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Letters to the Editor: Jan. 7, 2015



All about bias

A few months ago, I started reading your paper, as it began being delivered to the hotel I work at. I have to admit, I found it refreshing compared to the “other” alternative Oklahoma paper in OKC.

As a political blogger, I’m what letter writer Pete Lepo from Edmond would surely consider “liberal.”

I really enjoy reading your Chicken-Fried News section.

When I read his comments about the paper’s “liberal bias” (Commentary, Letters, Dec. 3, Oklahoma Gazette), I had to wonder if he had ever written to that other Oklahoma paper to tell them how much of a conservative bias it has.

I have, off and on, read that paper over the years, and I am surprised that in its opinion section, it lacks any opinions from those with less-than-conservative opinions.

Personally, I would not send comments to that paper because I doubt very seriously if its editors would publish what I had to say, and with this paper, I have at least a little confidence that your editors will. All I have to say to old Pete is at least this paper publishes his letters and doesn’t toss them, as I suppose the other Oklahoma paper does with liberal opinions they don’t agree with.

Living in a state where I am overwhelmed with conservative opinions in my everyday life, it is refreshing to know that there are still a few Oklahomans out there who share my views when it comes to climate change, income inequality, marijuana legalization, the Affordable Care Act, etc.

So thanks Gazette. Your non-bias is really refreshing and appreciated. — James Fidlerten Oklahoma City

Rape issues

I have a modest suggestion for the YWCA’s Teen Sexual Assault Program described by Janet Peery (Commentary, “Reduce teen rapes, assaults,” Dec. 24, Gazette), who believes Oklahoma’s kindly, welcoming image is contradicted by “teen rapes (and) assaults” and grownups who “ignore and condone what is happening.”

I suggest teens in the program research what is really happening.

» Begin with the FBI’s “Crime in the United States,” whose crime clearances show teenaged youths commit 8 percent of all rapes and serious assaults.

» Oklahoma’s latest “Uniform Crime Report” likewise shows youth under age 18 comprise 8 percent of rape and serious assault arrests. Add 18-19 year-olds, and around 13 percent of Oklahoma’s rapes and assaults are by teens under age 20. Who commits the other 87 percent?

The Oklahoma report shows adults commit more rapes and serious assaults than teens do. Supposedly mature 40-49-year-olds commit 16 percent of Oklahoma’s rapes and assaults. And it gets more disturbing. “Child Maltreatment” by the Administration for Children and Families reports that every day in Oklahoma, 17 children and teens are victims of violent and sexual assaults, and 6 of criminal psychological abuse. The perpetrators’ average age is over 35.

Rape and assault are not just “teen” problems. Adults who victimize youth greatly increase their risk of later violence and victimization.

Yet, amid the finger-pointing and lecturing from the White House and advocacy groups that teenagers and college students confront peer sexual assault, violence and bullying, are older leaders confronting the larger realities of sexual, physical and psychological violence perpetrated by our grownup peers?

Grownups certainly have no standing to accuse teenagers of ruining the state’s reputation. — Mike Males Oklahoma City

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