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Miles to Go
This is in regards to Ricky L. Jones’ column in the July 16 LEO Weekly: It is evident Sen. Rand Paul wants to be president. He is wise enough to know that if his party, the Republican Party, continues to be the white party, it will be the losing party. That awareness and Paul’s speaking to black groups is encouraging, but if he cannot bring the rest of his party to sincerely seek and attract black voters, he is spinning his wheels.
African-American voters are sensitive, not easily fooled by politicians. Currently, the Democratic Party overwhelmingly wins the black vote. Voters want the GOP candidates to tell them why they should vote Republican. How will Republican policies make my life better? Does Sen. Paul’s up-to-date voting record in the U.S. Senate show he understands and cares about the well-being of minority voters?
If Rand Paul wants to show black audiences he gets it, he should become a student of black history and read the speeches, sermons and books of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King was every person’s friend no matter their race, religion, gender or political persuasion. There is so much wisdom in King’s writings. He embodied godly love. Honoring King with a national holiday, naming streets, schools and bridges after him does not do his life justice. A great way to really honor him is to read his works and strive to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.
Today’s Republican Party is a far cry from what it was in Abraham Lincoln’s day. Republicans’ hostility toward our first black president certainly won’t go unnoticed by black voters in coming elections, as will the party’s lack of concern for social justice and the poor.
I have a hard time believing African-American voters will go for the tainted Republican brand. If Paul and the GOP are sincere about wooing blacks to become Republicans, they have much work to do within the party in changing their attitudes and their thinking.
Paul Lam Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews
Growing up in Kentucky, horses have a special place in my heart. I’ve seen them at Churchill Downs, grazing in pastures near Lexington and at the Kentucky State Fair. Horses are legends here.
It’s incomprehensible to most Kentuckians that horses, the icons of the bluegrass, would be tortured by their trainers for the sake of an exaggerated gait. But the abuse known as “soring” is widespread in the “big lick” Walking Horse show circuit.
The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act — H.R. 1518/S. 1406 — is the only bill before Congress that will end this cruel practice. I’m proud that the lead sponsor of the PAST Act, U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, is from Kentucky, and that my representative, John Yarmuth, is one of the more than 360 bipartisan cosponsors of the bill.
The PAST Act strengthens penalties, ends the failed industry self-policing scheme and bans the unnaturally tall, heavy stacked shoes and chains used as an integral part of soring. These common-sense reforms are why the American Horse Council, American Veterinary Medical Association, Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association and numerous other breed and industry organizations all support the PAST Act.
Unfortunately, Kentucky’s senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, and a couple of our representatives have found themselves on the wrong side of the issue. They are among a few legislators who support a ludicrous “alternative” bill that makes none of the changes needed to end soring and maintains the corrupt status quo.
The rest of Kentucky’s Congressional delegation should join Reps. Whitfield and Yarmuth in standing up for a sound, thriving Walking Horse industry and an end to soring — by cosponsoring the PAST Act and rejecting bills that only pretend to protect horses. Please urge your legislators to cosponsor the PAST Act today.
Janine Klutka, Highview