A double standard on offensive words

Paula Deen of the Food Network had her contract terminated for using the N-word a long time ago.

Most of us are familiar with what happened to Sergio Garcia recently, and years ago with Fuzzy Zoeller for referencing a fried chicken remark in regard to Tiger Woods.

I agree that these comments are hurtful and inappropriate. What I can't figure out is why there are no repercussions for rap singers. My son plays his music rather loudly in the house and garage, and it seems to me that most of the songs incorporate the use of N-word almost every other sentence.

Why is it OK that this is not only tolerated, but that individuals are allowed to profit off it while others lose everything because of it? It needs to be banned from everywhere or not banned at all.

Kevin Vickers

Livermore

Paying protesters is a gigantic mistake

According to news media reports, Oakland and Alameda County are going to pay the protesters who were arrested in 2010 during an Oscar Grant rally thousands of dollars for the ways they were treated.

That is a huge mistake and a travesty of justice. They broke the law (failure to follow police directives) and such action should not be rewarded.


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Paying them ransom now is misdirected and will merely encourage future civil disobedience.

Forrest West

Fremont

Must get grip on use of chemicals

As one of those chemically sensitive/allergic people, I was moved to tears by coverage of Dr. Tracey Woodruff's talk before the Piedmont League of Women Voters about chemical impacts on our health.

Flame retardants, scented personal and laundry products, new carpeting, air fresheners cleaning products -- all are poisoning us.

I left Sunset House's demonstration house because of the chemicals wafting from the new construction. Last November, I found that former hotel occupants' perfumes scented the mattress, pillows and closet.

As Woodruff mentioned, we require testing for our drugs to see if they are safe. However, other producers such as Johnson & Johnson or Monsanto do not have to prove their products are safe. Citizens have to prove harm before they are removed from the marketplace.

During a walk along San Francisco Bay by a water treatment plant, our birding group was assailed by perfumes. What do these products do to life in the bay? I shall check out the safe chemicals legislation introduced by recently deceased U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

I urge others to ask their members of Congress to take leadership and support this legislation and to thank Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer who have co-sponsored.

Sue Oehser

Oakland

Richmond City Hall belongs to residents

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin needs to be reminded that Richmond City Hall does not belong to her.

The mayor has no right to disgrace it by promoting her pro-homosexual views by flying a gay pride flag. That building belongs to the citizens of Richmond. As one of those citizens, I demand the flag be taken down and put out of the view of the public.

John Mullany

Richmond

Grant taxpaying teens the right to vote

Recently, a youth rights milestone was reached in Takoma Park, Md. The City Council voted 6-1 to lower the voting age to 16.

While this may only be a reality for a small group of taxpaying citizens in Maryland, I believe this will become a reality in many other cities, and eventually, states across the nation.

As a history major and supporter of youth rights, I see this as an opportunity to allow honest, taxpaying young people to finally be able to voice their opinions on matters that will affect them in their schools, in the workplace and in their communities.

For those who don't believe this could ever be possible, I remind them how narrowly defined our electorate was up until the early 20th century. You had to have the right skin color, the right gender, and own the right amount of property.

The point is, change happens. I believe now's the time to support youth rights and allow all taxpaying youngsters the right to vote.

Jester Jersey

Pittsburg