Letters To The Editor 5/2/2019
Editor: A U.S. House resolution would establish a federal commission to study and examine the remedies of slavery’s aftereffects.
Here’s a few facts. In the Muslim slave trade, in the period 1500 to 1780, it is estimated that more than a million eastern Europeans were taken as slaves by the Muslim caliphate. The word “slave” originates from Slavic countries, of which Poland is one. There is no reliable estimate of the number of blacks from sub-Sahara Africa that were enslaved by the Muslims. Women became sex slaves and men were castrated.
In the western slave trade some 11 million black slaves from western Africa survived transport to the Caribbean where they were distributed. Some 380,000 made their way to North America.
Yet all of the guilt seems to be borne by America for this terrible transgression by many countries.
Blacks in the Americas were free to populate, hence the large percentage of blacks in South America and North America.
The first countries to abolish slavery were England and America. In 1808, England forbade slavery, the same year that President Thomas Jefferson forbade the importation of new slaves into America. In 1865, the 13th Amendment abolished U.S. slavery at great cost of men and treasure during the Civil War.
Are not the deaths of 360,200 North America troops who perished during the Civil War sufficient reparations for the nation’s part in slavery? These deaths actually exceed the number of slaves taken from Africa on American vessels.
I am of Polish descent, a Slav. Am I not due reparations from the United Nations for my ancestors taken from their homes by the Muslims?
EUGENE M. OGOZALEK
Editor: In April, the Washington Senate voted on legislation mandating hospitals to give nurses an uninterrupted mealtime and an additional 10-minute break.
Debate built due to an infamous statement by Republican state Sen. Maureen Walsh, “I would submit to you those nurses probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”
Comments such as those denigrate and degrade the vital work performed by nurses across our nation.
The viral moral outrage over these deplorable comments masked the hijacking of this legislation to the detriment of nurses, largely in support of the bill, and the patients in their care. Walsh sought amendments to the bill that would exclude rural hospitals from the mandatory breaks and limit nursing shifts to eight hours in a 24-hour period. Most hospitals, at the request of staff and collective bargaining agencies, have 12-hour shifts. Advantages to the longer shifts mean more continuity of care for patients and fewer issues relating to staffing levels, benefiting both the nurses and hospitals.
Amendments such as these create barriers in recruitment and retention of qualified nurses, especially in rural hospitals where adequate staffing levels are an issue.
Excluding nurses from conversations or decisions on how to deliver medical services to patients negatively affects health care for all. Diminishing the input and insights of those providing care to our families, friends and neighbors should not be accepted. I encourage fellow nurses to understand how legislation at the state level may affect your livelihood. Remain informed and communicate with your elected officials.
As Walsh quickly learned, an affront to one nurse is an affront to us all. National Nurses Day is May 6 and it recognizes an honorable profession filled with compassionate, kind, hardworking professionals. Rest assured none of us will be playing cards.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER,
THE SACRED HEART,
Editor: Republican state Sen. Maureen Walsh, of Washington, had the audacity to suggest that nurses probably spend part of their shift playing cards while they work in hospitals.
I’m a retired registered nurse and my memory of working at hospitals compels me to enlighten those who never had the honor to put on scrubs. If you never worked as a nurse, you have no idea what it is like.
Congratulations, nurses, you are unsung heroes and do things during a shift that mostly go unnoticed. Nurses face daily challenges, but get the job done and do it well. It’s not just a job. Only certain people can do it. You have to be smart, get into and pass nursing school and the state licensing exam. If you work in a hospital you’d better have the body and stamina of an athlete. You have 10 things to do but time to do just three or four. You have incredible organizational skills. You will never have the time to do all you would like for your patients. You do the most important things.
Most people could not care for one patient. Nurses hit the floor running, trying to organize a plan of care for the six patients they are assigned to. They are very sick patients, not like the days when someone with a hip fracture would spend weeks in a hospital. Patients now have very high acuity levels of care. They demand increasing amounts of time from nurses, time nurses don’t have. Nurses barely have time to do their most important tasks.
The next time you see a nurse marching a picket line, demanding fair pay, fair hours, more time for patient care and safer working conditions, walk with them and ask questions. Only then, you might realize what being a nurse is about.
Editor: I take exception to Marcia Brunelli’s opinion (“Unbridled hostility,” April 25).
Rep Ilhan Omar’s criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic any more so than criticism of the United States actions is anti-American. Israel’s theft of land from the Palestinian people is evil and it is not wrong to call it out.
Omar did not bring up “old anti-Semitic tropes.” Brunelli did. Anti-Semitism does not “tower above all bigotry.” Bigotry is hatred whether it is targeted toward race, sex, religion or ethnicity.
Brunelli’s letter reeks of anti-Muslim bigotry.