COLUMN: The Human Condition

Publisher Martha E. Conway

Racism… bias… discrimination… inequality… Alive and well and living in America

by Martha E. Conway

Racism: 1. prejudice or animosity against people who belong to other races. “I am a Muslim and … my religion makes me against all forms of racism.” Malcolm X Speech, Prospects for Freedom. 2. the belief that people of different races have different qualities and abilities, and that some races are inherently superior or inferior (Encarta Dictionary)

Discrimination: 1. unfair treatment of one person or group, usually because of prejudice about race, ethnicity, age, religion, or gender. (Encarta Dictionary)

Inequality: 1. social or economic disparity between people or groups. 2. unequal opportunity or treatment based on social, ethnic, racial, or economic disparity. 3. the condition or an instance of not being equal. (Encarta Dictionary)

Bias: 1. an unfair preference for or dislike of something. (Encarta Dictionary)

I used to make fun of Emily Post. Those rules of etiquette – say for a dinner party – were too extremist for me. I just couldn’t understand who was going to die if someone used the wrong fork or dipped their spoon from the wrong direction. I guess people used to die of humiliation over stupid things.

I get it now. Even though I still think those types of rules are ridiculous, it has never been clearer than during the past year that we need to have basic rules of society. It gives people a framework within which to operate – ground rules for what is socially responsible and acceptable. An algorithm for people who may feel lost in certain situations, giving them a set of instructions to help improve confidence and comfort in unfamiliar circumstances.

In the early ’80s, I read an essay by Colgate alum Andy Rooney. He wrote that our entire society is based on a foundation of trust. For instance, that when we drive, we trust other motorists to stay on their side of the painted line. We trust they are going to stop at intersections. Essentially, we trust they are going to adhere to the laws of society that make it possible for us to interact safely with each other.

Trust that you would be treated fairly in a traffic stop is gone for a huge number of our fellow Americans. It’s been a source of terror for decades, but within – or at least in an accelerated manner – this past year. Civil discourse has disappeared. Long-festering hatred and resentment erupted. Caring and concern about the social or physical comfort of those around us evaporated.

Too, too many people are walking around like wounded animals looking for an opportunity to unleash Continue reading “COLUMN: The Human Condition”

LETTER: Supports gun control

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to the articles covering the recent shooting in Las Vegas.
The second amendment of the United States Constitution states: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Obviously the need for a state militia has been replaced by the National Guard and Coast Guard, whereby trained military personnel are entrusted with the defense of this country against domestic enemies. Their weapons are tightly controlled and safeguarded.
The only two reasons for a citizen to own a firearm are for hunting or defense of the household from intruders. In either case, ownership of a handgun, shotgun or rifle is more than adequate to satisfy these purposes. There is absolutely no need for any U.S. civilian to own any weapon more powerful or sophisticated than these.
Accordingly, all handguns, shotguns and rifles must be licensed and registered to the degree necessary to match weapon to owner at the click of a computer key.
Furthermore, we must guarantee that the mentally ill do not gain access to them under any circumstances.
Finally, if we had prohibited the purchase of more sophisticated weapons several innocent victims would not have died or been harmed at shopping malls, college campuses, Congressional meetings, churches and now concerts. We as a country must deal with this issue immediately lest our society fall back
to the days when everyone carried a holster.
Joe Bialek, Cleveland

Welcome to the Berks County Courier

Martha Conway, Publisher

My name is Martha Conway, publisher of the new Berks County Courier.

As publisher of the successful Madison County Courier in my New York home, we’ve been quite successful helping underserved and often ignored segments of smaller communities, such as libraries, schools, non-profit organizations, law enforcement and churches – get the word out about their news, special events and programs.

With my son and his family residing in the Greater Reading area, I find myself spending more and more time here, and I want to bring this same community service to my home away from home in Berks.

I have 17 years’ experience in community journalism, and I want to provide the community and the organizations it serves an opportunity to share their news to an expanded audience. Our website pushes your news and events out to social media outlets, amplifying the audience that will learn about your goings-on.

For some examples of how others are using this medium, visit

Our anticipated launch date is Oct. 1, 2017.