SC State (copy) (copy)

Some of the alumni of South Carolina State University want to change the college's leadership. file/Grace Beahm Alford/staff

There is an effort by alumni of South Carolina State University (Concerned SCSU Alumni) to effect change there. Efforts include petitioning the governor, and working with the S.C. Legislative Black Caucus, university trustees, alumni and friends of the university.

In a letter to the governor, this was stated:

“The best in education requires vision and leadership. In our commitment to that goal, we see what is possible at South Carolina State University. This school has made significant contributions to higher education over its operation in the time span of its existence to now.”

That record is at risk. In the United States, suffering has existed in slavery, post-slavery and continues today. Systemic oppression is evident in income gaps and the killing of innocent people. Oppression leads to outrageous behavior as has happened in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

There is oppression in black America, and we see it in the leadership at SCSU. There needs to be a change in leadership to improve the curriculum and remove barriers to moving SCSU forward for the population it serves, as happened before integration.

Current leadership serves a nominal constituency and reflects in its strategic plan a university that doesn’t foster an expansive, multidisciplinary academic experience.

SCSU should challenge students to show how the world could be, and that starts with the leadership.

We want to work with state leaders in bringing about that change at SCSU.

PORTER BANKHEAD

SCSU alumnus, class of 1963

Ordway Street NW

Washington, D.C.

Support fund for parks

Iconic sites like Fort Sumter and Folly Beach provide many benefits to our city. They give Charleston its unique historic character, provide educational and recreational outings for local schoolchildren, and draw thousands of paying tourists to the area every year.

A little-known program called the Land and Water Conservation Fund provides funding not only to Fort Sumter and Folly Beach, but also to national parks, historic sites, and local recreational sites all over the country.

Congress is supposed to allocate $900 million to this fund per year, but it has given the full amount of money only twice since the 1960s.

A cumulative $22 billion has been diverted from the fund over the years. That’s a problem for Charleston.

Citizens who enjoy Charleston’s parks should contact Rep. Joe Cunningham and tell him that South Carolinians are unwilling to compromise on protecting our natural lands. Congress should fully fund parks and wild areas through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

MEREDITH BAIN

Reid Street

Charleston

Roper valet parking woes

While a fine addition to a fine hospital, valet parking at Roper St. Francis Healthcare downtown has a small but serious failing.

I had a cardiac procedure in early August. My wife and I were at the hospital at 6 a.m. The entry log-in went beautifully, as did the procedure.

Roper is a well-oiled machine on the entry side. The exit side needs work.

We were ready for dismissal in short order but unable to leave until noon.

Then the shock hit. There’s no valet parking on Saturday.

While I sat in a wheelchair waiting, my wife had to walk a good distance to find our car and drive it out of a strange garage onto a street she was unfamiliar with.

It took her 30 distressing minutes to find her way back to Roper. And when her car key was pushed into her hand, my wife went off without her phone, license and other items.

We’re not young. That was a sorry experience that should never have happened.

Roper strives to be the best, and it is good, but its exit procedures and valet parking demand attention.

At best, Roper should keep a driver on duty on Saturdays to collect cars for those being discharged. At the least, Roper should warn patients that they will have to find their own cars if checking out on a Saturday.

Had we been warned, we would have taken advantage of one of the many offers from friends to take us and collect us.

DR. DAVID O. WHITTEN

Jasper Boulevard

Sullivan’s Island

Parking laws not enforced

Hear ye, hear ye. Be advised to bring your boat trailers, boat and trailer, utility trailer, and even nine-passenger vans for free parking on the right of way on Sullivan’s Island for weeks and months.

The town police chief refuses to enforce the “Dead Zone Parking” ordinance.

So many locals and others take advantage of this and leave vehicles for weeks and months.

Enjoy your free parking. Signs say no parking on one side of the street and wheels off the pavement.

RAY MIXON

I’on Avenue

Sullivan’s Island

Medical service transparency

We all seek greater transparency in our daily lives concerning government, schools, corporations and social media providers. Do any of us think that we understand the cost of our medical services?

End secrecy in health care pricing

Retailers, dentists, contractors all provide estimates of their services and must remain competitive to grow and sustain their business. If insurance is involved, we demand to understand our obligation versus that covered by insurance.

Physicians are reticent to talk about fees as most are simply employees of large groups, or fees are tied to complex American Medical Association diagnostic codes.

Medical services must be transparent and competitive with respect to costs as far as the public is concerned. Unfortunately, medical services have become a commodity where pricing in advance should be available.

Comprising nearly 18% of the nation’s gross domestic product, medical services are ripe changes in delivery and pricing.

It is up to the patient to demand a professional response to questions on pricing, just as it is for the patient to shop for the best prices.

Gone are the days when we simply expected insurance or Medicare to pay the freight. It is time, caveat emptor, for the patient to negotiate the best deal, but we need transparency as a first step.

BRUCE L. PEPCHINSKI

Sound View Drive

Mount Pleasant

Roots of nation’s dysfunction

I read with interest the July 22 letter to the editor, “Democracy’s death,” a well-intentioned expression of concerns for our country’s future.

I believe, however, it is vital to step back and recognize the root causes or seeds of our dysfunction and anxieties. I submit these to be violence, addiction, corporate and personal greed (along with pollution and the exploitation of vulnerable people and natural resources); child neglect (physical, intellectual and spiritual); environmental degradation; government corruption; fear (resulting in isolation and repression of compassion); and failure to see the wholeness in humanity, the Earth and nature.

Until we recognize and effectively address these issues, government programs alone will continue to disappoint and frustrate even the best intentions.

These, of course, are the same issues that have beset humankind from the beginning, and they can seem overwhelming. But each of us can do something in our personal lives, families, schools, workplaces, places of worship and communities to address at least some of them.

Together much has already been accomplished. We can do more.

JOHN MARTIN

Rose Lane

Summerville

Sensible gun laws needed

Mass shootings continue unabated. I recently reached out to Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott concerning gun safety legislation.

President Trump insists US already has 'very, very strong' gun background checks

I asked what they planned to do about universal background checks for all gun sales. Most responsible gun owners align with other citizens wanting common sense gun laws.

Will they be willing to vote to ban military-style assault weapons, which have no place in civil society?

CDC research concerning gun violence prevention needs to be reinstated because it is a major health issue.

Respected professional associations find that most mentally ill persons are not violent. Indeed, most are often victims. Prior violent behavior is the best predictor of violence. And easy gun access enables premeditated mass slaughter. Conflating mental illness with mass murderers is a cop out. What are steps that can be taken to ensure better screening?

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.


There is no domestic terrorism law. I want to know if they will vote for one.

Funds for thwarting domestic terror attacks are inadequate. The 9/11 hijackers were not mentally ill but imbued with extreme hate. More funds are needed.

Red flag laws vary in effectiveness from state to state. Removing a firearm from a person deemed an imminent threat is onerous for families and friends. I want to know if they plan to offer an effective federal red flag law.

To many, the “land of the free” feels anything but free and safe. As the most civilian-armed country in the world, the notion that more guns make us safer is asinine.

I look forward to hearing lawmakers’ plans to address this critical public safety issue.

DAVID J. WALDRON

Galera Lane

Mount Pleasant

On death and dying

When I get out of bed in the mornings, I let my dog and cat out and pick up my copy of The Post And Courier from the driveway.

I usually read the entire paper and always pay attention to the obituaries.

It has long been a family tradition to check the obituaries in case a relative or friend is listed.

Lately, I noticed a disturbing trend in the deaths of people under the age 65. For example, the July 31 issue had 21 death summaries, and eight of them were under 65.

The causes of this are many. I wonder if the numbers of fatalities due to shootings, traffic accidents and such is the reason for this downward trend.

TONY BRANT

Braddy Street

Yemassee

PC has gone too far

An ordinance was recently passed in Berkeley, Califorinia, to remove gender-connotation words.

A “manhole” is now a “maintenance hole.”

As a man, this reminds me of how upset I am to hear the terms “ladybugs” and “lady fingers.” I demand that those labels be changed to “it bugs” and “person fingers.”

ROGER STEEL

Marsh Hen Drive

Seabrook Island

Trade with China

So China’s been eating our lunch for the past 20 years and finally reached a point where it threatens our preeminence in innovation and world leadership.

China has employed unfair trade practices, monetary manipulation, intellectual property theft, state-sponsored computer hacking, illegal spyware as well as bullying tactics against small businesses.

So how do you rectify the wrongs of the past? Try the World Trade Organization? It’s more intent on treating the United States as a pariah and gutting great American companies that encroach on China’s protected, state-sponsored cottage industries.

How about taking the case to the United Nations? It is more intent on labeling us as a human rights violator than leveling commercial playing fields.

So why not tariffs? The fact of the matter is that China will not magnanimously and willingly reform a system that has harmed its trading partners in order to support almost double-digit growth rates for the past 15 years.

The problem, of course, is that now China sees our political system pivoting toward socialism more aligned with communism.

A socialist America would certainly be less confrontational than an America that draws and defends lines in the sand and fearlessly stands up to bullies.

We Americans are about to be given a choice of political systems that will undoubtedly shape our China approach, but more importantly our destiny.

JAMIE GOUGH

Camp Road

Charleston

We're improving out commenting experience.

We’ve temporarily removed comments from articles while we work on a new and better commenting experience. In the meantime, subscribers are encouraged to join the conversation at our Post and Courier Subscribers group on Facebook.