Taking some time to respond


To the editor:

Numerous ideas have been expressed on these pages since my last letter. Let me comment on some.

Let’s start with the Alvin Gordon-Peter Wolf dispute. Although Wolf does not mention Al Sharpton by name, he does deal with Gordon’s criticism of him. (re: “Don’t call me a racist — I’m not,” April 22)

Wolf feels there’s something wrong with criticizing Sharpton and other Blacks for anti-Semitism from decades ago while ignoring more recent anti-Semitic actions from whites.

He has a point. To his credit, Sharpton’s track record over the past quarter-century has been much better. Donald Trump’s inciting violence from a group that included anti-Semites more recently — Jan. 6 — resulted in deaths.

Gordon’s lumping peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters with those who are violent and larcenous is unfair. As for Gordon once again arguing that “all lives matter,” he has not responded to any of the rebuttals to that position.

As Wolf said, “If there was a ‘Jewish Lives Matter’ movement in the 1930s, I don’t think Mr. Gordon would condemn it for not dissolving that message into an ‘all humans’ platitude.” (re: “Is there any other way to describe it than racism?” March 25)

When your argument is countered many times and you have no comeback, it doesn’t help to keep repeating the same baseless position.

Gordon was right that Wolf’s defense of U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib was weak. Wolf should have said that she and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar have been falsely accused of anti-Semitism by people who falsely stick that label on anyone who criticizes the Israeli government. Criticizing Vladimir Putin doesn’t make you anti-Russian, and criticizing Emmanuel Macron doesn’t make you anti-French. Likewise, Israel should not be immune from criticism.

Then there’s that letter from Steven Exler, Gillian Steinberg, Sara Hurwitz and Dov Linzer. (re: “Criticism of rabbi was unfair,” May 6) I’m no expert on Rabbi Avi Weiss, and being a non-religious Jew, I won’t comment on his rabbinical knowledge.

Their defense of Weiss was powerful and eloquent. The only thing that bothered me was their criticism of The Riverdale Press for printing the letter they objected to.

I don’t believe in censorship. That’s why even though I frequently disagree with Gordon, I strongly objected when Adam Stoler called for banning his letters.

As for Stoler, I have the same problem with his latest letter as I’ve had with many other letters from him. (re: “You can’t deny the party machine,” April 22)

It substitutes issues with a personal attack.

Eric Dinowitz was my second choice for the city council after Dan Padernacht, based on their stands on the issues. I didn’t approve of Jessica Haller using her position on a co-op board in an attempt to evict an elderly couple for allowing their daughter to bring her dogs when she visited. I think Mino Lora advocating for defunding the police during a crime upswing is irrational.

One reason why I like Eric Adams for mayor is he realizes we need to get rid of bad cops and increase good cops.

Jeffrey Wiesenfeld’s suggestion that a couple of tax increases of less than 1 percent will have the rich abandoning New York is nonsense. (re: “Get ready for a mass exodus,” April 29)

George Silos claims that raising the minimum wage causes inflation. (re: “Life becoming more expensive? Better blame inflation,” May 6)

Then how come there’s been inflation when years go by without any raises in the minimum wage? Actually, inflation makes pay raises necessary.

As for a recent editorial, what we really need is bail elimination. (re: “Bail reform far from perfect,” May 6)

Holding someone or not should be based on whether there is a good reason to believe he or she is dangerous, won’t show up in court, has been repeatedly re-arrested when released, or if the person can be freed without causing any problem.

This should not be based on how much money a defendant can afford to pay in bail.

Daniel Lipsman’s observations letter actually makes a number of points I agree with. (re: “A few observations to share,” April 8)

Here are the ones I don’t: I’m against the death penalty. Besides moral qualms, our justice system makes too many mistakes. You can free a wrongly convicted person. You can’t bring them back from the dead.

As for Tony Fauci, I don’t think it hurts to have people continue to mask up after being fully vaccinated. Precautions taken that have been recommended by Fauci have slowed down the coronavirus.

I also feel Lipsman under-appreciates the importance of teachers, most of whom are underpaid. Also, the Taylor Law is unfair in punishing government workers who fight for a decent contract by striking.

I don’t think the United States should be in Afghanistan forever. Also, President Joe Biden plans to have U.S. drone attacks conducted there after the troop pullout. Those hit by the drones will be just as dead.

But let me emphasize that Lipsman is dead right in saying we don’t have a democracy. This letter is long enough, so I won’t go into all the reasons. But in 2016, the two major parties nominated two of America’s most hated people — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — for president.

Neither got a majority of the vote in the general election.

Richard Warren

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Richard Warren,