Litmus Test on Hand
(In response to "Paying to Be Green" in the Aug. 26-Sept. 1 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
"Day of service education will be needed forever," said Michael Patton, executive director for The Metropolitan Environmental Trust and member of the city's refuse and recycling task force.
With all of the "concerns" about conflicts of interests regarding city contractors expressed recently by the Council, including Ethics complaints, I am surprised Michael Patton is allowed to serve on a committee to decide the future of city recycling programs considering he is a recycling contractor for the city in a clear-cut case of conflict of interest.
Perhaps in the course of their recently adopted quest to root out city contractors conflicts of interests in city government, the Council should investigate this issue with the same zeal and send it to the Ethics Advisory Committee for review.
That is assuming the Council actually wants consistent enforcement, instead of just using selective enforcement when it serves their political purposes.
Whether the Council ignores this issue or acts on it will be a good litmus test to answer that question.
(In response to "Cafeteria Christians" in the Aug. 19-25 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
Choice is a major part of our lives. Just getting out of bed is a choice. You can choose to take a shower, or skip it for later, eat breakfast or not, etc. We as Americans have been blessed with more choices than any other society/culture that has ever lived. I think it has come naturally with our freedoms, whether those be economic, sociologic or other.
Most people who have cable can choose from 300 or more channels, and still you hear someone say "There's nothing on." There has been times in my life where I have opened my fridge or cabinet and stated "There's nothing to eat."
Yet, the fridge and cabinets both contain food. So it's not the fact that we don't have a choice, it's that we have been able to choose between so much that it has diluted even small decisions and forced us to compare. So when we say there's nothing on TV to watch, what we are really saying is that I want to have the choice to watch exactly what I want, if I can't do that, then there's nothing on. We can't always turn the TV on and see the bottom of the ninth inning between the Yankees and the Red Sox all tied up, and we can't always open the fridge and pull out a steak and potato, pop it in the microwave and eat it.
My point is I don't think we can blame it all on the churches; ultimately it will come down to a person's choice.
But maybe the church has followed the trend of everything else in America, which gives people the wrong idea about religion, we have this idea that church is like Burger King, "Have it your way" or no way at all. And the church has tried to cater to that false need we have as Americans of having a choice for everything.
Instead, maybe the church should be standing on the good and holding strong.
We need to remember that just because we are Americans and can choose between so much, the most important things that are permanent in this life aren't choices we could make. Regardless of surgeries or anything else we can't choose our gender and have it genuine, we cannot choose to be tall or short, we cannot choose the color of our eyes permanently, we cannot choose our parents, and although we have tried, we cannot choose our creator.
Shocked and Appalled
(In response to the Cover of the Aug. 19-25 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
I could say I am shocked regarding the cover illustration on the Aug. 19-25 issue, depicting the Union Redskin Mascot. Nothing shocks me anymore at the lengths of the bigotry, prejudice and hate that are taken in your actions and words to "honor" Native Americans.
What other race of people is this ignorant choice of "Honor" given? None!!!
Questions have been asked: "Aren't there more important issues Indians face?" They are being addressed if the one asking would research and know the facts.
Another comment has been said: "I'm Native American, I think it's an honor and not hurting anything or anyone to have the Union mascot or any other Indian mascot." These are the very ones "riding the fence," only choosing the "don't rock the boat" mentality, at their convenience. They may say, "I go to pow-wows," but they live nothing of native spirituality, let alone they would not die for it.
This attack on our people is an ongoing genocide of brainwashing, hate and prejudice they teach their students, a choice that is deliberately chosen.
Learn your facts, the "Treaties," the uncensored history of Native people. After all, isn't it what you teach your children, "education is a key to end prejudice and ignorance???"
These words have all been said before, and as I speak them again, they will never be silenced.
-Tim Fields, Cherokee/Creek Nation
[Editor's Note: We hear your concerns; however, you should probably call (918) 357-4321, which is Union Public Schools to voice this matter with them, not us.]
(In response to the Slowpoke cartoon "How Straight Marriage will be Destroyed" in the Aug. 19-25 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
I am writing on behalf of Oklahomans for Equality about Jen Sorensen's political cartoon in the Aug. 19 issue. We loved it! It's depiction of the fear of some heterosexuals that their marriages will be threatened by the court decision overturning of California Proposition 8 is dead on. No heterosexual union will be violated or diminished if gay citizens are allowed to marry a partner of the same sex. Jen Sorensen's Slowpoke political cartoon accomplished with humor what debate could never have achieved. It showed the foolishness of an argument that restrains liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
-Toby Jenkins, Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
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