Shea’s column fine until the wheels came off

I read the opinion piece by Mr. Shea in the Sept. 4 edition. He was doing fine until the wheels came off. He was quite accurate until he came to the present day.

His attempt to paint the Black Lives Matter movement and Democrats as subversive to the Constitution and advocates of Socialism defies reality and resembles the smear campaign and disinformation and conspiracy theories of the Far Right. Both the BLM and the Democratic Party are not monoliths. They cover wide swaths of our citizens and differing viewpoints. As far as the Constitution being racist: at its inception it was, certainly, in part racist and more: Only white males of property had the vote. Women and, of course, slaves did not. Slaves were property. The 3/5 compromise allowed for 3/5 of slaves to be counted only for the purpose of giving Southern states an advantage in terms of apportioning Congress, for the North had greater population. That’s basic American history. The importation of slaves was allowed until 1808, if I remember right. But there was the Bill of Rights and the ability to amend. The words of the Declaration of Independence probably had some effect on the growth of the Abolitionist movement and the rancorous debate and the various ultimately futile attempts to prevent secession and the resulting Civil War.

He misapplies Critical Race Theory, which is part of university curricula and is a term first coined by Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, professor of law at the U.C.L.A. and Columbia schools of law. Critical race theorists say they are mainly concerned with institutions and systems.

“The problem is not bad people,” said Mari Matsuda, a law professor at the University of Hawaii who was an early developer of critical race theory. “The problem is a system that reproduces bad outcomes. It is both humane and inclusive to say, ‘We have done things that have hurt all of us, and we need to find a way out.’”

The above information about CRT comes from an article in The New York Times, July 27, 2021, which bears reading by any fair minded person.

Well, I would argue it is both, but the “bad” people are often visible but the “system” is often pretty opaque — except for those who have to experience the pain from it in their lives. The gulf that exists among us is, in part, a result, not only of slavery, but also the conquest and near extermination of the 100 million who lived on these two continents for thousands of years by our European ancestors. This is not to lay blame, but to say that we need to know the whole of our history, not the partial history that we learned in school. Our heroes that we revere were just that, but they were human and had their blindnesses and were people of their times. We need to acknowledge that and that the pain filled vestiges of history that live in the present. BLM is proof that we have not reached Dr. King’s mountain top. The pinnacle may, perhaps, be unreachable, but we have to have eyes clear enough to see the summit and the way we have to go.

Frank Siegle

1013 Houston St.

My commitment to sustainable beef production

Cattlemen and women, like me, are dedicated to caring for our animals and the land every day of the year.

As the chief operating officer of a feed yard in Kansas and a member of a multi-generational cattle feeding family, I have first-hand knowledge of the stewardship practiced in the cattle industry.

My goal as a cattleman is to follow the best science available to leave the land better than when I found it and create an operation that’s sustainable to last for generations after me.

Our operation employs numerous strategies to ensure environmental sustainability, such as recycling cattle waste from our feedyard for use as crop fertilizer, which eliminates the need for synthetic chemicals. We also plant cover crops in off-seasons to improve and preserve soil health.

Further, we continually seek ways to increase the efficiency of our cattle, which has directly contributed to decreasing the resources needed per pound of beef.

My family takes great pride in knowing that we are providing Americans with high-quality protein in the most sustainable way possible.

Consumers should feel good about eating beef, knowing it is produced on farms and ranches just like ours, by people just like us, all across America.

Shawn Tiffany

Herington, Kansas

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