Even though I am from Mississippi, I believe I have a unique perspective on your situation. As an officer with the local police department, I have had my share of experience with Ku Klux Klan rallies and natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.
Within the past decade, we have seen that when groups such as the KKK come to town, they speak to fewer and fewer people. What created chaos and attracted a large crowd 10 years ago only made the third page of the local newspaper last year. We accomplished this by doing exactly what you and your mayor suggested, not giving them an audience.
Even groups like the KKK and NSM have the right to speak but we reserve the right not to attend, not to participate, and even to not pay attention. It reminds me of the old saying about a tree falling in the woods.
After Hurricane Katrina, our community experienced a rash of looting. No one stole food, water, or emergency supplies, just beer, cigarettes, and Nike shoes. Apparently the looting in Toledo was for similar items.
To blame the cause of this on the NSM is ludicrous and illogical. People looted beer and cigarettes for their own pleasure and personal gain as it was a chance to get something free with very little chance of getting caught. The looting was not a protest against a racist organization or expressing anger and dissatisfaction of police services, but an act by predators to prey on the vulnerable.
I wish you all well and hope you recover quickly. The only people that can (and will) do that are the good, hard-working, honest, people - of all colors - who take pride in their community and wish to build a stronger and better one.
Why would a small Nazi clan want to come to Toledo? This is a group of people who wanted to demonstrate and spread their hatred to a small group of citizens on the north end.
Obviously, these people have been very successful in poisoning their own community into sharing their beliefs because why would we have the unwelcome privilege to have them? It must mean that their membership is down.
So why not hide behind the First Amendment right and do a negative campaign in the Glass City? I believe Toledo was picked on the basis of its size and strong diversified community.
Like any other political action group, they thrive on press coverage. These ignorant people, who have very low self-esteem, were successful in letting the community raise their voices of displeasure of their presence. People who need to target a specific group of people for the problems in society are weak. These people cannot face that we can live together in harmony. What happened last weekend is just another challenge to overcome racism and bigotry.
I believe Toledo is a strong enough city to overcome this and soar to a higher level than the Nazi group will ever achieve in their lifetime. Just ask Hitler.
Is race simply to blame? While it is true that had the Nazis (primarily motivated by race) not shown up, none of this would have happened, it is also true that they left before the majority of this did happen. That the protesters resorted to destroying their own community just doesn't make sense to most people.
Would this same reaction have taken place in a predominantly affluent black community? Certainly not. Therefore, race alone is not the core issue. Socio-economic status is. The Nazis incited the anger, for sure. But after they were gone that anger spilled over like a hail storm and in some instances was directed at other establishments that these people, many of them impoverished, might feel are against them, including the police.
While I certainly do not agree with this, what are we as a city, as a state, as a country, willing to do about it? It is time to stop blaming race for everything bad that happens and start dealing with people individually and helping them to achieve better lives for themselves.
Our great governor, Bob Taft, stated his trips to other countries have brought 18,000 jobs and $646 million to Ohio. I say "show me the money."
Make him prove what he said is true and not more Republican propaganda. It shouldn't be too difficult to discern the real numbers.
VAUGHN C. MILLER
In response to a an Oct. 9 Forum writer, yes, Darwin did say it best:
"To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."
But Darwin continues (and this is what the creationists and intelligent design proponents fail to add):
"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case." [Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 1859 (First Edition) and 1872 (Sixth Edition)]
Also, one could offer $250,000 for any empirical evidence for any scientific theory and feel safe. The point of a scientific theory is that it can be falsified at any moment. Hence the name "theory"!
In fact, the two great ideas of physics in the 20th century are still just theories: Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Quantum Theory. Yet they each have given us a marvelous lifestyle that we would certainly not want to give up just because they are theories.
Intelligent design and creationism are not science (they cannot be falsified) and do not belong in a science classroom.
Raymond A. Heitger
I am surprised when people challenge the scientific basis of evolution, or insist that religious explanations be offered as scientific theories. This is an affront to both science and religion, which are different philosophies founded on different principles.
Religion is based on faith, and does not require empirical proof. Science is based on observation, and demands empirical proof. Unfortunately, concepts such as "proof," "belief," and even "truth" have different meanings for these philosophies, so debate is challenging.
Even so, both philosophies have given much to humanity and should be viewed as complimentary rather than contradictory, because each answers questions that the other cannot.
However, each has an appropriate context, and the science classroom is not a proper forum for creation or intelligent design. After all, the latter begs the question of an intelligent designer.
The City is going to spend $5 million to purchase the Sports Arena property and build an amphitheater? And that's just for the property. Add in demolition costs and construction and I'm sure the true price is much higher.
We lost the Rib-Off, so what about the original plan for it along Summit Street? We already own the property. Did we magically find this money?
Last check we were cutting back on city services and laying off employees. We had rusting police cars and pot-holed streets, though a lot seems to be getting attention in this election year. Let's get our priorities straight.
James C. Strabler
South St. Clair Street
The Mud Hens left Maumee for Toledo.
The Rib-Off is leaving Toledo for Maumee.
What's next to be traded?
MARY ANN KEENAN