Crime in Portland not matter of color

Social psychologists, who have used objective scientific methods of study, have found for years that the reason for this prevalence is because drug dealers and gangs know that there are more people to prey on in these environments.

People who have low socioeconomic status are more desperate and thus are more likely to use drugs to escape their problems, and more likely to join gangs for protection, money and camaraderie.

However, all of which is promised to them from this drug use and gang membership is not delivered. The result is that their situations are worsened because they frequently have legal problems as well.

Now merge these issues with what refugees often face when resettling in America: societal pressures, cultural clashes, racism, discrimination, mental health problems such as PTSD and conduct disorders, not to mention having to flee their homes because of war violence that often consists of seeing family members killed and raped.

While I’m not attempting to make excuses for anyone who chooses to break the law or who chooses a violent or drug-involved lifestyle, I think it is interesting how little the average person knows about the dynamics behind these situations.

Despite this lack of education, most average people are still quick to point fingers and blame. This does nothing but deepen discrimination, racism and stereotypes, and it doesn’t prevent future problems from happening.

Educated adults in Maine need to wake up, stop pointing fingers and recognize the real roots of these problems if they expect change.

Change cannot occur if we don’t know why something is happening in the first place.

Rick Charity
student, M.S. Psychology, LCPC

Marden’s lady a delight who enlivens TV watching 

I hereby vote for the Marden’s lady for “Queen of the Maine.” Karmo Sanders’ work comprises several delightful advertisements that we never mute while watching TV.

If she will cut and paste and send copies of Bill Nemitz’s column to a Broadway producer, she should soon have her own one-woman show, this time on Broadway.

Mary Elizabeth Nordstrom

Abortion opposition about men controlling women 

I was discouraged to read the Another View column by Rick Volt on abortion on Aug. 22 (“Writer justifying own choice in defense of abortion on TV”).

He is just another man denigrating women who have chosen to have abortions. Mr. Volt, a psychologist, believes that women seek abortions for their selfish convenience.

His column made me realize again how important it is to emphasize the central truth of the anti-abortion movement. Being against abortion has nothing to do with fetuses or children. It’s all about control of women’s lives by totally male-dominated religious groups and male-dominated anti-abortion organizations.

If the Catholic Church and fundamentalist Christian groups care so much about unwanted pregnancies, why are they against birth control and the morning-after pill, both of which prevent conception? If Catholics truly love fetuses, why allow thousands of actual children to be molested at the hands of priests, and actually used as slaves in Ireland through the 1960s?

If far-right evangelicals truly love fetuses, why are they in the forefront of every effort to cut government aid to children and families, and currently to deny citizenship to thousands of children born here to illegal immigrant parents?

Women make agonized decisions to terminate pregnancies because of their life situations. Women also make decisions to terminate pregnancies because of rape, incest and because they might die if the pregnancy is carried to term. Wanting to live or not have a baby after rape doesn’t seem very selfish to me.

I think it’s really scary that a psychologist like Mr. Volt who believes abortion is a selfish decision, and who seems to believe women are too stupid to make rational decisions about their lives, actually sees women patients who have had abortions.

His judgmental thinking and lack of respect for their decisions is probably causing them a lot of pain.

Janice Campbell

I observed a noteworthy amount  of irony in your labeling of Rick Volt’s opinion piece.

Considering the status quo narrative regarding the abortion debate has long provided no shortage of men weighing in on the appropriateness of a medical procedure that is specific to a woman’s body and experience, suggesting that a man expressing opposition to abortion is “Another View” is particularly laughable.

Mr. Volt suggests that this debate will remain meaningless until “abortion advocates” admit that the act is “barbaric.” His rhetorical sleight of hand is intended to further perpetuate a dangerous and deviously crafted farce that there is such a thing as “abortion advocacy.”

While I advocate for the right to have access to the procedure, I simply cannot recall the last time I openly advocated for abortion itself. In my own world, I advocate for rights and access, not procedures. Abortion should be made rare, safe and accessible.

Studies have shown that limiting access does not correlate to reductions of the procedure, and it is when abortion becomes inaccessible and unsafe (not to mention when zealous anti-abortion advocates start getting trigger-happy) that Mr. Volt’s “barbarism” shows its truly ugly head.

I strongly encourage those who hold unfavorable impressions of abortion to work closely with the reproductive rights community. Together, we can advocate for the minimization of procedures performed by way of increasing access to the education, resources and support needed to curb the number of unwanted pregnancies.

Alex Steed


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