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Newsday letters to the editor for Monday, April 16, 2018

Gov. Averell Harriman visits the Rev. Martin Luther

Gov. Averell Harriman visits the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta, in Harlem Hospital after he was stabbed in 1958. Credit: AP / Ray Howard

Political correctness will distort history

The tactic of taking down allegedly offensive statues seems to be attracting leftist groups [“Opposite opinions on Jefferson statue,” News, March 31]. It serves the left’s agenda to act as victims.

Where does it stop? Do we take down statues of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. or John F. Kennedy because they were womanizers?

Erasing history prevents remembering and ensuring that we do not repeat long-past injustices. These statues are monuments to how far this nation has come in promoting equality.

Joseph Ruszczyk, Kings Park

I have a degree from Hofstra University, and I consider the effort to remove the Thomas Jefferson statue there an example of political correctness run amok and beyond pathetic.

Jefferson, a great Founding Father, lived in a time when slavery was the way of things. At some point, most ethnic groups have experienced slavery.

American Indians had slaves, George Washington had slaves. Should we change the name of the nation’s capital? The world has moved on and so should these protesters.

Walter McCarthy, Massapequa

What about parking in Ronkonkoma?

With all the improvements being undertaken to increase train service at the Long Island Rail Road’s Ronkonkoma station, why would anyone want to severely decrease the amount of parking by building on lots used by commuters [“Suffolk selects $1B sports arena plan,” News, April 9]? Everyone who uses this station knows that every spot is taken early.

Who will get the contract to build parking towers to replace those spots?

A better place for a sports arena would be the old movie complex in Medford between Long Island Expressway Exits 64 and 65. That area has been vacant for far too long.

Joseph Totaro, Yaphank

King rejected notion of black supremacy

There is a quote attributed to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. which has been ignored by most [“Reflecting on MLK legacy,” News, April 5].

After a speech in Harlem in 1958, King was stabbed by an irate black woman who wanted to hear hate speech from the minister.

He said, “Many of you had hoped I would come here to bring you a message of hate against the white man . . . I come here with no such message. Black supremacy is just as bad as white supremacy.

“I come here with a message of love rather than hate. Don’t let any man make you stoop so low that you have hate. Have love in your hearts to those who would do you wrong.”

Everyone should take the time to let this lesson sink in, and try to live the life that a great man like King had a dream for.

Thomas O’Connor, North Bellmore

Fewer students in classes is a good thing

Newsday’s April 3 editorial, “The vexing riddle of school funding,” should have applauded the Smithtown school board for promising to reduce elementary classroom sizes for the second year in a row, instead of targeting the district for increased school costs.

As a retired elementary school teacher, I know that meeting and accommodating extraordinarily diverse learning styles, abilities and interests in oversized classes was always a serious hurdle. Large class sizes are clearly not in the best interests of students.

The bottom line is what’s best for students. I’m also an overburdened and overtaxed senior, but surely Newsday could explore other areas of the school budget for cutting costs.

Fred Barnett, Lake Grove

Try old methods to warn of overpasses

My heart goes out to the students who were injured and traumatized after Sunday’s overpass incident [“Bus hits overpass,” News, April 9].

Humans will continue to make errors with GPS and sensors, signage or not. Why not try old-school methods and hang signs on chains that strike a vehicle before entering?

Harley S. Nemzer, Wantagh

Trump turns even a fire into praise for self

I don’t know why any tweets by President Donald Trump should surprise me, but his comment about the fire at Trump Tower was beyond belief [“Blaze at Trump Tower,” News, April 8].

He tweeted, “Fire at Trump Tower is out. Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!”

This denigrates the female firefighters by putting women in parentheses. Women are not parenthetical. They do their jobs in many fields, and he should remember that it was a woman who brought him into this life.

Also, why is this fire about him — “well built building”? For once, let the people who did the job right not have to share credit with a man who needs to be praised for everything.

Susan Moss, Nesconset