Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. talks to

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. talks to a packed auditorium at Southside High School in Rockville Centre on March 26, 1968. Credit: NEWSDAY / Bill Senft

White men dominate Huntington gov’t

So much for diversity in representation. Approximately 17 percent of the population of Huntington is composed of people of color, and, let’s not forget, more than half are female. However, not one minority person or woman was among 11 people appointed recently to top town government positions under new Supervisor Chad Lupinacci’s leadership [“11 top appointees — all white males,” News, Feb. 8].

When I moved from New York City more than 20 years ago, one of the major reasons I chose Huntington was because it had the multicultural feel that I grew up with. That represents America to me.

What happened here? Why weren’t the open positions better publicized to reach the largest audience? Why were people who had lost elections, indicating a lack of popularity and trust, appointed to positions?

Can the town code be written so this kind of travesty does not recur? I hope so.

Laura L. Lustbader, Huntington Station

Better to promote legal immigration

The excellent news story “Growing belief in sanctuary” [Feb. 11] focused on advocates for giving sanctuary to people who are in this country illegally.

In it, Catholic Bishop John Barres confirmed that he does not plan to declare Rockville Centre a sanctuary diocese. Of course, Christians are instructed to care for the world’s hungry and downtrodden! But at whose expense? A much stronger moral claim can be made on behalf of the immigrants who patiently wait in line for their turn to enter this country through the front door.

Is hiding people here illegally from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, instead of doing all we can to encourage legal entry and assimilation, taking the moral high ground? I think not.

John F. Picciano, Huntington

Recalling King’s last days in spring 1968

The news story “A King visit that stirred LIers” [Feb. 11] was dramatic. However, there are dimensions to the 1968 Long Island visit of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., just 10 days before he was assassinated, that reveal even more drama.

King was summoned to Long Island by his longtime friend, Harry Wachtel of Roslyn Heights, a member of King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference advisory board.

This visit was special because the day before the Rockville Centre gathering, Wachtel arranged to have King go to a rabbinical assembly led by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel at the Concord Resort Hotel in the Catskills.

It was my pleasure to know Wachtel and to interview him several times before his death. He explained that Heschel was concerned about rising tensions in New York and other cities between African-Americans and Jews.

Hofstra’s Wachtel archives have extensive data. King, despite being exhausted from his travels, gave a stirring presentation in which he denounced anti-Semitism.

Heschel gave this introduction at the assembly: “I call upon every Jew to harken to his voice, to share his vision, to follow in his way. The whole future of America will depend upon the impact and influence of Dr. King.”

Michael D’Innocenzo, Mineola

Editor’s note: The writer is a professor emeritus of history at Hofstra University.

Nunes subverting his duty to Congress

While attempting to shield President Donald Trump from those who dare expose the truth, the House Intelligence Committee has bared its own soul: a dark and unscrupulous specter [“Memo released on FBI surveillance,” News, Feb. 3].

Our intelligence agencies can no more trust this committee than they can the president. While not every member of the House committee has abdicated his or her responsibility to the Constitution, it only takes one, and Rep. Devin Nunes has corrupted an institution that has performed its job with integrity for decades.

Turning a deaf ear to the Justice Department and FBI requests not to release the memo, the House Intelligence Committee did it anyway for purely political reasons. There will be a heavy price to pay for putting one’s misguided loyalties before a sworn duty to the country.

If all the world’s a stage, Nunes merits the hook.

Bob Bascelli,Seaford