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As mayor of Marvell I read with great interest your Nov. 17 cover story featuring the wonderful photo journalism by the youth of Marvell. However, I was quite dismayed that your publication would take this hard work of Marvell’s children and use it to give their hometown a black eye.

Marvell, Phillips County and the rest of the Arkansas Delta have been working together for years to erase the stigma of poverty and perceived racism in the area. In the past several years, the city has received a multimillion-dollar grant to upgrade the drainage system in the city’s poorest wards. Additionally, the city has worked with the Department of Agriculture to improve health by extending city sewer service to satellite communities. I am also proud that when the last doctor and pharmacist left the city, the citizens of Marvell worked together to build and finance the operation of a medical clinic and pharmacy in the city that is benefiting the entire region.

Your publication did correctly say that the city of Marvell is a poor community that lacks a constant revenue stream that would enable our residents to have many of the benefits seen in wealthier areas of the state. The top priorities of the city are health care and public safety. Marvell does, though, try with limited funds and grants to improve social opportunities and activities in the city. This summer, the city used general improvement funds to build a small pavilion on Main Street that has become the home of a seasonal farmers market as well as a place to hold family reunions and other social events. The city has also applied for a state grant to build a water park for the enjoyment of children and adults alike.

With regard to water and swimming pools in your article, I must admit that I am perplexed that anyone can draw a correlation between opening up a fire hydrant for summer enjoyment and practices carried out in metropolitan areas during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The fire hydrant that the city opened was not located in the poorest part of the city, but rather on Main Street where it could be enjoyed by everyone. I am also perplexed that your publication would be so brash to think that it is good journalism to pen an article without talking to any city officials or citizens of Marvell instead relying on the opinions of artists in Brooklyn, N.Y.

I would like to invite you to visit Marvell to see for yourself the wonderful strides that we as an entire community are making in trying to improve the lives of all residents. Additionally, I would hope that in the future you will take the time to check facts and visit with all parties involved before you publish an article.
Mayor Clark Hall
Marvell


Intelligent design


Robert McCord’s column on Intelligent Design states that the concept was invented by “young biologists.” As a formerly young biologist, I take issue with this statement. Intelligent Design as it is presented today is a thinly veiled version of creationism invented in the late 1980s by Stephen Meyer, a geologist, and Phillip Johnson, a lawyer. These people have as much business deciding what biology is as I do in determining fashion or maintaining airplane motors.
John Hunt
Assistant Professor, Biology
School of Mathematical
and Natural Sciences
University of Arkansas Monticello


Happy birthday


On the one-year anniversary of the Clinton Library it is time to pay homage and offer kudos to the naysayers of the last three years.

To Mr. Eugene Pfeifer, the petulant, reluctant holdout land owner — Gene you owe us big time. Just look at all the big bucks you have cost us for delaying the project. Gene I see you are still at it over here in Argenta.

To Mr. Richard Allin — “foggy bottom” it ain’t!

To the Clinton haters — Thanks for the help. Hey, publicity is publicity.

To all those who said NO at every turn — well there is not much more to say, except same old, same old...

To those who raised hell because part of Markham was renamed President Clinton Avenue — you can still call it Markham if you want, and you are always welcome.

To those of us who saw through all the minutia and envisioned what this project could mean to the metro area — celebrate!!!
James W. (Jim) Lane
Sherwood


The Indian mascot


I am writing to oppose Arkansas State University’s Indian-themed name, mascots and logo. I am with the American Indian Movement Kansas Support Group and have been a spokesperson on the mascot issue for nearly eight years. The American Indian Movement is an international social justice and human rights organization that advocates on behalf of indigenous issues. My family is members of the Cherokee Nation. I have been following the events at ASU and the decision made by the NCAA to place ASU on the list of schools that have an American Indian-themed name, logo, and mascot that is hostile or abusive.

Despite what some people call traditions, racial stereotypes aimed at a specific group of people shame and undermine the self-worth of that group. People are guilty of these abusive acts until they accept responsibility to change. Such is the case with the American Indian-themed sports logo and mascots used at Arkansas State University.

Mainstream America clings tightly to some traditions for personal gain and entertainment though these actions oppress others. Oppression harms and creates a painful hierarchy of power and shame. This shameful hierarchy is demonstrated each day through sport teams that depict American Indians with disparaging stereotypes and images that dehumanize. Why is ASU teaching children it is okay to dehumanize a race of people as long as it is for fun and entertainment?

The American Psychological Association just released a policy statement, which clearly outlines that American Indian-themed mascots and logos cause harm. The group calls for the immediate elimination of these types of mascots and symbols. What will ASU do to respond to this prestigious mental health organization’s request?

We are waiting for the day it will be unacceptable to use American Indian race-based names, mascots, or logos like the now taboo “little black Sambo” and others. We wait for the day that team spirit doesn’t ride on the backs of our ancestors who were murdered in the bloody history of America’s race hate war against the native people. We demand this cultural violence being committed every day against indigenous peoples by ASU cease.
Joni Tucker-Nisbeth, LBSW
State Coordinator, American Indian Movement Kansas Support Group
Hutchinson, Kan.


Cut and runners


Rep. John Murtha, a military hero of Vietnam?

Gen. Benedict Arnold was a hero of the Revolutionary War also before he decided the American way was not his way. George Washington decided NOT to “cut and run” and so was born the United States of America — a republic. John F. Kerry, while still an officer of the Navy Reserves, secretly attempted to broker a surrender to the North Vietnamese and to the Viet Cong communists. The communist army had been defeated back in 1968 and would have surrendered except for the extreme encouragement they received from the progressive socialists in the United States who are now the leaders of the Democratic Party.

The U.S. in Vietnam “cut and ran.” As the result, over 3 million people were murdered in retribution in South Vietnam.

After terrorists attacked U.S. troops in Mogadishu, Somalia, 12 years ago, anti-war Democrat Rep. John Murtha urged then-President Clinton to begin a complete pullout of U.S. troops from the region.

Osama Bin Laden saw that and decided that the Americans were basically cowards and would always “cut and run” after a few soldiers were killed and mutilated. The results of the coward action to “cut and run” in Somalia? Three thousand murdered Americans on Sept. 11, 2001.

So here we are again with the same cast of seditious characters. Hanoi Jane Fonda, John F. Kerry, Ted Kennedy and even Bill Clinton all calling — as they did back during the Vietnam War — for the surrender of America to “cut and run.” The way of all treasonous cowards.

Don’t dare claim that just because a person was in the military, he is therefore a hero.
Carl L. Steplock III
Hot Springs


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