In light of recent criticism of our regional jewel of news reporting, Newsday, I find it only proper to share three of my opinion submissions that failed to make the cut. Admittedly, volume may have played a part, but I cannot dismiss the weight of subject matter. I share this with you, my reading public, to decide for yourselves. Enjoy!
Regarding “Obama’s Message: Don’t quit” News, Sept. 8], I look forward to the Newsday publication listing the school districts that banned the president’s motivational speech dedicated to the children of our nation. Among the 56 districts open for business on that day, let those that censured the president bare their embarrassment.
The White House preview of the speech effectively removed suspicion of any political agenda, while receiving endorsements from former first lady Laura Bush and former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. The message: Don’t quit, is a call to our youth to take responsibility for their future while respecting their parents, teachers and mentors in an environment that’s not always friendly. Evidently, there are some custodians of our children’s education who did not get the message. Using the manufactured threat of politics to hide personal bias, these elected symbols of authority committed the ultimate political sin. They used our children as political ponds. How dare them!
OUR CHILDREN, OUR MIRRORS
How often has a parent gloated over an accomplishment by his/her child? Whether it be a goal scored on the soccer field, touchdown in full armor, academic honors at graduation, not to mention the college commencement film that will last forever as proof of economic sacrifice; on such occasions, parents do not hesitate at taking credit for the accolades afforded their offspring. This is part of living the good life, celebrating our progeny while investing in hopes of a future destined to survive us. Commendations to all.
As parents, do we perform in like manner when choices our children exercise are less than admirable? This is a question growing at fever pace with the advent of front page hate crimes perpetrated by our young. Unfortunately, many a young person is made aware early the real world is fractured, commonly the result of a fractured family. That in itself does not provide a “get out of jail free” card, either to the young person or the parent. Of course there is the other picture, the intact social unit with mother and father present. With due respect, this idyllic life style does not guarantee the yellow brick road.
Insult to injury; let us not forget the sin of omission, otherwise known as denial. This is the plateau on which too many parents, social pundits, and elected officials find refuge. Interestingly, if the district attorney’s office proves correct, many indicted youth offenders are less intrigued with this refuge. They willingly attest to the scenario of the charges. We of the parent and grandparent generations will probably find that astonishing; not for their honesty, but for the audacity to throw their actions in the face of authority. Not to the credit of our legal system, the recent codification of a hate crime deserving its own level of punitive retribution is testament to a history of jurisprudence denial. Crimes of hate date back to the book of Genesis.
What is the foundation for this de facto recognition? After a century of activism and martyrdom for the advancement of civil and human rights, America has matured in its admission of racial and ethnic atrocities of man against his neighbor.
Hate is not born but acquired. From the womb we are all a blank canvass, pure in the sight of our Creator and in any court in these United States. Respect for self and fellow man is taught and learned by example. The gravity of the fruit from the tree may be simplistic, but proverbs themselves are born from example. School begins at home. For too many neighbors school is out. Their children are no longer children. For good or bad, they will be judged accordingly.
Perhaps gloating at our progeny is an exercise at looking in the mirror. If we employ the tools of honesty, integrity, and self-assuredness, then we should be happy at what we see.
If and when this letter is published, the decision regarding the occupant of the Oval Office will have been made. Unfortunately, it won’t alter the journalistic damage emanating from Newsday’s presidential endorsement (Editorial, Nov. 5). It is generally understood the business of a newspaper is to sell newspapers; but, it is expected to do so with responsible journalism.
The tepid endorsement of Mitt Romney was riddled with disclaimers sufficient to endorse his opponent, Barack Obama. Additionally, Newsday’s version of “tale of success” does not accurately match the former governor’s record, particularly in Massachusetts. This reflects a disconnect between its reporting sources and editorial perspective. The final insult is the utilization of Mr. Romney’s deficiencies as reason for endorsement (wavering positions and unspecified plans for solving the nation’s problems).
It comes as no surprise the repercussions were overwhelmingly negative and may lead to cancelled subscriptions. On a positive note, I was pleased to be reassured that perceptive readers still exist in our region and the ghost of Alicia Patterson, Newsday’s founder, is alive and well. I look forward to the restoration of a paper we once held in high standing.
BY LINE: RON SCOTT