Regarding Duke Machado’s Aug. 22 column, “Black Lives Matter dividing nation.” He claims statistically that racial injustice doesn’t exist. Yet systemic racism can be seen when at current levels of incarceration a black male in the United States has greater than a 1-in-4 chance of going to prison during his lifetime.
Mr. Machado states that the perpetrators of violence in Portland were members of BLM. To be clear: This violence happened two blocks from the peaceful protest BLM organized. Portland BLM leader Danialle James stated: “We want the public to know that we’re not those folks beating people up and robbing them.” Next is the Seattle incident where protesters walked through a former black neighborhood yelling at homeowners to “give people back their homes.” The right-wing video depicts a violent mob threatening white homeowners. Watch the video, consider the context and a different story emerges: There was no violence; the crowd was loud and angry, but if you look they’re not all black. And gentrification in Seattle is a big problem. To live comfortably in Seattle, you need a minimum annual salary of $72,000, and the minimum wage in Seattle is around $24,000.
Mr. Machado’s conclusion that giving to the BLM movement and voting for Joe Biden are equivalent to donating to Marxism that will destroy America can be characterized as perfidious. The challenges we face are not going to be solved with false narratives and fearmongering. We need a leader who can bring us back together. That’s why I’m voting for Joe Biden.
Lorenzo Villa, Waco
September is Suicide Prevention Month and it’s important we’re there for one another and take steps to prevent suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s theme for the month is to #KeepGoing by taking simple actions to safeguard our mental health and save lives. From learning the warning signs for suicide and what to do if you’re worried someone is struggling, to bringing education programs to your community, we can all learn new ways to help save lives.
One action I’m taking is to urge my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health. When someone is in acute crisis, it’s hard for them to think clearly. Even reaching out for help can be a struggle. For this reason, it’s vital Congress pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (H.R. 4194/S. 2661) to make a three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a reality. This legislation will provide the funding and resources needed by crisis centers across the country that support those struggling with their mental health and thoughts of suicide.
I lost my beautiful mom Diane on Sept. 3, 2011. She really needed something at her fingertips for those small windows of hopelessness. We (her family) needed help leading up to those moments of crisis. Just as you would call 911 for someone displaying heart attack symptoms, we need to be able to call 988 when those we love display worrisome signs of a mental-health crisis.