Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

July 13, 2014

Letters to the Editor: 07/13/2014

Verbal poison

I have known two wonderful boys who have referred to me as grandpa ever since they could talk. These two children are bright, loving and have beautiful brown skin reflecting the brown skin of their father, who was born on a tiny island in the South Pacific.

I recently found out that both boys have been ridiculed about their color. Words, like your skin looks like poop, have especially hurt the youngest and I was very concerned when their mother told me that the oldest boy just lets these types of comments roll off, attesting to the fact that this treatment has been going on a long time.

How do you mend a child’s broken heart? Hopefully adults will make it a point to watch for and correct this behavior if and when it happens. Also the Interlochen and all elementary schools could be proactive by talking with their students about how words do hurt and how important it is that all children be treated well regardless of their race, their size, intelligence level and religious affiliation, etc.

Please talk to your children soon about this kind of verbal poison.

Dave Lund

Traverse City

 

Fireworks can traumatize

Fireworks are legal on the day before, the day of and the day after July 4th. There is no exception for those living on a lake.

Fireworks terrorize wildlife - unpredictable, sudden explosions that can damage their sensitive hearing, cause convolutions and death. Eagles flee their nests, loons scream in pain.

Fireworks release toxic heavy metals into the air which land in our gardens, on the lawns where our children and pets play and in the water where they swim. Toxic heavy metals from fireworks do not disappear but end up in the food chain (in vegetation, fish and deer) and into our own bodies resulting in cancer and digestive illnesses.

Loud fireworks traumatize working adults, elderly, pets and young children who are blasted awake. Finally, let us not forget our veterans living throughout our communities, many who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. For them, the Fouth of July is a living hell.

Let’s all make an effort to be more compassionate and kind. That will go a long way to strengthening our nation and our communities.

Julie Chai

Traverse City

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