Traverse City Record-Eagle

May 16, 2013

Letters to the Editor: 05/16/2013

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — Just state disdain

Once again, a writer to the opinion page unsuccessfully tries to hide their homophobia under the guise of comparing a pro athlete to the Boston Marathon bombings. I refer to Darryl S. Burkhardt’s letter dated May 9, with the heading “Didn’t truly matter.” In his letter he talks about pro National Basketball Association athlete Jason Collins “coming out” as a gay athlete. He goes on to say, that he thanks god that “he didn’t profess his homosexual status to the world and elicit a congratulatory call from President Obama on the same day as the tragic Boston Marathon bombing. We certainly wouldn’t have wanted his announcement overshadowed by an event that truly mattered.”

I see two messages here from Mr. Burkhardt. One is clearly homophobia and the other is the dislike of President Obama and his positive stance on gay rights issues.

Why doesn’t he just write a letter stating how much disdain he has for gays and the president and not wrap it up into a package that includes the horrific and senseless tragedy in Boston?

Tom Emmott

Traverse City

Contributes to problem

The article “Bus stop proximity to sex offender prompts concern” states the general public believes 90 to 95 percent of sex offenders will offend again while the best studies put the actual number closer to 6 percent, half that with treatment.

First-, second-, third- and fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Conduct? Tier I, II, III? Do you know or care what these designations mean or is the label “sex offender” enough to condemn all as “predatory monsters?”

A local homeowners association recently launched an unlawful vigilante campaign to drive an offender from the area (preferring he live by your kids). In doing so, they increase the offender’s alienation, isolation, powerlessness and desperation. This kind of dehumanizing and objectifying not only mimics the dynamics of sex offending, it fosters a mindset conducive to offending.

Have you ever mooned, urinated in the woods, had sex with someone a little too tipsy? Yes? You qualify as a sex offender. I would wager a number of those homeowners who protest the loudest qualify. Yes, there is that very small percentage of offenders that should never be freed, but to persecute all offenders only contributes to the problem and puts our communities at more risk.

Tom Akalis

Traverse City