Letters to the editor August 6
Put ‘local’ back into the Chronicle
Pittsburgh born, bred and educated but now living in Washington, D.C., I find less of interest in The Chronicle. If I want opinion pieces or articles about national or international affairs of Jewish interest, there are many sources I can use. What I used to look forward to were accounts of local interest, e.g., the “Briefly” column, and, sadly, the obituaries as well as stories about people, events and institutions of long-standing cultural history in the community.
‘Bystander’ story hits a nerve
Reading The Chronicle’s “Should bystanders come to the rescue?” (July 30) gave me chills. This is the type of behavior my parents witnessed and lived through, as Jews suffered on a regular basis in Europe when Hitler came into power. No one stood up for Jews then or intervened on their behalf, which led to their extermination in concentration camps. I would not expect this behavior in the United States, particularly in Squirrel Hill.
There was an article in the Tribune-Review on July 28 about Kevin Lockett, an African-American who was beaten and verbally abused by three young white males in the downtown subway after an argument over a cooler of beer and food.
These are two cases, of many I’m sure, where someone could have intervened and put an end to this madness. I understand that these days individuals are fearful of physically or verbally taking action, but there are many other ways of helping people in distress instead of looking the other way and taking no action.
In the Rite Aid situation, for example — or in any other business — employees should be trained to notice conflict and have an action plan in place to address these situations. Anyone with any sense at all, employee or bystander, can phone 911. At no time should anyone be a witness to and then ignore a situation where another human being requires attention and a situation needs an intervention. There is a difference between a legal matter and a moral duty, as stated by Justin Dillon, a criminal defense attorney quoted in The Chronicle article. History has proven what can happen when no one stands up for victims of verbal or physical abuse.
Fern S. Moscov
Our rabbis know best
The occurrence of anti-Semitic taunts in our neighborhood is very disturbing (“Should bystanders come to the rescue?” July 30). But the idea that anyone at The Chronicle needed to call Jerusalem for a rabbinic opinion is ridiculous. We all love Rabbi Schiff and are thrilled that he will be returning (in any capacity) to our community. But there are a half-dozen Pittsburgh rabbis serving congregations here for decades who have always made themselves available to provide such insights. They understand the community best; they should have been The Chronicle’s first choice for sources.
I am outraged at the cartoon in the July 30 addition of The Chronicle depicting President Barack Obama surrounded by Congress in the Oval Office. Congress is reading the Iran deal. The caption reads: “And we thought Obamacare was Radioactive.” Since when did we turn our community paper into a vehicle to promote the ideas of the Republican Party? I just attended a CRC program, where the guest speaker, Patrick Clawson, offered a scholarly and nonpartisan analysis of the Iran agreement. I think The Chronicle owes it to the community to approach issues that are important to us in the same way.