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Better parenting is a must even as we address every other reason for violence in Chicago

A Chicago Police officer wears a button in memory of fellow Officer Thomas Wortham IV at his funeral ten years ago.
A Chicago Police officer wears a button in memory of fellow Officer Thomas Wortham IV at his funeral ten years ago.
Sun-Times Media

I can think of no more disparate a pair than the controversial John Catanzara, recently elected president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, and the sympathetic Sandra J. Wortham of Chatham, sister of the murdered Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham IV.

Yet, there they are in your pages, just three days apart, echoing each others’ call for serious and responsible parenting.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot gets it wrong when she refers to “victim shaming” and reverts to simplistic charges of racism. Myriad problems have made communities like Chatham, Lawndale, Englewood and far too many others so desperate. Calling out the problems doesn’t make anyone racist.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Solutions to problems such as the easy access to and reliance on guns, high unemployment and other social ills will not come easy. But, in the meantime, civility, kindness and consideration for your fellow human beings are best formed in childhood. Children must be taught, monitored, corrected and continually led from temptation by any number of parents, extended family and even neighbors — a village, if you will.

Before all the necessary and improved social conditions arrive, creating decent and civil behavior must start at home.

Dennis Allen, Wilmette

Common sense on policing

Kudos to Sandra J . Wortham for her May 24 letter on violence and policing in Chicago’s black communities.

Her cogent, compelling thoughts should be required reading for everyone who wants to seriously deal with the violence destroying our city instead of engaging in a tsunami of self- serving, empty rhetoric.

Yes, Ms. Wortham, it is difficult to say everything that needs to be said, But your “start” is a masterpiece of coherence and common sense. Perhaps you should enter the political arena.

Samuel C. Small, Roseland

I am the nurse who cares for your loved ones

You don’t know me, but I’m the nurse who is protecting your neighbors and loved ones during this pandemic.

I held your grandparents’ hand when you couldn’t. I comforted your mother and father, even when it felt like everything we’ve ever known had gone out the window. I am just one of thousands of front-line nursing home staff, across Illinois and this country, who have dedicated our careers to caring for the elderly, sick or both.

We didn’t choose this path because we wanted to be recognized as heroes, but it hurts to hear people say we aren’t doing enough. The virus is unpredictable, and we were learning as the world was learning. We shut our doors to the families we’ve become so close to. We keep our residents apart, creating COVID-19 wings and secluding people who are already isolated, sick and afraid.

We have become more than caregivers. We are now barbers, counselors, advocates and friends. We are FaceTime chat organizers and hallway game conductors.

Nobody has the answer or a treatment, but within our walls we know that we are doing all we can to keep our residents safe. And we will continue to do everything in our power, even when it’s hard on our beloved residents, to protect them.

Even when our state begins to re-open and our lives return to some kind of “new normal,” my responsibility will still be to my residents. After more than a decade working in nursing homes, it’s never been more true that every action I take can affect my residents. They depend on me to act in their best interest, not just at work but also in my personal life.

To my fellow nursing home staff, thank you for all you do. In these hard times, all of us in the healthcare community and beyond have to support one another, nursing home staff included.

I’ll always be working in nursing homes. It’s my heartbeat, and I’m not going anywhere.

Tené Tillery, RN, BSN, The Alden Network