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June 25, 2013: Government power; value of ethnic groups

Powers count on fear to do what they wantEditor:The June 19 headline that the NSA has identified 50 terror "events" reminds me of the declaration in 1950 by a senator from Wisconsin that the State Department was riven with communists and that he had a list of their names.I trust the president we now have over his predecessor and over the candidate who ran against him, but I do not trust even him with this much secrecy. The powers that be seem to have carved out a niche beyond the rule of law, and they count on our fear to let them do this.Transparency International has ranked the U.S. No. 22 in governmental transparency but, of late, we have fallen to No. 24.  The situation is not yet dire but the trend is ominous. Joe McCarthy was disgraced in 1954 by hearings in the U.S. Senate. Will we be able to do what they did?John D. PalmerCharleston Congress places needs of nation before ethnic groupsEditor:Until today, Abraham Lincoln was not one of my favorite people. With connections to the African and Native American nations, I saw him as a man who failed to go the whole mile. His desire to grant emancipation to the African slave and his/her descendants lacked financial compensation for a job well done. Because of his failure in this instance, he set the stage for a long and tedious journey for those who had lived under the longest genocide eras in global history.Past and present U.S. congressional bodies have failed to address a long-awaited answer to the question: Does the United States of America owe descendants of the African slave final payment in the form of monetary compensation?
Past presidents insured immigrants who came willingly to America received 1 square mile of free land in the 1800s, ignoring their responsibility to ex-African slaves and their descendants.Clearly, the choice to ignore this issue lies at the feet of our government representatives. Descendants of the African slave have learned to use the meager substance provided.We laugh and love just like everyone else. Our people have no need to fake friendships or boast of our monetary accomplishments. Those who achieve personal success do not necessarily hold pockets full of money. Instead, respect is based on how hard people have strived, even under adversity, to complete their goals.Descendants of the African slave have no need to kiss the air beside their friends' cheeks. Or, pomp and circumstance their wealth to ensure a proper response from their friends and acquaintances.
Our enjoyment in life comes from lessons we have learned living in the shadows of this nation's society. Neighborhood numbers are growing because of the influx of our racial counterparts wanting to experience a life in a community without fear.America has never been a whole nation. Neither can it say true democracy is metered out to all the masses.My neighbor, a highly intelligent woman, Dr. Barbara Oden, told me of a conversation she had with an African woman while visiting her homeland. She honored our nation's black population, because every law passed by our Congressional legislators is either for us or against us.I truly honor this African woman's insight into the workers of our government. While watching our children battle for a place in a country their ancestors built, we have failed to take notice of our unseen powers.In constantly inventing ways to hold the black race at bay, America's minority congressional membership, has in fact, placed our nation before the needs of any ethnic group living within its borders.So I guess we should say thank you. Fortunately for the ex-African slave's descendents, the next ethnic group to be targeted won't be us.
Donna WillisInstitute
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