Randle offered trinkets of advice that helped

I am referring to the Times Jan. 9 article, "A life devoted to diamonds."

I had the pleasure of meeting Redell "Dell" Randle 15 years ago in El Cerrito. I once asked him why there weren't more blacks in the community involved in Little League, high school or college baseball.

Dell also tinkered with different little projects. One project was African-American greeting cards. He would always call me up and ask me what I thought.

What really stood out about Dell as that he tried to help everyone. He was instrumental in assisting me to keep my daughter from having to attend Gompers High School; she was playing hooky from time to time from her previous high school. Dell helped me get her enrolled at Vista High School, where she later graduated.

Dell was just a good guy who did not like the limelight. He would always give you little "trinkets of advice" that you could use later in life.

I thank Dell for being my friend. He will be missed.

Marsha L. Billups

Richmond

Sowell's one-sided history ignored truth

Thomas Sowell, in his recent column, "How educators undermine American society," advocates indoctrinating students into a one-sided view of history -- the view of the conquerors, who marginalized a high percentage of Americans.

He asks us to put "the great achievements" (read white male achievements) on a pedestal and pretend people weren't harmed along the way. He forgets a critical element to creating a more fulfilling future: that of confronting our shadows.


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Germany and South Africa didn't begin to heal from the Holocaust and Apartheid by ignoring the truth of those events. Confronting shadows prevents horrors from happening again.

In our own history, the emancipation movements have made us a better nation, one we can truthfully feel proud of. Blind adherence to Sowell's kind of "political correctness," which ignores the whole truth, renders our students unable to think outside the box.

Seeing through the lens of the disenfranchised, as well as the conquerors, teaches our students compassion and understanding. These skills are critically important to our future.

Maura McCarley-Torkildson

Concord

NFL should consider an upper age limit

It should come as no surprise that former football star Junior Seau had degenerative brain disease when he committed suicide last year.

Seau was a hard-hitting linebacker who played until he was 40 years old. Could it have been depression triggered by his disease that made him come out of retirement just four days after announcing it in 2006? Possibly. If so, it probably increased the probability that Seau would do something to injure himself.

To prevent tragedies like this from recurring, the NFL should consider prohibiting players above a certain age from playing. I say 35. They already do it to protect younger players. Sorry, Tom Brady, but this could be your last year.

Steven Carton

San Francisco

Argument for getting rid of all guns is flawed

Gun-control advocates say we need to get rid of all the guns. How?

If it is "impossible" to round up and deport the 12 million to 25 million people residing illegally in the United States, how will hundreds of millions of legally owned firearms be confiscated?

Seems that the gun-control argument takes us on an emotional ride to a dead end.

Michael Shatto

Concord Shatto, U.S. Army retired, is an NRA member and retired professional hunter.

Massacre should unite us in limiting firearms

The massacre in Newtown, Conn., left me wondering that if it occurred in a safe and nonviolent community, it could certainly occur in Richmond.

I have younger siblings who go off to school, a place where we think they are safe and well taken care of. Seeing the tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook makes me worry for their safety.

We should unite and limit the ability of buying and selling assault weapons. They are only needed by the military and the police.

Denise Orozco

Richmond