Pot arrests have damaging effects
Statistics in the May 20 news story “LI cops: We’ll keep making pot arrests” say marijuana arrest rates on Long Island are four times higher for minorities than for whites. This statistic stands in stark contrast with studies that show usage rates being roughly equal among racial groups in America.
Regardless of your stance on legalization, we can agree that there is a disparity in the enforcement of our marijuana laws along racial lines, and that is an unfortunate reality.
I am proud to represent a racially diverse district, and it pains me to think that our laws could apply differently to my constituents based on the color of their skin. We need to take a look at the whole picture when it comes to marijuana policy.
Marijuana arrests can have long-term consequences, preventing otherwise law-abiding individuals from accessing education, housing and employment. How many young people do we prevent from realizing their full potential because we pin a bad decision to them for life? What is the societal cost for a policy that favors incarceration over education and prevention? It’s a long-overdue conversation that we need to have.
Editor’s note: The writer represents New York’s 11th District in the State Assembly.
A better description of autism
I was angered when I read the opinion section on May 25. Columnist Michael Dobie’s crossword puzzle, “Puzzling Long Island,” included this clue: “Kids suffering from it are on the spectrum.” The answer is autism.
I am the younger sibling of a person with autism. I have worked with children with autism. Not one person I have met on the spectrum has been “suffering.” More appropriate wording would have been “Children living with it are on the spectrum.”
The offensive words of Barr and Bee
I agree with Lane Filler’s May 30 column about actress Roseanne Barr, “Trump’s avatar speaks loud and clear.”
While I was happy to see Rep. Peter King’s tweet condemning Barr, I was shocked at how many of his constituents posted negative comments to it. They seem to think that they can compare Barr’s hateful taunt to jokes by talk show hosts about President Donald Trump.
If you think you can equate taking a cheap shot at someone regarding their looks to calling an African-American woman an ape, then to misquote comedian Jeff Foxworthy, “You might be (are) a racist!”
Thank you, Lane Filler, for having the courage to write the truth about mean, hateful bigotry, and for calling out Donald Trump, Roseanne Barr and their followers.
Their words and actions ripple outward, infecting the entire pond. The apology offered was nothing more than a thin attempt to blunt the punishment they deserve.
What is truly sad is that Trump and Barr’s followers do not understand the damage they do to our society. The hurt and pain of bigotry never really go away; they are only compounded.
Anitra A. Ahrens,
So all one has to do is basically say, “Oops, my bad”?
I’m referring to Roseanne Barr’s claims of Ambien tweeting [“Trump calls out CEO,” News, May 31]. Is that taking responsibility for her racist tweet?
Beth Rose Macht,
Comedian Samantha Bee’s use of a vulgarity to describe Ivanka Trump was unacceptable [“ ‘Double standard’ for Barr, Bee: Trump,” News June 2]. Her apology, of course, was required.
But she also got snared in a trap set by misogynists. The offensive word she used is probably their strongest term for ultimate contempt of women. By using the word, she accepts their repulsive term.
It is a classic mistake to go down to their level.
I am not defending recent comments by either Roseanne Barr or Samantha Bee, which I found offensive, but I find it odd that the media, including Newsday, printed the words Barr said, but not the exact word Bee used. So which of these is really more offensive?
A simple way to stop low-bridge accidents
Every year we have trucks hitting low bridges on our state parkways [“Deja vu at parkway overpass,” News, June 2].
A simple, inexpensive solution would be to install a height-limiting bar with bells hanging from it at the maximum height. It has been used at the Midtown Tunnel entry in Manhattan. The cost would probably be a few thousand dollars, and installation would be quick.
Victor Zelmanovich,Deer Park