Laurence Britt's 14 characteristics of fascism certainly are well-reasoned and accurate, but I would add a 15th to make clear why the situation in the United States is now so frightening: the citizenry's unquestioning acceptance of such conditions.
The number of us trying to resist, writing letters to the editor, protesting election fraud outside the daily newspaper's building, or doing anything at all is pitifully small. However uncomfortable the rest may be, they are either quietly acquiescing to the rightist juggernaut or obliviously thronging to bread-and-circuses stadiums and dollar stores.
Even the millions of protestors in the Ukraine were but a small percentage of those who were wronged, but they have turned the tide of history. Where are the millions of Americans who should be jamming the streets to protest an unjust, illegal, and pointless war, the wholesale abandonment of domestic social programs, and the endless massive giveaway to the ultra rich and insider corporations (to name just a few)?
The deepest disappointment to those who can see it coming is that everyone will have to endure total disaster before anything is done about it. When the lessons of history are so clear, the present situation seems so wasteful and unnecessary. The lack of a powerful outcry will cost us what few comforts we misguidedly hope silence will preserve.
William R. Wagner, Hollybrook Road, Rochester
City, like much of what is published, has an editorial perspective, which is fine. I do find it distressing, however, when you publish an article that resorts to name calling.
I refer to Ron Netsky's "Fascism in America?" (December 8), where those opposed to abortion are referred to as having "rampant sexism." That sort of name calling is best not repeated and amplified, as it serves to be prejudicial, not explorative. Although I might disagree with you on where life begins --- the transitions from zygote to embryo to fetus to baby are complex --- that is not my purpose here. I simply ask that I not be disrespected, as a person, for my opinion.
Simply put, although we may disagree, respect the fact that I hold my opinion sincerely. I will grant you the same. I have a sister, a mother, and daughters and might have some insight into the dilemma that this subject presents. But I also have a nephew, for which an abortion was prevented. Let's discuss our disagreements, but leave the name calling in kindergarten.
Oh, by the by: an otherwise provocative article which is mostly well argued.
Larry Mohr, Preston Circle, Greece
In response to "Hurt and Anger in the Neighborhoods" by Krestia DeGeorge (December 15): Although the times have changed, the same basic problems exist. People still need education, health, housing, and food. Our youth are angry, in part; due to the images and sounds that they hear, which make them feel no one is listening or gives a damn about them.
As long as we continue to think that agencies and mandates from here, there, everywhere but ourselves will move the people's agenda, we will continue to lose the war. We may win a battle here and there, but we will not win the war.
If I were given the go-ahead to solve some of these problems I would start with the youth who are ready to work. Work would include creating their own businesses --- designing and marketing creativity and the arts. Here is an area that our youth have tremendous capacity to develop but are atrophied due to the meaningless, external stimuli that they are bombarded with on a daily basis.
I would instill an interdisciplinary approach to life and assign a mentor to pods of four young people. There would be trips outside of their ecological landscape: to Harlem, Washington DC, Toronto, and Montreal, to name a few. They need to see, smell, and touch culture on many levels.
Nature would be promoted year round. We would be involved in learning how to snowshoe and cross- country ski in the winter and climb a mountain, camp, and listen to nature in the summer. This is not about any politician, race, or emotions; It's about the will to get the job done.
I know that these things work, because young people tell me today --- 20 or more years later --- that it was these types of events that made them reflect on their lives and develop a vision for their futures.
Henry Ignacio Padrón Morales, Highland Avenue, Brighton
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