Convictions should send strong message
In late January, encouraging signs regarding race relations in Georgia came out of LaGrange when the police chief apologized to residents for the department’s role in the 1940 lynching murder of a black man named Austin Callaway. About a month later, even better news emerged from the courthouse in Douglasville: Jose Torres and Kayla Rae Norton were sentenced to 20 and 15 years respectively for hate crimes that included brandishing a shotgun and shouting racial slurs at young black children attending a birthday party in a family’s front yard. An apology 77 years after the LaGrange lynching might seem too little, too late, but the Douglasville convictions send a strong message to race-baiters and hate-mongers, that in 2017, justice can and will be served in a forceful and timely manner.
CAVANAUGH MURPHY, LULA
Many miss faiths’ profession of kindness
During my Sunday morning reading last week, I enjoyed the monthly column in our synagogue’s newsletter from Rabbi Daniel Dorsch (Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta) in which he referred to acts of kindness and donations to the poor as ways in which we can worship God without actually attending services. I then read two front page articles, one about the irregularities, illegal acts, alleged corruption, and hiring practices within the Atlanta city government that included allegations against many, including a pastor. The second article involved racial hatred directed at an often-chosen target that resulted in convictions.
I am reasonably certain that most, if not all, religions profess kindness to others, honesty, and simply “do the right thing.” I don’t attend synagogue as often as I would like, but I’ve gotten the message. Did these newsmakers, elected officials including our president, and others miss the message when they were growing up?
GARRY E. SIEGEL, ROSWELL