Email your letter to: email@example.com
Please keep your letter under 300 words (one page).
Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification.
True meaning of MLK Day
Something about Paul J. Nepote’s letter lamenting the “hijacking” of Martin Luther King Day by the gay community seems a little disingenuous. It’s hard to tell if he’s attacking the gay community, the use of public funds for the celebration, or the holiday itself, but I did not find it to be in the spirit Dr. King’s life.
As far as his claim that no one in Northern Michigan observes MLK Day, I personally listened to some of Dr. King’s speeches and reflected on what I might do to live up to his amazing challenge to all of us. It was probably the most moving and meaningful holiday experience I have had in a while. Also, the line to the gospel performance seemed pretty long.
What I took away from my observance, especially from the “Beyond Vietnam” speech, was a sense of how broad and radical Dr. King’s vision of justice was. With respect, I don’t think the opinion of “the majority of the black community” on homosexuality and gay marriage has much to do with Dr. King’s message.
It seems vividly clear that Dr. King wanted us to regard all of humanity with compassion and to act accordingly. No one is obligated to take this on, but I think that if they invoke Dr. King they should make the sincerest attempt to do so.
Brenin Wertz-Roth • Via email
It’s too bad that Paul Nepote considers himself a viable voice for the African- American community, when it’s clear by his racist rant (Letters, 1-28-13) that nothing could be further from the truth. It’s too bad that anyone with a brain will see through his weak claim that “the majority of the black community do not support homosexuality.” It’s too bad that he believes the gay community needs to “hijack” a day set aside to honor a leader of the equal rights movement in order to be heard in their own struggle for equality.
What group of Americans that struggles with equality would not look to Dr. King for inspiration? Striving to learn from his fight does not equal robbery of his tactics. Mr. Nepote, where are the numbers that back up your claims? How do you know what African-Americans as a whole believe about homosexuality and gay marriage? How do you know that MLK Day is a waste of time and money? It may be thus for you, given that the mere idea of a black gospel group setting foot in Traverse City is cause to spread more of your prejudicial blather. Happily, you are in a minority, Mr. Nepote.
I ask you, and anyone else that’s interested, to read CNN correspondent John Blake’s recent article ‘What did MLK think about gay people?’ In it, he quotes Michael Long, author of the upcoming book “Keeping it straight? Martin Luther King, Jr., Homosexuality, and Gay Rights.” “Dr. King never publicly welcomed gays at the front gate of his beloved community. But he did leave behind a key for them -- his belief that each person is sacred, free and equal to all to others.” If you truly support equality, Mr. Nepote, you’ll take such beliefs into account, instead of trying to sow seeds of intolerance between minorities.
Annaka Dodd • Traverse City
Sick of it
Is it just me or is everyone sick of hearing about Paul Nepote’s anti-Homosexual diatribes? And now he claims that the LGB&T movement has hijacked MLK day. Really? Ludicrous at best. Yes Mr. Nepote, you are entitled to your opinion, and I to mine.
I hope you understand you are among a small minority of hate mongers in our community and soon enough the love of the rest of the world for people’s differences, skin color, sexual preference, and all the
other things that make people individual will drown out your hate. I hope one day you can accept people for who they are, until then your just another lost voice in the wind.
Jon Butler • Traverse City
Watch out for meddlers
While Barack Obama won the state of Michigan in November, Republicans successfully invested millions of dollars in local elections to impact policy decisions. Proposal 2, designed to guarantee collective bargaining rights, was defeated by a wellfinanced campaign that included $2 million from the family of Dick DeVos, $2 million from casino owner Sheldon Adelson, and $500,000 from Harold Simmons, a Texas industrialist.
According to the New York Times (Dec. 17), DeVos contacted our Republican representatives and Governor Snyder to tell them Proposal 2’s defeat was an indication that Michigan was ready to deal a crippling blow to unions. He offered his help if lawmakers faced backlash from voters during the next election. The Michigan Freedom Fund, founded by a DeVos company employee, donated $1 million to support Right To Work legislation. Americans for Prosperity, founded by billionaires David and Charles Koch, had volunteers make thousands of phone calls to Michigan citizens encouraging them to contact their lawmakers in support of Right To Work. The legislation passed in record time without public debate.
An organization called The Republican State Leadership Committee is dedicated to increasing Republican control of state legislatures. Working with Karl Rove’s American Crossroads super PAC, the group spent more than $1.6 million to help Republicans win the Michigan State House in 2010 and 2012. What happened to the Republican belief in local control?
When money equals free speech, the super-rich have far more opportunity to speak than any ordinary citizen. The concept of equality and one person, one vote is eroded. Let’s allow Michigan residents to determine Michigan’s fate. When Dick DeVos and his wealthy out of state friends show up at election time, please tell them that the state of Michigan is not for sale.
Linda Egeler • Elk Rapids
Christian values violated
I found a copy of your publication on the break room table at work today. I was instantly upset and ashamed that you are proudly telling the story of the two homosexual men in Traverse City. Although I consider myself conservative, I feel that I am tolerant of others and what they do as long as it is not shoved down my throat. I do not consider myself a regular church goer, but I do remember the scripture about homosexuality being an abomination to God. It was very clear.
This celebration of sin to the general public is inappropriate and offensive to those of us who DO believe that a marriage is between a man and a woman. Shame on you for bending to the desires of the few at the expense of the many. I believe this should have been a family celebration. It is wonderful they have found each other and can find happiness. I just don’t want to know about it. Neither do I want my children to believe anything about this “marriage” is ok or right.
The fact that they are educators and have decided to foster children doesn’t even bother that much. The fact that now their students know something about them that should be kept private, does. Wake up! The general population does not support this or want to know about it! Even some of the most liberal of my co-workers felt this inappropriate to share publicly. Shame on you for pedaling the idea that this is OK. It’s not! I refuse to ignore my Christian values and morals to make people “feel” better about their choices. I hope people blow up your email with similar statements. I for one will no longer read this publication.
Anne Horn • Boyne Falls