Letters to the editor: Aug. 19, 2015

Continuing fight against racial injustice

In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws stripped me, my parents, their siblings and their parents, of German citizenship. Her brother, sister and family left Germany, immigrating to Palestine with the help of a wealthy cousin there. My father felt it his duty to stay in Germany, as Chazzan and Melamed, until his arrest on Kristallnacht, three years later. We finally left Germany, immigrating to St. Louis with the help of wealthy cousins here.

After 250 years of slavery, 10 years of Reconstruction followed by its abandonment, and 90 years of Jim Crow and segregation, many of us thought that 1960s legislation would finally end racial injustice. Wrong.

The election of a black president papered over the systemic racial injustice.

Dashboard, body and smartphone cameras have provided evidence that the police brutality against blacks, asserted for the past 150 years by many, is real. Pseudoscientists have made a career out of court testimony exaggerating the firearm jeopardy to law enforcement, when in fact the jeopardy is often self-inflicted by poor judgment and tactics. Unarmed blacks have paid the ultimate price for law enforcement’s errors, at times made knowingly and with impunity.

As victims of governmental brutality, in so many countries over so many centuries, it would be cowardly of us Jews to sit idly by, as we are not the objects, in the here and now. Only yesterday, we were.

Franklin Sax, Tucson, Arizona

Pollard’s parole

When I learned that Jonathan Pollard was to be paroled from prison this November, I was shocked, enraged, and in total disbelief.  

 Anyone who would spy on, and betray his or her own country, is reprehensible, repugnant traitor.

Pollard is a disgrace to his country, his family, his religion, but perhaps, most importantly, to himself.

The U.S. Justice Department should hang its head in shame, for its egregious and injudicious decision to free him.

It matters not that he spied for a U.S. ally — Israel.

In addition, it would be remiss to ignore Israel’s complicity in the spying. The U.S. is Israel’s closest and most trusted ally, and by its misguided actions, the Jewish State put a severe strain on a special bond and relationship that has existed between the two nations ever since Israel declared its independence in 1948. However, to its credit, Israel subsequently issued a formal apology to the U.S. 

The Israeli government has granted Pollard citizenship, and Pollard has expressed hope that he will be able to move to Israel after he is released.

I say good riddance.

Gene Carton, Olivette