Concerning the op-ed “Laverne Cox is Not a Woman” posted Sunday: It boggles my mind why someone’s identity is left to the opinion of others, especially someone like Kevin Williamson. It also boggles the mind why the Sun-Times reprinted a piece of ignorant bigotry like this. Frankly, it’s not up to Mr. Williamson (or anyone else) to define another person’s life or experiences.
Delia Coleman, Irving Park
Angelou’s gift to us
Maya Angelou bequeathed to us a treasure trove of brilliant visions and profound wisdom. My favorite is her proclamation that when you meet someone for the first time and he shows you what he’s like, believe him. If only more people did so.
Leon J. Hoffman, Lincoln Park
Speak up Rauner
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is afraid to take a stand on marriage equality because he might alienate socially conservative Republicans if he supports it. Who are they going to vote for? Pat Quinn?
Rauner ought to support marriage equality. He might attract more independent voters than the socially conservative voters he would lose. Besides, history tells us socially moderate Republicans like Sen. Mark Kirk get elected in Illinois while socially conservative Republicans like Bill Brady tend to lose.
Marriage Equality isn’t the only thing Rauner is silent about. He might also tell us exactly what he plans to do about pension reform, income taxes, property taxes, education, the state budget.
Bob Barth (Edgewater)
Uphold school nutrition standards
When it comes to our children’s health, the Sun-Times is right that Congress shouldn’t abandon the healthier nutrition standards we instituted for school lunch programs in 2010. Much like eating your peas, providing kids with healthier school lunches may be less palatable, but the long-term benefits of good nutrition far outweigh the cheaper pizza and chicken nugget status quo.
Childhood obesity rates are on the rise, more than doubling in the past 30 years. With more than one third of U.S. children overweight or obese and more children relying on school lunch programs for the majority of their daily meals than ever before, how can we in good conscience continue to serve up sodium and fat-laden foods that jeopardize our children’s health?
Though implementing higher nutrition standards may cost more in the short term, failing to implement them will certainly cost America even more later. We spend tens of billions of dollars annually in obesity-related medical costs. That’s in addition to the hundreds of billions we spend on the indirect costs of obesity, like increased food consumption, absenteeism and lost productivity in the work force, and increased fuel and infrastructure related needs.
Congress should uphold the standards we know will help ensure our students —and our country — grow up to be healthy and strong. It’s time we add health and nutrition into the lesson plan alongside reading, writing and arithmetic. Our school lunch programs are the best place to start.
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Chicago