LETTERS: On racism and H-E-B shooting in Pharr

‘A long way to go’

Consider Jan 11. On that infamous day, our president fastened his curse on the countries of Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, openly asking why the United States should admit immigrants from those nations. It is no coincidence that inhabitants of those nations are people of color. Many have come here fleeing threats to their lives, knowing they would be in mortal danger if they had to return. The Haitian government has asked our embassy in Port-au-Prince to account for the vicious comments our president hurled at that long-suffering country, and the government of Botswana and the African Union have issued their own condemnations. President Donald Trump’s remarks clearly endorse a mean streak that runs back centuries in our country’s history, one we still have to end. They also reflect a personal history of racism running back to the 1970s, when his real estate firm was sued for discrimination. He led the birther campaign against President Barack Obama and had the public support of David Duke and Richard Spencer, along with his declaration last summer that some of the neo-Nazi marchers in Charlottesville were “fine people.” This gets personal. Though I am white, my sister-in-law comes from Monrovia, which makes my youngest niece part African. I am tired of his insults to my family and my country. While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took us a long way forward from Jim Crow and the lynch mob, we, as a nation, still have a long way to go.

John Raby, New London, New Hampshire

H-E-B shooting

I was deeply disturbed last week to read in The Monitor about a shopper at a Pharr H-E-B being shot by a dropped handgun. What on earth is a customer doing with a handgun in a grocery store? If it is for “protection” the last thing I want is to be caught in a crossfire between armed customers, police and criminals. I tend to avoid businesses that allow armed customers. I appreciate being warned about the danger of shopping in H-E-B and will be more careful in the future.

Hardy Pottinger, Mission

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