voice for democracy

Letters to the editor: Haitians deserve our compassion, not inhumane treatment – Austin American-Statesman

I am outraged by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s inhumane treatment of Haitians at our Texas border.
Haiti is characterized in news stories as an underdeveloped nation, always mentioning it as the poorest in the western hemisphere. U.S. intervention and a history of exploitation are the reasons why Haiti has not become a wealthy democracy. Ever since they dared to be free in 1804, they have been punished by the rest of the so-called “developed” world.
To punish them in the literal pursuit for life, liberty and happiness in un-American. Why are we punishing Haitians for daring to be free once again? The Border Patrol’sactions show we are underdeveloped in our humanity.
The Biden administration should halt Haiti-bound flights immediately. It is unthinkably cruel to send these families back when Haiti is no longer their home.
Compassion is the only acceptable response to this crisis.
Scarlett Compton, Round Rock
Remember the old phrase “death by a thousand cuts”? That’s already happening to our democracy.  
Radicalized Republicans and Trump wannabes are busy perfecting endless ways to hamstring or undercut our society and government. Every little voting procedure, every close voting result, every Democratic priority and anything they just don’t like are all being litigated or overturned in courts and state legislatures around the country.  
And far-right media keeps fanning the flames of resentment, fear and self-righteous rage. It’s all leading to a weird, destructive combination of super-individualistic anarchy and legislative fascism/overreach.  
But we all need to remember: A functional democracy is based on trust and goodwill among its citizens, and trust in our basic institutions — such as voting. If we continue down this dark path and lose these precious necessities, our democracy will surely fall, and our lives and our future will become vastly worse.
Richard Lowenthal, Leander
Ted Cruz should stop pretending that he doesn’t understand that raising the debt ceiling is not about future expenditures but about paying the bills on past budget items, like the tax cuts for the rich that he heartily supported under the previous administration.  
He is smart enough to know this but seems to believe that his constituents aren’t. Guess again. His willingness to tank a recovering economy for his own political pandering to a base that he clearly doesn’t respect is shameful.
He knows we need to raise the debt ceiling, so he needs to just do it.
Diana Spain, Austin
Today, I am proud to be an Illinoisan. The Land of Lincoln welcomes all women who wish to assert autonomy over their own bodies, minds and destinies. In Illinois, we understand that the most profound key to a successful, healthy and free society is the empowerment of women.
In the face of life-threatening health conditions, the people of Illinois encourage those in need of women’s health care, abortion services, birth control, medical screenings and counseling, to come to our beautiful state. We will not turn the amazing women of Texas away and we believe that your future belongs to you.
No politician or petty tyrant will intimidate us into submission to derelict, draconian, senseless and extremist policies that harm humanity. We must preserve Roe v. Wade and expand the inherent rights that belong to our amazing American women. 
Henry J.H. Wilson, Barrington, Ill.

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