Every missing person deserves attention

I am the mother of a 26-year-old white man, Michael Austin Davis, missing since June 6, 2007 [Media shows bias in covering missing youth, Terry Dean, July 17]. We have found the same to be true. No he isn’t black, but neither is he a blond-haired, blue-eyed girl. People, including the police, assumed that since he’s a man that he must have decided to take some time out of life. And the media was then extremely slow to respond, and you have to have a major event to get their attention. We can each make a difference though, if we make sure to shine a light on every missing person’s case we come across. Every mention, every look at a flier, every listing in a website helps.

Christy Davis
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

If teachers can strike, why not students?

There are many opinions and criticisms of the Chicago Public Schools boycott proposed by State Senator James Meeks concerning funding for education. School officials are saying that they are essentially handcuffed by the downstate powerbrokers who don’t like Chicago. Teachers complain about conditions that are not conducive to proper instruction and learning. Various organizations and individuals reel off statistics showing how Illinois is under-funding its schools and must do more to have a fair, equal and humane educational system. I’d like to submit for your consideration how history has shown time and time again that in order for the world to change, the people who make up the world must change. Or, as Mahatma Gandhi stated, “We must become the change we expect to see in the world.” Our children must know that things can actually be better than what they are now. Our wonderful, brilliant and beautiful young people can make the changes we all know need to happen. I believe that our youth, if exposed to higher-quality learning and technological environments and technological, will do just that. There is no better time for our young people to learn how great and powerful they are than right now. Talk to your children, to youth groups and sports teams. Encourage a dialogue, a conversation about their ability to make things happen. Our children are constantly told how bad they are. Now is the time for them to experience their greatness. When the children are taught to refuse low standards and low expectations and are given a vision of what they can be then we all STRIKE a blow for justice. It’s your future and our fight, kids. You’re ready to make a difference. You always have been. Now is the time to let CPS, Springfield and Washington D. C., know that a sleeping giant has been aroused and you’re not going to take it anymore. Peace.

Rev. Gregory Livingston

Jackson’s Obama rant not uncommon

Are you surprised he talks this though when the mikes are off? [Rev. Jackson shouldn’t get a pass on Obama statements, Arlene Jones, July 24]. I suspect this kind of rough talk is typical of a lot of Chicago politicians.

Bill Baar
Submitted at www.Austin WeeklyNews.com

Columnist addresses an important issue

Thank you for such a sensitive and balanced column on this pressing social issue [Help foster an authentic father-child relationship, China Hill, July 17]. As you correctly pointed out, our society continues to deemphasize the importance of fathers, and there are many activities fathers could be more engaged in with their children. Organizations like the Children’s Rights Council of Illinois are helping to bring more attention to this problem and advocating for greater balance in programs for parents and children.

Mike Doherty
Children’s Rights Council of Illinois
Board member
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

Housing discrimination a real concern

I’m not sure if this comment may be of any assistance, but there is something that needs to be done about all this foolishness, and that’s exactly what it is [Commission tackles housing discrimination, July 17]. As I was reading the section in the article about two men sent to view and attempt to buy a house, I immediately recalled a personal incident. I went to view an apartment in Wisconsin. Me and my family were advised to remove our shoes, and me and my sister walked through the unit with no guidance or explanation of things. But when a white woman came to view it, the landlord did not have her to remove her shoes. He escorted her, showed and explained to her the entire house. The thing that really ticked me off was when he led her down the street, showing her another unit that was also on the market, which I knew nothing about nor did he bring it to my attention. This type of hate exists everywhere, but if someone would speak up and possibly do something, then matters can be better-a little. I went through so much racial discrimination with my landlords; I even filed a case with the Dept. of Civil Rights Equal Opportunities Division. I’m still waiting to hear back from them. I have sustained several rude comments, treatment, and even lies by this rental agency. I was even falsely accused, and it resulted in me losing my Section 8 housing opportunity. If there’s anything someone can do to help me, please do so.

Tamara Jackson
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com

Sound relationship advice

I think all women should take this column’s advice [After a break-up, allow yourself to be loved again, Angelic Jones, Nov. 8].

Tan Hill
Submitted at www.AustinWeeklyNews.com