Readers Write: Jan. 24

Obeying cop requests is best choice

I’ve read and heard several times about the November traffic stop of Brian Baker, who refused to exit his car when ordered to by officer Maurice Lawson. If my reading was correct, Mr. Baker, an African-American, took umbrage at being asked to step out of his car by a white police officer; claiming his “people” were being targeted because they were black. Officer Lawson’s use of the word “people” appears to be the crux of this continued media airing of incidents that do nothing to create harmony. If an officer of the law asks me to exit my car and submit to his questioning, I’m going to exit my car and submit to his questioning and I think you will too unless you want to get your name in the paper and on TV.


Ga. Beer laws need updating

Georgia has a love affair with its beer wholesalers and it has been costly. Large brewers in Western states who have expanded their operations to the Eastern U.S. have passed over Georgia due to our anti-brewer laws. Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Stone and Green Flash all have built new facilities in North Carolina and Virginia totaling over $500 million in investments with hundreds of workers being hired. We’ve missed out on these large factories and the wave of small breweries that have opened across the United States. In the rest of the country breweries open at an average rate of two per day, here in Georgia we get a new one about every four months.

A visit to Asheville, N.C., will show you what we are missing. In North Carolina, and in 47 other states, brewers can sell directly to consumers at their brewery with special releases and events that tourists will travel hours to attend. I support the proposed legislation this year that will give brewers the ability to nullify their lifetime contract with wholesalers and give them the ability to sell directly to their customers from their manufacturing locations.


Immigration not black and white

Leonard Pitts’ column (“Haley, and the rest of us, could use a history lesson,” Opinion, Jan. 17) is informative. Critical of Haley’s quote, “we have never in the history of this country passed any laws or done anything based on race or religion,” Pitts suggests it is “pretty clear she was speaking only in the context of legal immigration.” Regretfully, it is not so. Pitts is right, however; Trump’s “ban-Muslims” mantra, ugly as it is, “is not a deviation from America.”

Indeed, even legal immigration remained essentially European-based and exclusionary on the basis of race and nationality, until the passage of 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act. Once, being Caucasian and a “free white person” were requirements, so a Japanese would disqualify for not being Caucasian, though white, and an Indian would disqualify for not being white, though Caucasian; in some cases, a person disqualified for being “insufficiently” Caucasian and/or white. Being “white” was dropped under the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952. The 1965 Act dropped all such restrictions and extended immigration to anyone who met certain qualifications and showed promise to be a contributing citizen, regardless of race, nationality, or religion.


New Faith Chapel fee a bad idea

While I appreciate the costs involved in maintaining old, wooden structures, this proposal to charge a fee to enter Jekyll Island’s Faith Chapel is a bad decision. It’s fine to include it within the price of a tour, but a $5 fee just to open the door and have a brief look is ridiculous. Besides, won’t all those “professional docents” have to be paid? The JIA would be better served to have information in the chapel regarding improvements that need to be made and providing a box for voluntary donations that would specifically contribute to that purpose.