Readers respond to recent columns


Regretting discrimination at his alma mater

I’m a 1965 graduate of Carroll High School and I read with interest the guest column by Archbishop Schnurr “Catholic Schools bless the whole community.” I found it seriously flawed, given that my alma mater and the other Catholic schools in the area discriminate in hiring, at the direction of the Catholic Church. Members of the LGBTQ community are simply not acceptable, regardless of their credentials, as past articles in the newspaper have explained.

I have only vague memories of my own high school years, but I remember that coming to grips with my sexuality, even as a straight male, was no walk on the beach. The statistics suggest that somewhere between 8 and 10 percent of the population is gay. My heart aches for the students at Carroll who fall into this group, wrestling with their own sexuality, and knowing that while Carroll has no problem taking tuition money from them, they will never be welcomed back as staff members, no matter how brilliant or accomplished.

Until recently I was proud of my high school and of the fact that with Carroll’s encouragement some of my classmates and I participated in the civil rights marches in Dayton in the mid-1960s. Working to end discrimination against people of color was the right thing to do. Now in a cruel twist, 50 years later, my high school is actually at the forefront of hate-based discrimination.

Schnurr says Catholic students learn "compassion and a commitment to social justice." Perhaps they do, but certainly not from their Catholic school where religious freedom means the freedom to discriminate and hate. MIKE THOMPSON, SPRINGBORO

Racism is still very much with us today

The very day that guest columnist Aaron W. Reep’s column (“Trying to find harmony in race talks,” Feb. 8) was printed, 10 students from Stivers School for the Arts (mostly black) boarded an RTA bus at the end of their school day. A white woman spoke in a loud voice to her friend, “They need another bus for these people, because they take up too much room and they’re loud.” Then to the students (my son was one of them) she said, “There’s room in the back of the bus. Why don’t you go sit there?” Then she said to a white student, “Honey, I’m not talking about you. You’re fine.”

That is an example of racial prejudice. Deplorable, but in this age of unleashed tongues it is becoming far too common. “Racism,” however, is something else entirely.

Reep wrote, “While I know that racism still exists, America’s racial issues are no longer primarily institutional or systemic.” What he does not understand is that racism is by definition “systemic.” It is part of the language (black hats and white hats); it is represented by a criminal justice system that incarcerates people of color at far higher rates than white folk who commit crimes at approximately the same rates. Study after study document discrimination in health care, employment, education and housing. Cultural biases are displayed in media, movies and law enforcement. Racism is ingrained in the “systems” of our land.

We should never be blind to America's original sin that continues to operate systemically and relentlessly to damage black lives and erode white souls. JOHN PADDOCK, DAYTON


It is interesting that when President Trump nominated Judge Gorsuch for the Supreme Court seat the headlines were: "Conservative Picked for Supreme Court." But when President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan there was no headline like "Liberal Picked for Supreme Court" even though they were and are extremely liberal in their ideology.

It is no surprise that President Trump's actions at the recent National Prayer Breakfast were inappropriate and lacked the seriousness the event should have been accorded. His comments about the TV show "The Apprentice," coupled with coarse language illustrated his lack of respect for the religious setting.

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