Tim Scott points finger at federal assistance, says Great Society hurt the Black community

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott spars with other presidential candidates at the first 2024 GOP debate, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott spars with other presidential candidates at the first 2024 GOP debate, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23.

Scott: Welfare terrible blow for Black Americans

Watching the Republican debate Wednesday night made the vision of Democrats and Republicans for our government’s function seem Grand Canyon-wide.

Republican Sen. Tim Scott highlighted that when he said, “Black families survived slavery. We survived poll taxes and literacy tests. ... “What was hard to survive was Johnson’s Great Society ... where they decided to take the Black father out of the household to get a check in the mail.”

“And you can now measure that in unemployment and crime and devastation.”

I was there in the late ’50s and early ’60s living near the “quarters” in my small town. My family had stores serving the Black community. I know what the white citizens thought of the Black people who lived nearby.

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The fact that Scott, a Black man, can present the idea that government assistance to those families delayed their ability to be an economically and socially viable part of our society speaks volumes about conservative/Republican philosophies.

He's expressing Ronald Reagan’s most terrifying nine words. “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Republicans believe government agencies should never be able to say that.

Kyle Quattlebaum, Sarasota

Wetlands need protection from development

On Aug. 17, the Manatee County Commission approved the first step of a Comprehensive Plan amendment that will delete local wetlands protections and default to the minimal state standards.

Instead of Manatee’s 50-foot buffer between development and wetlands, Florida’s minimum is 15 feet.  Wetlands contribute to water purification, erosion control and flood protection, including during hurricanes.

There was plenty of opposition from experts and scientists. However, in a rush that rivals the line at Best Buy on Black Friday, the commissioners voted 6-1 to transmit amendment documents to the state, a prerequisite to enacting the measure.

Only one commissioner, George Kruse, had the audacity to interject common-sense questions and vote against the amendment’s transmittal.

The state review has been completed and, on Oct. 5, the commission will vote on whether to ratify the changes and eliminate long-standing environmental protections.

I hope that reason and concern for the county’s future will prevail and that the commission will reverse course.

Otherwise, remember that Mother Nature does not care about your political affiliation. When the flooding and polluted water wreck our economy, it will be an equal opportunity disaster.

Gary Hebert, Bradenton 

Keep e-bikes on Legacy Trail

In 2019, Sarasota County commissioners approved the use of e-bikes on the Legacy Trail. Most e-bikes are manufactured as Level 2, with a maximum speed of 20 mph.

My wife and I have two e-bikes and rarely go over 14 mph. We couldn’t do 25-30 mph going downhill with a tail wind. We are both 72 with the normal aches and pains and our bikes have allowed us to ride farther and more often.

Keep e-bikes on the trail.

Henry Smith, Venice

Doctor cites anti-vaccine evidence

The Sept. 29 edition had a letter critical of my Sept. 24 letter about the COVID vaccine. The writer stated that he couldn’t find Dr. Anthony Fauci’s statement on the difficulty with COVID vaccines.

I would like to cite Fauci’s co-authored article in the journal “Cell Host and Microbe,” Vol 31 issue 1 pp 146-157 Jan. 2023.

The current state of mucosal resp viruses vaccinology reveals difficulties and lack of effectiveness substantiating caution as stated in the Florida surgeon general's guidance.  Also deserving note are the verified scores of untoward side effects from the vaccine, including clotting disorders, myocarditis, menstrual irregularities and Guillain-Barre syndrome, among scores of others.

The Centers for Disease Control, organized medicine and Dr. Fauci have given numerous instances of conflicting and dubious advice throughout the pandemic.

Richard D. Paolillo, M.D., Nokomis

Steube a hypocrite about federal aid

Unfortunately, U.S. Rep. Greg Steube’s rightfully intended plea for assistance for our families impacted by Hurricane Ian also highlighted his unforgivable hypocrisy (“One year after Hurricane Ian, the Suncoast still needs help. Congress must step up.” Oct. 1).

Steube and his GOP colleagues have called for stripping the federal government of employees, departments and programs that help others. Yet when Steube's state needs help, whom does he turn to? You guessed it, the federal government.He mentioned that we need help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Small Business Administration and Army Corps of Engineers and cited the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as providing authentic information. Now that we need them, Steube calls upon them for help.

Stop calling on the feds to bail you out when you need them and criticizing and shunning them when you don’t.

Stuart Sinai, Longboat Key

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Does Tim Scott really think welfare has done more harm than slavery?