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Letters: Inaction on ‘anti-immigrant’ English ordinance inexcusable; Electoral college ensures candidates care about all states; Progressive wasn’t always a ‘four-letter word’

Inaction on ‘anti-immigrant’ English ordinance inexcusable

The current Board of Commissioners has solidified its reputation as the local “Do Nothing Gang” by boldly doing nothing to repeal the disgraceful English Only Ordinance.

Some of the commissioners’ comments in evaluating their non-decision prove that they either had not read this repressive and backwards-thinking law prior to their latest meeting or that they did not understand how to read an ordinance that is written in very plain English. To state that one does not see the intentional anti-immigrant tone and text of this law is an insult to those who are all too familiar with it. Saying that the law was passed as a political statement by a previous closed minded, hateful Board of Commissioners is quite an understatement and now just makes poor logic; it is no excuse for their inaction and repeal.

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It is the public’s perception of what this law represents that does count; a fact that only Commissioner Dennis Frazier recognizes and has had the courage to stand up for. This ordinance is just a reminder of the era it was adopted in — back when some genius spray-painted the words “no illeagles here” boldly on the armory wall off Md. 97.

There is no actual threat that English will not remain the predominant language in Carroll County, yet this law clearly states that English shall be the only language ever used in meeting transcripts or even unofficial non-binding explanations of what has been used in all and any sort of county proceeding or official decree.

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The law, and those who support it, don’t care to think past their [negative opinion] of all non-whites. They don’t care to see the benefits of offering the zoning and building codes in other languages in a limited quantity. Must we all remain deaf to what is commonly possible to achieve on our own computer keyboards in translating English to any language via use of Google or Microsoft?

I believe this Board of Commissioners truly is not as hateful as those in the past and that they certainly don’t want to send an unwelcoming message to peoples of any color or language but their actions — or inaction in this case — speaks louder than words. The ordinance begs to be revisited by these commissioners and that they be allowed to make their own political statement by repealing it.

Cornelius (Neil) Ridgely

Finksburg

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Electoral college ensures candidates care about all states

I am writing in response to the letter to the editor calling for removal of the Electoral College (“Time to get rid of the electoral college," Feb. 8).

The thought of only a popular vote at first is appealing, but our founders were wise in establishing the electoral college. I would encourage all to study the reason why it was established before making up their minds on this issue. This can easily be done visiting the library or searching on the internet.

Without the electoral college the less populated areas in the United States would have little or no vote in the election of a president. It gives rural states with lower populations an equal voice. If by popular vote only, it is possible that candidates would not even go to those lower populated areas of the country or even consider their needs. They would only have to spend their time in the heavily populated states. The electoral college ensures that candidates must get votes from multiple states.

Diane F. Henkel

Hampstead

Progressive wasn’t always a ‘four-letter word’

Frank Batavick’s column on Friday, Jan. 24 brings back a question of my high school government/civics classes of the mid-1950s. Mrs. Kephart, in her Problems of Democracy classes, had several lessons on our society in the late-1800s to early and mid-1900s. We covered the people and their actions in attempting to steer our society toward a more tolerable society as opposed to to the “Robber Baron” era of rampant capitalism.

Batavick mentioned several names we covered: Jane Addams, Lincoln Steffens, Upton Sinclair, Ida Tarbell, Jacob Riis, et al. Unmentioned were Susan B. Anthony, Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, A. Phillip Randolph, John L. Lewis, Walter Reuther, Lord Baden-Powell and numerous others.

The individuals constituted a group that became known as Progressives. It seems that in today’s political climate, the term “progressive” has become a “four-letter word" not to be uttered in polite society. Given my reading, listening and other consumption of political discourse, the true progressive has gone by the wayside.

Ronnie Graham

New Windsor

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