international organizations calling for war crimes prosecution of the United States are apparently tone-deaf to the same prosecution of Russia for killing hundreds of civilians during airstrikes in Syrian towns. Talk about a double-standard. If Russia should be brought to trial, what about the United States for the thousands of civilians it has killed in bombings and drone strikes in Afghanistan?

The difference is that a clearly marked hospital, under international laws of war, is not to be targeted. In fact, the humanitarian organization running the Afghan medical facility said its exact position was known by the military and that several days before the attack, U.S. forces had been assured that the hospital was not under Taliban threat and was not being used as a Taliban military base.

Leon Pitt

Las Vegas

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