Problem not fixed by building more women’s shelters

Dear Editor:

While I agree with columnist David Bond’s statement that there is a need for more women’s shelters, I would add that this a short-term fix and not getting to the root of the problem.

Policing, court interventions, anger management classes, counselling for women and children fix the individual parts, but not the whole.

The whole is the health of the disrupted family. Statistics say that after a rescue intervention, women are likely to return to the “offender” more than one time.

He is, after all, the father of her children, a powerful magnet, and when he is not emotionally out of control, he probably has many redeeming qualities.

If she chooses not to return, both she and the abuser will probably form new partnerships and have more children to cement this new bond.

But the lack of having experienced healthy models of relationship in the families of origin still remain with the potential for abuse to erupt again.

A long-lasting fix could be had, after the safety requirements have been met, with the establishment of family centres that offer training to the whole family in caring, education and respect, a service that should be available over an extended period of time.

Counselling should be free or on a sliding scale fee. But first, universities need to do better in preparing counsellors and psychiatrists with a stronger foundation in understanding and teaching healthy relationships and skills in marital and family counselling.

The lack of affordable marital counselling is a gaping hole in our health-care model. How much money could be saved and how many family lives improved if this next step was taken to ensure healthier and safer communities?

Patricia Kristie, Penticton

Anti-French views in west also a form of racism

Dear Editor:

A big thank you to columnist Chantal Herbert for reminding us that racism is alive in the west.

Whenever I hear friends complain about our prime minister speaking French or saying what a waste of money it is to have the French language on all packages, my heart sinks because French Canadians bring so much richness and culture to the rest of Canada.

Please no more French bashing. It is a form of racism

Jody Lafontaine, Lake Country

Opening U.S. border a terrible idea right now

Dear Editor:

After hinting for some weeks that he would be taking some action to reunite families

that were separated by pandemic travel restrictions, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents will be

permitted to come to Canada, even if they themselves do not hold legal status here.

Canada is surrounded by COVID-19 and the worst country in the world for it is the United States.

With over two million cases and more than 112,000 deaths, the U.S. has over 25% of the world’s COVID-19 cases and deaths.

The last border in the world Trudeau should consider easing restrictions on is the Canada-U.S. border, but he’s going ahead with it, despite the majority of Canadians opposing the border opening.

The revision means immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents will be allowed in, as long as

they have no sign they might have COVID-19 and no reason to believe they might have caught it.

An immediate family member is defined as a spouse, domestic partner, legal guardian, son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, grandparents, aunt, uncle, niece and nephew, and in-laws of the same categories. If anybody is missed, I’m sure our PM will make an exception.

Sarcasm aside, now is not the time to loosen border restrictions with the United States, or any other country.

Yes, it’s terrible that people have family in the United States that they can’t see, but millions of Canadians have family in other provinces and they can’t visit either.

We, all Canadians, have done a great job of social distancing, wearing masks, staying home and following our provincial rules.

Let’s not screw it all up for the sake of a few brownie points from the United States.

Vair Clendenning, Kelowna

Floyd murder a modern-day crucifixion

Dear Editor:

Film buffs will know the 1954 crime drama, On the Waterfront, winner of eight Academy Awards.

There’s a scene known as the “sermon on the docks,” where Father Barry (Karl Malden) tells the longshoremen: “Some people think the crucifixion only took place on Calvary. They better wise up! Taking Joey Doyle’s life to stop him from testifying is a crucifixion ... And anybody who sits around and lets it happen, keeps silent about something he knows has happened, shares the guilt of it just as much as the Roman soldier who pierced the flesh of our Lord to see if He was dead.”

The deaths of George Floyd, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Jamar Clark, Michael Brown, Eric Harris, Sandra Bland (who died in police custody) and several other black Americans — just over the past few years — are the modern-day crucifixions.

CNN reporter Sarah Sidner asked Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo: “The Floyd family has asked if you are going to get justice for George Floyd.”

After removing his hat, Arradondo addressed the Floyd family: “Being silent or not intervening — to me, you’re complicit. So I don’t see a level of distinction any different.” Arradondo added, “If there were one solitary voice, it would have intervened and acted — that’s what I would have hoped. Unfortunately that did not occur.”

Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher said on his June 5 HBO show: “There’s a meme that says ‘Nobody hates bad cops worse than good cops.’ OK, if you hate them so much, turn them in. Because let’s be real — if there wasn’t video of that murder, how do you think those other cops would have described that encounter?”

Probably some vague statement that Floyd died of heart failure while resisting arrest.

FiveThirtyEight.com reported that from 2005 to the present, 110 U.S. officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter in an on-duty shooting. Of those, 42 were convicted, 50 weren’t convicted, and 18 cases are pending. That is less than three convictions per year, out of more than 1,000 deadly shootings.

Finally, check out the new song “It’s Been Burning For A While” by Chris Pierce.

The chorus:

You say it’s in the eye of the beholder

Well, I’ll just go and check

No, it ain’t no chip up on my shoulder

That’s your boot up on my neck.

David Buckna, Kelowna

Political upheaval follows social upheaval in U.S.

Dear Editor:

So much is happening with the Black Lives Matter protests all around the world during the pandemic, making 2020 easily comparable to a couple of previous U.S. election years.

In 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, triggering riots in many U.S. cities; it came during volatile protests against the Vietnam War. That November President Lyndon Johnson was replaced by Republican Richard Nixon.

Then in 1992 after police officers who beat Rodney King were acquitted, the world witnessed terrible scenes of murders, burning and looting in the Los Angeles race riots. Only a year after riding an all-time high in the polls following Desert Storm in Iraq, President George Bush Sr. was replaced by Democrat Bill Clinton.

This year in the midst of a pandemic, a tragic senseless death in Minneapolis has seen riots raging in U.S. cities, followed by mainly peaceful protests globally. There’s no doubt disruptive elements would love to hijack the peaceful aspect of the protests, but they seem to have been quelled for now.

I participated in a peaceful anti-Vietnam war protest in Baltimore. It came at the invitation of a Marine pilot who shared bridge duties with me traversing Chesapeake Bay on a bulk carrier I worked on in 1969.

Americans cast their votes in less than five months time, and their choice is bleak. The Republican incumbent was chosen in 2016 after Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was declared 85% certain of winning in an Election Day New York Times headline.

This year the contender is Joe Biden, who doesn’t instil confidence in anyone except the staunchest Democratic Party supporter. It’s shameful the country claiming to be the greatest and most powerful in history is so crippled by political polarization, and from a population exceeding 330 million can only find these two characters to vie for the Oval Office.

There are myriad opinions on Trump’s tenure and style. For an insight into his opponent, watch a documentary about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The story of his black life definitely matters. Perhaps the most telling point in a saga came during the Senate confirmation hearings in 1991. Biden was chairman of the judiciary committee and his behaviour was bizarre, to say the least.

The documentary is “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas In His Own Words.” See justicethomasmovie.com

Bernie Smith, Parksville