Embassy move fulfills U.S. pledge

The New York Times editorial titled "Trump's Failure in Jerusalem" on Wednesday (page B6) failed to mention that the Congress specifically called for moving the embassy in 1995, by a very bipartisan vote of 93-5 (Senate) and 374-37 (House) and was reaffirmed on June 5, 2017, in the Senate by a vote of 90-0.

Moving the embassy recognizes Israel's right to name its own capital, and recognizes the actual fact that Jerusalem is the capital.

Far from being a failure, it is a Trump achievement.

Jim Tahler, Ringgold, Ga.


Educate students in 2018, not 1953

The recent announcement by Hamilton County school board members is a troubling sign our leadership is stuck with a mindset that perpetuates the brokenness in our education system with a fractured plan for our future.

As a product of Hamilton County schools who serves students in the classrooms in which I learned, I know firsthand the benefits of equal access and the tragedy of the lack thereof. To categorically dismiss racial and economic integration as necessary for our schools and to use an unsupported, outdated claim of public opinion as an excuse sends a clear message our children do not have advocates in every school board seat.

To "simply [not] believe" in the reality our school system faces does not change that reality. Avoiding facts and research, using divisive language and playing politics-as-usual does nothing for the necessary dialogue and work we need to do to make certain our children are receiving a 21st-century education, not one of 1953.

We know the solutions for our education system are going to be complicated, multifaceted and exhaustive, but if our leaders cannot appreciate that, we need to re-evaluate whether we trust them to create solutions.

Josiah Golson


Work together for all children

"Mommy, why aren't there white children that go to my school?"

Well, son, there can be different reasons for that. Sometimes families home-school or send them to private schools or live in different neighborhoods. What do you think about that?

"I think maybe white parents don't want to send them here."

There were two things that struck me about Chattanooga when we moved here almost two years ago. The natural beauty and the neighborhood/school segregation. It was evident to my family and me that this was the fruit of a discriminatory past.

Racial isolation and inequalities continue to thrive. I am deeply disturbed by the comments made by Joe Smith and Rhonda Thurman about school desegregation. (Even my 6-year-old can see their position to be immoral).

As a parent of three children in the Hamilton School district, how can I feel assured school board members will work together to benefit all children when Smith's and Thurman's comments drip with such ugly tribalism?

This kind of segregationist thinking should have no place with people entrusted with our children. I urge other board members to speak out against these comments also.

Sarah Marquez Berestecky, Bridge City community leader


Ignoring wide school inequities is troubling

In these modern times of access to information, the ability to research subject matter and data makes the statements of Board of Education members on equity in our schools super discouraging, problematic and perpetuates white supremacy in Chattanooga.

If Rhonda Thurman is offended by the fact the new superintendent has made the equity task force, I implore her to ask the communities of color and economically challenged how they feel about the school system.

To call our school system equitable is one of the most inhumane things I've ever heard a local official say when the disparities of resources, facilities and access to opportunities are strikingly clear.

Cameron Williams


Apologies on McCain are not good enough

Two displays of boorish behavior last week that targeted Sen. John McCain, a former POW in North Vietnam now affected with terminal brain cancer, are another example of the "coarsening" of American politics.

Sen. McCain's "sin"? He issued a statement urging the Senate to reject Gina Haspel as director of the CIA. He cited her involvement in the so-called "enhanced interrogation program" in Thailand after the terrorist attack on New York City, and added that her "refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality" was disqualifying.

At a meeting on the CIA issue, an aide, Kelly Sadler, dismissed McCain's statement as irrelevant: "It doesn't matter. He's dying anyway." As of Saturday, she is still employed at the White House.

Meanwhile, Fox News has severed its commentator relationship with retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerny, who argued in favor of torture, saying it "worked" on McCain: "That's why they call him 'Songbird John.'"

Translation: McCain gave in to torture.

The incidents can reasonably be traced back to 2015, when Donald ("Bone Spurs") Trump dismissed McCain's heroism, saying, "I prefer heroes who weren't captured."

Sadler and McInerny issued pro-forma apologies, which in political currency are worthless.

Michael Loftin


Highlander is no 'office sitter'

Steve Highlander is not an "office sitter." I've known Steve since our college wrestling days, being on opposite teams.

We coached against each other, and I was a teaching colleague. He is very active in his district and attends numerous meetings outside his district.

He does a great job in a very difficult situation.

Jim Watson, Hixson