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Letters to the Editor

On the Memphis Reaction to the KKK Rally, a Memphis homer, and Obamacare.



Way to Go, Memphis!
I simply loved Bruce VanWyngarden's "Editor's Note" (April 4th issue).

First, way to go, Memphis police! How wonderfully ingenious to maneuver these dreadful KKK people into a chain-link cage where they had the freedom to wave their grammatically incorrect signs to no one. And then to be literally herded back to their pickup trucks. That was just awesome!

Second, I completely agree about all of the wonderful energy throughout our great city. It's exciting times we are in, and there's something to be said about recognizing that special fact while in the moment.

Lastly, I want to give VanWyngarden kudos for calling out the beautiful forsythia that is in full bloom. I keep telling my husband the name of that pretty yellow bush every time we see it around town, but he just can't get the word to stick in his long-term memory! So we both laughed at his nonchalant mention.

Thank you for all the Flyer does to showcase how cool our wonderful city is.

Mary O'Connor

Memphis Homer
As an unapologetic Memphis homer, I can't help but bristle at the recent success of our historic rival, the University of Louisville, in BCS football, receiving an ACC invitation, and its Final Four accomplishment. Congrats to them. They did it. Still, I'm jealous. I'm anxious for both our city and our university to be home to such achievement and to be seen on the national sports stage as a winner.

Over the past decade, our community-wide NBA push consumed much of our energy, and what we have to show for it is nothing short of remarkable. In the process, we even beat out Louisville for a franchise location. Now we must turn the same visionary and practical attention shown by our local business and civic leaders to the University of Memphis. If we want to secure any hope of achieving the future of big-time college sports and the positive financial potential associated (jobs, TV revenue, tourism, student recruitment), the impending reality of the college Super Conferences should prompt us to act now. The Big East is a nightmare, due to forces beyond our control.

Thus, it's all hands on deck for a Big 12, er, "Big 16" push. We should look West, not East or Southeast, for the U of M's athletic future. The Mid-South market is new territory, and our marketers and business leaders can make the case for the likes of Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas to cross the river into SEC country.

Solid corporate leadership is in place, and in many ways, it is improved given the recent positive NBA drive experience and the emergence of some new corporate faces. While we have serious local poverty and public education issues, as most major U.S. cities do, the "Big 16" push is both an attainable and a clear goal that would help unite us, maybe even positively influence how we come together to solve some of our more complicated problems.

Sooners vs. Tigers in the Liberty Bowl! Another shot at Kansas in FedExForum! Caravans of traveling fans at Tiger Lane, Cooper-Young, Overton Square, and Beale Street! We might even teach those Texans how to really barbecue.

S. Clay Smythe

Two conservative Republicans, Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Tom Graves, have introduced legislation in Congress to defund Obamacare. The Republican-controlled House has passed the Paul Ryan budget that would decimate the social safety net that protects the poor. Defunding Obamacare and the passage of Ryan's budget have overwhelming support among almost all conservatives.

The conservatives proclaim themselves to be pro-life, and almost all claim to be people of faith and most proudly proclaim themselves to be Christians. Yet they want to defund Obamacare and offer nothing in its place to help the millions who suffer and the thousands who die each year because they do not have health insurance. 

They are followers of Jesus but seem to have no concern for the least among us. If they did, they could not in good conscience support a Paul Ryan budget. Supporting it means ensuring that the poor in our country will suffer even more. They are pro-life but do not seem to have any compassion for anyone after they are born.

In past letters to the editor of the Flyer, liberals have often been called phonies and hypocrites. But considering these actions by conservatives, who are the real phonies and hypocrites?

Philip Williams

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