No time for softballs

I have read with great interest the question-and-answer sessions with District 17 congressional candidates. I thought in general they were good sessions, as most of the candidates were novices and have never held federal elected office before, save one. The questions seemed to be fair, some questions were slow-pitched, some were difficult. All were treated with respect.

The last candidate questioned, Renee Swann, was in my opinion treated differently and perhaps unfairly. In the introduction it was written she “touts” herself as a small-business owner. Do you know what the word means? The Trib editorial board told us that they were rushed to accommodate Mrs. Swann because she had another meeting during the same “general” time bloc. It appears you started the interview with a chip on your shoulder.

In the interview the most casual reader would come to the opinion that you were badgering her with your questions. No softball questions for her. You further stated she demonstrated a lack of knowledge, depth and context on even basic issues. I guess that is why she won Bill Flores’ endorsement, an honor all Republican candidates would want.

I do not live in District 17 anymore but I know plenty of people who do and they respect her. They will vote for her.

Joe A. Hunter, Clifton

Ten questions

As a Jew, a mother, grandmother and Wacoan, I write to respond to Trib columnist and theologian Roger Olson’s opinion piece “Ten Awkward Questions for Christians.” His column is an effort to question public outcry regarding the establishment of a child-detention center for undocumented immigrant children in East Waco. Call my answer, “Response to the Fallacious Reasoning of an Ethicist.”

Olson is misusing faith and history to confuse the public’s initial moral outcry and rational economic argument. I personally will always be grateful to those whose faith led them to resist and find the personal courage to save the victims of Hitler’s Holocaust. The Christians of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon risked all to shelter and hide. They took other humans into their homes, hid them in their barns, basements and churches to save them from certain death in the concentration camps. Olson is not asking Waco to take these migrant children into our homes to love, protect and raise them. He is asking, perhaps unintentionally, that we condone the building of detention centers (often called 21st century concentration camps) with uncertain sentences where education, recreation and quality health care is no longer required in federal contracts.

Olson’s questions and reasoning incorrectly assume that the negative community response to this facility is grounded in bias, fear of those unlike ourselves, racism and xenophobia. That is wrong! Community resistance to a detention center for children is a moral and ethical outcry against putting children in cages; using prisons instead of creating a just and fair immigration system or appropriate foreign policies; and continuing the environmental degradation of neighborhoods of color. Wacoans who spoke out did so out of a deep sense of faith and justice clear about the direction that people of faith must take when community values are threatened.

Arlene Lyons, Waco

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