Smith's time with boys proves inspirational
I am not a sports fan, but the wonderful picture in the June 30 paper of Dallas Cowboy Jaylon Smith working with about 150 young boys in the blistering heat caught my eye.
He danced with them, showed them different movements, ate with them and encouraged them to be the best that they can be, smiling all the time as he celebrated the YMCA's Active Science Program.
Since some of these boys have no father figure to do those things with them, I am certain he was a true inspiration to them. Next week, he will join with his brother for a free football camp at St. Francis for kidsage 7-13 – wow.
It is wonderful to see this Cowboys linebacker giving of his time and talent to these young people. After so much bad news, it is so refreshing to read of fine young men sharing their time and talent in this way.
I'm sure these boys will never forget the time spent with them. I just want other people to know of the dedication that these young men give, and I pray God will bless and protect them in all that they do for others in such a wonderful way.
May they continue to motivate and encourage hundreds of young boys.
Banks steps up to help opioid addiction victims
Rep. Jim Banks is right. The opioid crisis is destroying families all across America, including in our great state.
We are seeing thousands of young people being swept up into this terrifying epidemic with no way out. I am pleased he is working hard in Congress, passing bills like the Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act that will help those affected seek treatment and recovery.
Our children and country deserve better. We need politicians like Banks who will fight in Congress to protect our young people from this debilitating crisis.
US policies responsible for refugee influx
Peter Iadicola's article (“What we've sown” July 1) was superb. The article is historically correct and very insightful.
Iadicola highlights a critical, but usually missed, part of the current discussion of “illegal immigrants” and the border. Central American nations inherited a land system from the Spanish empire that created huge landed estates in the hands of a privileged few, giving almost no land or civil rights to the peasantry. Following World War II, landless peasants all across Central America mounted movements for land reform.
Tragically, those efforts came during the Cold War and as anticommunist hysteria peaked in the U.S. As a result, the CIA and American military mounted vigorous efforts to crush land-reform campaigns that threatened the landed elite as well as U.S. business interests. The U.S. government saw those movements as communist-inspired.
Iadicola shows how those American actions led to brutal dictatorial regimes and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of citizens. Budding democratic movements were crushed and civil and political society destabilized all across Central America. Yes, we are reaping what we in the U.S. have sown.
Emeritus professor of history, Manchester University