I fail to understand why Bijan Ghaisar’s name is not mentioned along with George Floyd’s, Breonna Taylor’s and the many other recent victims of police shootings and/or misconduct.
Ghaisar’s killing by U.S. Park Police was captured on video by Fairfax County police. This shooting of an unarmed, non-threatening citizen is just as heinous an example of injustice as the knee to Floyd’s neck and Taylor’s death-by-cop in her own home.
For three years, Park Police have been trying to execute an end run around the very clear video evidence alluded to in the editorial. This video is not shaky cellphone footage; it captures the entire incident. I remain waiting for accountability for the officers involved and to hear Ghaisar’s name included when we “say their names.”
Daniel W. Keiper, Falls Church
Wait a minute. This sounds eerily familiar.
Evans “fought for compensation for the victims of thalidomide, a morning-sickness drug that killed thousands of babies in the womb and caused severe birth defects before being taken off the market in 1961.”
Later, investigative reporters showed that distributors “had not properly tested the drug.”
Anthony Barnard, Gaithersburg
Ode with a Grecian burn
The Sept. 28 letter “The complicated history of Greek life” took issue with a purported inaccuracy and an omission in an article about the changing landscape of Greek life on college campuses. The letter asserted that “Phi Beta Kappa has produced 17 U.S. presidents, 40 Supreme Court justices, more than 140 Nobel laureates, and countless other graduates who have greatly and positively impacted society.” In fact, Phi Beta Kappa has produced zero U.S. presidents, no Supreme Court justices and not a single Nobel laureate.
Qualified students are generally elected to Phi Beta Kappa in their senior year of college, thus, they are approaching the end of their formal educations and have already achieved the high intellectual standards and other criteria required for membership. It could perhaps be said they were “produced” by their families, their hometowns or their schools; but, while election to the society is certainly a distinction, and many of its members do go on to notable success and distinction in various areas, it is just a recognition.
The only things actually produced by Phi Beta Kappa are the keys awarded to its honorees.
Frank P. Homburger, Alexandria
This critic is worth kajillions
Ann Hornaday has replaced the late Pauline Kael as my favorite film critic — and that’s saying something. I may disagree with her take on certain films, but I always look forward to reading her reviews because they are so beautifully written. I keep a dictionary nearby to look up words that she sometimes uses that I don’t know, but I consider doing so a learning experience whereby I add yet another word (or two) to my vocabulary.
“Much more than another ‘kooky’ film,” her Sept. 23 review of the movie “Kajillionaire,” was a perfect example of her skill as a writer, as are the excellent and probing feature pieces she has written about the film industry of late.
And I now know the meaning of the word “peregrinations,” thank you very much.
They were told there’d be no math
The college students quoted in the Sept. 26 Metro article “Students advocate a skip day — to vote” perhaps should think twice about skipping class. One student was quoted as saying, “If you’ve got a class that ends at 11 a.m. and a class that starts at 1 p.m., you’ve only got three hours.”
Perhaps staying in math class would be a better option since they’d have only two — not three — hours in the stated example.
Michael S. Goldstein, Washington
The Sports pages, picked apart
I’m confused. On the front page of the Sept. 28 Sports section, top half, was a large color photograph of the Washington Football Team with the headline “Picked apart.” Washington lost to the Cleveland Browns 34-20.
On the right was a one-column article, “Nats win, wrap up one very odd year.” One column. It continued on Page D10, with a black-and-white photograph of an empty diamond with people just standing around. The Nationals won 15-5. Why was there no photograph of the game?
The positioning in the Sports section seems backward to me.
Susie Van Pool, Washington
Good news should travel faster
As many editorials and opinion columns in the past few months have suggested, if we’re told something enough times, even if it isn’t true, it tends to settle in our minds and hearts. We have heard this when talking about opinions about race in the United States; the same is true of Africa. What have we heard, including in The Post, about Africa? Always famines, dictators, violence, corruption, diseases, “they must be helped.”
The Post’s global opinions editor, Karen Attiah, wrote of Africa’s largely amazing coronavirus response with low deaths and efficient responses — but her column ran only online. Why haven’t I seen anything in The Post other than a Page A20 article about dictators taking advantage of the coronavirus in a country or two to strengthen their hold on their countries? Let’s hear a success story about battling the coronavirus on the front page, regardless of where the good news comes from.
Paul H. Pingel,
Listen to the something they said
In the “Just Us” track from Richard Pryor’s 1975 album, “ . . . Is It Something I Said?,” Pryor said, “You go down there looking for justice and that’s what you find, just us.”
Pryor gave credit for that play on words to friend and fellow comic Paul Mooney. Pryor was and Mooney still is one of the most prescient American voices on race, justice and police brutality.
We can learn a great deal by listening to or reading the talented voices of comics, cartoonists and poets. I’m encouraged by Carr’s continuing work and look forward to more of it.
I had never been moved to tears by the beloved “Doonesbury” comic until Sept. 27. Garry Trudeau’s depiction of the number of people who have died from the novel coronavirus was both stark and subtle at the same time. A brilliant reminder of the callousness with which the current president regards others.
Three days before 9/11, a brush with innocence
I was one of a relatively small (vs. current attendance figures) group of attendees for that inaugural program. The access to name authors for book-signing and conversation was amazing, thanks to the degree of intimacy that the smaller numbers provided.
What I remember most, however, was my experience on arrival at the Libary of Congress’s Jefferson Building on Sept. 8, 2001. As I started up the outside steps, I noticed about 15 feet to my right the first lady, Laura Bush, accompanied by a single (as I recall) security person, giving an impromptu interview to a reporter with a microphone and a cameraman.
As we all know, the world changed dramatically and permanently just three days later. The days of such casual appearances by (not just) first ladies with minimal security are, regrettably, long gone. On the other hand, the enormous increase of festival attendees over the years since is a most welcome change.
Alan B. Salisbury, McLean
HBCUs need our support
In her Sept. 27 Business column, “Stop saying Black people don’t value education,” Michelle Singletary opposed the widespread belief that “if only [African Americans] invested in going to college and acquiring qualifications.” She failed to note the role of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in providing pathways to success when other U.S. colleges and universities, many state-supported, actively denied such opportunities.
The HBCUs continue to fulfill their mission and need to be supported so African Americans “can invest in going to college and acquiring qualifications.”
Carrol Perrino, Silver Spring
And you thought he only tossed hats
President Trump’s rallies are alarming enough, but reading that he is spewing controversy and “viscera” from the stage takes it to a whole new level. Where is he getting all those hearts, livers and intestines? Ewwww!
Sage advice, from RBG and Pat
I thoroughly enjoyed the Sept. 26 Style article about the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her marriage, “In a robe or a wedding gown, Ginsburg upheld equality.” I especially liked the advice Ginsburg’s future mother-in-law offered: “In every good marriage, it pays sometimes to be a little deaf.”
That wise little morsel reminded me of something my late wife, Patricia, was fond of repeating to our two daughters: “It ain’t always 50-50.” Pat would then follow up with: “If it’s 90-10 and you’re the 10, make sure that you don’t say or do anything stupid that’s going to harm your relationship; because the next time (and there’s always a next time!), you may be the 90 and he may be the 10, and you just hope that he will be as generous and understanding as you once were.”
“A little deaf” and “it ain’t always 50-50” are two pretty good keys to a happy and productive marriage.
John Fuller, Perry Hall, Md.
A headline in name only
The headline of the Sept. 25 news article about President Trump’s new executive orders on health insurance, “Trump protects part of Obamacare in health-care vision,” was extremely misleading. The executive order, which does nothing more than declare a “policy,” protects nothing. It is nothing more than a statement that has no force of law and would not provide people with preexisting medical conditions with access to health insurance if the Affordable Care Act, which currently provides that protection, were repealed.
Particularly, as we head toward an election in which health care is a key issue, and given the Trump administration’s ongoing effort before the Supreme Court to end the existing protection for people with preexisting conditions, it is essential that The Post portray the relevant facts accurately, including in news article headlines. In this case, The Post failed miserably.
Daniel Saphire, Kensington
Franklin, my dear . . .
Tom Toles’s Sept. 28 editorial cartoon misquoted Benjamin Franklin responding to the question “What kind of government do we have, Mr. Franklin?” Franklin’s reply in Toles’s cartoon was “A democracy, if you don’t count the Senate.” This conflated “democracy” with “republic.”
Franklin was walking out of Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787, when someone shouted, “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” Such a question doesn’t appear in any of Franklin’s writings or other appropriate sources, such as the Federalist Papers.
According to Bartleby.com: “The response is attributed to Benjamin Franklin — at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation — in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention. McHenry’s notes were first published in The American Historical Review, vol. 11, 1906, and the anecdote on p. 618 reads: ‘A lady asked Dr. Franklin Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy. A republic replied the Doctor if you can keep it.’”
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