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Cyclops: Responding to the readers
by Bryan Gray
Jun 21, 2016 | 2552 views | 0 0 comments | 346 346 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Utah summer on a weekend morning: I leisurely walk through the Waterside Drives and Shepherd Parkways to a lakeside trail. I pass a senior citizen housing project where three women chat pleasantly in the patchwork gardens. I come across young men walking their labs and collies, young women practicing yoga on mats damp from a nearby sprinkler, a child picking a pansy (I’m going to give it to my grandma,” she says.).

And thousands of miles away from the beauty and comfort and aroma of summer a crazed fanatic carries out the worst mass shooting in U.S. history: 50 dead, more than 50 wounded.

We live in a polarized world where kindness and understanding continually tussle with cruelty and bigotry. People, of course, will view events differently, as seen in recent letters and comments about recent columns. I respond below and thank you for reading.

Last week’s column on Muhammed Ali sparked a comment that my comparison between Jane Fonda and the boxer were specious since Fonda was rooting for a North Vietnamese victory whereas Ali simply avoided the draft.

Granted, the two cannot be directly compared. However, I maintain that Ali was given a “pass” that two women – Fonda and folksinger Joan Baez – never got.

Ali not only said that he had “nothing against the Viet Cong,” but also spoke for a black homeland, said white religions were ruled by “ghosts and spooks,” and claimed “the white race attacks black people,” and returning from a global tour, blurted that he “was not an American; I’m a black man.” He also led a sexually promiscuous life; his close associates and manager reported that he sometimes had sexual relations with a half dozen women per day.

If a female celebrity chalked up this type of biography, would Sen. Orrin Hatch be idolizing her as he did Ali at the boxer’s funeral?

I’m not knocking Ali. I believe a human is greater than the sum of their parts. I simply suggest he was the recipient of a double standard and a healthy dose of public amnesia.

A retired teacher in Iron County wrote that she agreed with my stance on the Northern Utah English teacher temporarily suspended for explaining the cultural and historical use of the “N-word” in conjunction with a Civil War film.

Citing her teaching of “Huckleberry Finn,” the educator wrote, “I read a lot of Twain’s novels out loud in class; the dialect is challenging. Reading the ‘N-word’ almost killed me. I spent two class periods preparing the students and explaining the time period/Twain’s intent/etc.

“But that’s a teacher’s job. Educate the usage. I hope the teacher stays engaged in the struggle; it’s real. We need teachers like him. And we need opinion writers like you.”

As to my recent column on The Donald, a reader approached me and said “You will never admit that Trump is excellent at anything or that he is good for business.”

Not true. I admit that he is excellent in committing fraud (Trump University) and, with more than 3,000 lawsuits filed against him over recent business dealings, Trump is obviously an economic driver for the legal community. Thanks to Trump, a lot of attorneys are doing very well, thank you.

I guess that makes America great, huh?

The opinions stated in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the ownership or management of this newspaper.

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