At a time when the weight of economic injustice is oppressing millions and many go to work in the dark of the morning and return in the dark of the night with less money than they need to support their family, a dim light of hope just got brighter. President Nelson Mandela’s death has caused the media — politicians, historians, pundits, all — to unwrap the narrative of a man who prevailed against the forces of apartheid in South Africa. The new light comes from the telling and retelling of old and new stories about the struggle and ultimate victory of a human spirit that found a way to create a new day and end the long dark night of souls in South Africa.
History’s judgment on the ultimate demise of societies that sustain social and economic injustice is clear. The electricity can be turned off and houses can go dark but the human spirit is not under the control of Duke Energy.
President Mandela brought spiritual light to a dark South African nation by persevering in his deep faith that the power within those in economic shackles was greater than the power of those holding keys to the chains. His light — as Lincoln’s — belongs to the ages. It illuminates a way out of the injustice of oppression through a leader whose fire burned with hope, purposeful sacrifice, courage, and a commitment to dignity for all as the victorious trump of revenge. His story echoes the lives and teachings of the greatest sages of history. Our hope is created and sustained by their wisdom.
James L. Paul
Voting a duty
With reference to Scott Reuther’s “Your Views” letter, “It’s society’s fault” (Dec. 9), I would like to say a huge and grateful amen and add that voting is also a duty of every eligible citizen. There are too many citizens who are eligible voters who I refer to as one-issue voters. These citizens will not vote if they do not agree with one particular issue of the candidate of their choice. Shame on these citizens for shirking their constitutionally awarded authority.
Robert J. Dlouhy
Tampa’s Christmas spirit
My husband and I would like to thank the gracious and caring people of Tampa who did not hesitate to help an older couple on their way to enjoy the Donny and Marie concert Friday evening at the Forum. Walking into the concert I somehow tripped and fell. As my husband tried to save me from falling, he somehow lost his footing and flew 4 feet forward. Instantaneously, we were being offered help from those around us — picking us up and calling for help. Our two falls resulted in injuries that were lovingly treated by EMS men outside the arena, with Tampa police standing by to give comfort and help.
The concert was our Christmas gift to each other, and it would have been a shame to miss it, for we have waited a lifetime to see Donny and Marie “live.” Although we had a hurting start to our gift, it was a lovely concert by Donny and Marie, thoroughly enjoyed by long-time fans!
It was abundantly apparent that the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Tampa.
Sallie and John Foster
Regardless of what we believe about the guilt or innocence of Jameis Winston, FSU’s heralded quarterback, we know for a fact that the Tallahassee Police Department is guilty of neglecting its duty to follow up on a reported crime. I believe our state attorney general, Pam Bondi, should initiate an investigation into the improper handling of this investigation. The officer who threatened, warned or coerced the accusing coed into seriously considering her charges or whomever is responsible for placing the investigation on “inactive status,” as reported in your recent article, must answer to charges of incompetence or willful neglect of duty.
The average citizen would face much greater and more immediate scrutiny if similarly accused. I agree “innocent until proven guilty.” However, we know that every day innocent people are arrested and investigated under similar circumstances and with even less evidence on a variety of charges.
Politicians, celebrities, the wealthy and sports stars are treated with a special kind of exception which comes from two things — power and money. Those who have the power and the money are in greater control of their destiny since they have legal representation that too often know how to manipulate the law to their clients’ favor. For the rest of us, we get to fester “under the jail.” What a travesty of justice.
Accomplice or dupe?
Your “living wage” story (Business, Dec. 5) ran the same day as an AP story about “income inequality” and just a few days after another piece on fast-food worker demands for a $15 minimum wage. Where did all of this come from? Why are these hot topics now? Could this be a game plan laid out by an administration in trouble over the biggest legislative debacle of all time, searching to deflect the public’s attention? Forget Obamacare and look at the shiny objects over here. I’m trying to decide if the Tribune is a willing accomplice or an unwitting dupe.
John S.V. Weiss