Try substitution 

Try substitution

Mike Ferguson in his letter Nov. 12 applauded Sen. Blanche Lincoln's leaning toward opposition to a bill making it unlawful for private employers to discriminate against the hiring of homosexual or transgender applicants.

Try this, Mr. Ferguson. In your letter substitute black/African American for homosexual/transgender. Reread it and see how it makes you sound.

James DeVito

Eureka Springs

The Graffiti's incident

An open letter to Janet Davis, who, as Ernest Dumas recounted Nov. 19, interrupted U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder and his wife during dinner at Graffiti's to object to Snyder's health legislation vote and later wrote about it in a widely circulated e-mail:

I thought about hand delivering this letter to Graffiti's, but I'm a lowly graduate student and I didn't want to risk being shooed out of your favorite restaurant because of people like you being offended by a reminder that people like me actually exist. So I'm placing my letter here in the Arkansas Times, which, like your dignity, costs nothing. If you happen to pick it up and read it in between bouts of spending your husband's money, tea-bagging, needing attention, feeding the gluttonous beast that is your self-absorption, creating needless spectacles at the expense of others, and then bragging about it to make yourself feel like you've done something worthwhile or significant, I hope you will take heed to what I have to say to you.

High school is over. It has been over for quite some time. I know you and the rest of the popular girls like to go to your restaurant to drink, have a good time, and feed off of each other's narcissism, but that doesn't change the fact that you're adults now. When you go over to berate someone and make their significant other cry, no one thinks you're cool anymore. Well, except for the other people who are just like you. But everyone else, mature people with decency and respect for themselves and others, are embarrassed for you. They're laughing at you. That is, if they aren't sighing and shaking their heads.

If doing something like what you did to the congressman and his wife is a highlight in your life, that's really sad. If it's out of a movie, it's not one I'd pay to see.

Instead, I'd rather see a movie about a man who is a doctor, an attorney, a Marine, a Vietnam veteran, a seven-term Congressman, husband to a lady who revitalized and presided over a beautiful house of God, and father of four children.

Vic, if you see this, semper fi. And Betsy, shake the hate off. You're married to a congressman and have four beautiful children. You are truly blessed.

Caleb Baumgardner

Little Rock

A West Fork boy and the pledge

Thank you, Will Phillips, for continuing the struggle for equal rights in Arkansas! I was a Presbyterian minister in 1960 in Jacksonville, Arkansas, when the struggle for civil rights was at its height. Even the leaders of our community and church elders refused the basic rights to black people. It was a sin against the community for a white minister to shake hands with a black minister, or to speak at a black school, or to invite black friends to dinner. Interracial marriage was a sin against God [according to state law and other pastors]. There was almost no legal protection of basic rights. Very few white folks thought the laws would ever be changed.

Will, the laws did change because of brave people like you. Continue standing up for your beliefs. One day, your right to free speech and homosexuals' rights to equality under the Constitution will be affirmed. God bless you in your struggle to maintain freedom!

James C. Berbiglia

Chaplain, Army, ret.

Helotes, Texas


Will Phillips is an inspiration for me in more ways than one. As a lesbian myself, I have never thought of the pledge of allegiance being misleading. Now, as I think about the words that most children in schools say every day, I feel that not only is the GLBT community left out, I feel that people of all minorities are discriminated against in our pledge.

As a salute to Will, and to the entire GLBT community, students from my school district planned not to stand or recite the pledge on Monday, Nov. 23. I am extremely thankful that I have someone like Will to look up to, and I would like to say thank you to him from the bottom of my heart.

Hannah Shook

11th grade

New Paris, OH


It is a travesty that a smart-alec 10-year-old can do whatever he wants to protest inside classrooms. This is not part of the Constitution. Any kid that thinks he can protest for any reason leaves open the door for everyone protesting everything.

The West Fork School District must nip this in the bud. He can march up and down the street, but not protest in our schools. America must have order and allegiance.

If his parents think it's so cute, why not take him to China or somewhere else where they have no rights at all? Our country is the best on earth. Phillips doesn't know this and if he is so smart he sure is dumb about America.

Wayne Abbott



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