Favorite

Slaves at HAM 

Slaves at HAM

Recently, in order to treat my curiosity, I visited the Historic Arkansas Museum. It is an amazing institution with several artifacts of priceless value, and I was amazed by many of the exhibits, including the knife collection, which features Damascus steel, and the Native American Quapaw tribe.

After such a wonderful tour, imagine my frustration then to take the guided tour of the historic buildings in which the only reenactment taking place was that of a slave. To add further insult, the slave was beaten behind closed doors by the mistress of the house, but emerged with a few sour words for the mistress yet nothing but praise for her master while longing for home.

Two areas in particular were most troubling. We are first introduced to the slave working in the garden, where she is happily singing. While it is undoubtedly true that captive blacks often sang, the nature of those songs were rich in subtext and coded language. Additionally, while nearly no one would suggest that slavery was not brutal, to force visitors to listen to a simulated beating goes beyond what should count as acceptable by the South's level of decency.

Throughout the tour, I heard tale after tale about the hard-working exploits of German and Scottish families, but their servants were dismissed as no more than slaves. "Slave" is not an ethnicity nor did the slave reenactment seem the most appropriate choice for the historic museum when blacks in the South must continue to combat oppressive ideas of our place in society.

Amoja "The Mo-Man" Sumler

Little Rock

In the name of progress

The story on the Little Rock Technology Authority Board is a perfect example of a board in charge doing what it wants without caring what the people want. The Authority board will use its power of eminent domain to steal the land and ruin neighborhoods. Republicans and big-business Democrats won't change the law after the Supreme Court's decision a couple years ago allowing cities to use eminent domain in the name of economic redevelopment.

The board is looking in the wrong area if they want land for their park. The perfect area that needs help for economic redevelopment is the east side of I-30 south of the Clinton Library and Heifer Project's headquarters. Imagine an area south of the Democrat-Gazette newspaper's printing press south to the cemetery area.

This would give the park easy access to the freeway, easy access to the River Market and would be visible from the highway, which would help it grow!

Plus a lot of that area includes abandoned businesses and warehouse with some rental property.

Unfortunately, the only help for the residents of the areas under consideration will be if they can get their places listed as historical quickly, which will be hard to do.

Keith Weber

Jacksonville

On health care reform

In his letter March 14 about the requirement of contraceptive coverage, Mike Emerson misses a few points:

He complains that the political leadership is governing by edict and compares health care reform to an enactment by Putin or Chavez. Health care reform was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives and signed by President Obama. The constitutional support for the enactment is the commerce clause; that health care impacts commerce dramatically is inarguable.

Health care for most Americans is provided by the government through Medicare and Medicaid, so that care is not just government-regulated, it is government-controlled. Another large group of Americans get their coverage from employee-provided health insurance, and those plans have been regulated, including being required to include certain minimum coverage, by federal law for many years. The beneficiaries of health care reform are the uninsured who will be able to purchase affordable coverage. Those with pre-existing conditions will no longer pay an arm and a leg for coverage, and those who cannot pay full price will receive subsidies on a sliding scale. Spreading risk over large groups will make coverage affordable even when folks with pre-existing coverage are included.

Private insurance companies will not be required to subsidize the required coverage, such as contraceptive coverage. Insurance companies will be allowed to price their policies so they will make a fair return. State or federal (for states that choose not to create their own) exchanges will offer policies to insure that affordable insurance is available to everyone and to provide competition that will help keep the premiums charged by private insurers reasonable.

Health insurance providers who are religious institutions will not be required to offer coverage that offends their beliefs, but when those institutions operate other institutions that do not have a strictly religious mission — hospitals, for example — insurance companies that provide the coverage will be required to offer what other providers offer. The health reform that was passed will reduce health care costs, saving the country from unsupportable contributions to health care in the years to come, in part by requiring certain coverages that will reduce future costs. Requiring contraceptive coverage is a cost-saving measure, which will benefit the insurance companies as well as the rest of us. The religious institutions that objected to the regulation as originally proposed seemed to want help in imposing their social tenets on their own parishioners and on non-parishioners who worked for the institutions' secular operations. If a church wants its tenets on contraception observed by its parishioners, it should persuade the parishioners to follow its teachings, not try to deny them medicine they want.

Patrick J. Goss

Little Rock

Submit letters to the Editor, Arkansas Times, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203. We also accept letters via e-mail. The address is arktimes@arktimes.com. Please include name and hometown.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Outsourcing state government

    As a citizen, I don't get to choose not to pay taxes because I don't like what the Arkansas state government is spending state and federal money on, such as paying a Chinese company, Sun Paper, approximately $1 billion to build a paper mill in Clark County.
    • Sep 22, 2016

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Forget identity politics

    Amid the climate of disbelief and fear among Democrats following Donald Trump's election, a fascinating debate has broken out about what's called "identity politics" on the left, "political correctness" by the right.
  • Lawsuit filed against ADC officials, prison chaplain convicted of sexual assault at McPherson

    A former inmate who claims she was sexually assaulted over 70 times by former McPherson Womens' Unit chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has filed a federal lawsuit against Dewitt, several staff members at the prison, and officials with the Arkansas Department of Corrections, including former director Ray Hobbs.
  • Lessons from Standing Rock

    A Fayetteville resident joins the 'water protectors' allied against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Latest in Letters

  • Welcome proposals

    Thank you for the amazing article by Benjamin Hardy and Kathryn Joyce about the overhaul of our [state Division of Children and Family Services] system to be inclusive of relatives after all of these years (at least nearly three decades) of frequently excluding family members as foster parents.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Farming medical marijuana

    With the recent passage of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment to our state's constitution, I wanted to share my perspective as a small organic farmer at North Pulaski Farms and the former CIO of World Wide Travel Service.
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • An open letter to Governor Hutchinson

    I am writing you today regarding changes I believe need to be made to our state's gun laws. Specifically, I believe that we need programs to make it easier for women and minorities to acquire a concealed carry permit and that we need a "stand your ground" law so that people can protect themselves from the political and racial violence that is already occurring.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: A killing in Pocahontas

    • my name is kimberly some parts are true some are not travis was a victum…

    • on December 4, 2016
  • Re: Vive la resistance!

    • We are not asking you to place a stent in the Democrats Heart nor to…

    • on December 4, 2016
  • Re: Vive la resistance!

    • Finally! A young person who is truly interested in listening to the working people of…

    • on December 4, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation