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Letters to the Editor — Oct. 17, 2021

‘Othello’ outrage
Have we all become so thin-skinned that we cannot hear or see a world that is less than ideal (“Prof loses class over ‘Othello’ blackface,” Oct. 10)?

A renowned professor at the University of Michigan was replaced from a class he was teaching for showing the 1965 film “Othello,” starring Laurence Olivier in blackface. What a perfect opportunity to discuss that Hollywood culture took quite some time to open up to inclusion and parallel that to strides that continue today.

Universities were made for discourse. Hopefully the university will reconsider in the spirit of showing how much we have progressed since the 1960s — with more room to grow.

Deirdre Harvey

Valley Stream

Shelter fix
After reports of an unscrupulous homeless-ser­vices provider, Mayor de Blasio’s response was to say there is simply a shortage of qualified homeless-services providers and the city has to take what it can get (“$4.6B shelter shame,” Oct. 12). This is wrong and hides a deeper problem.

Qualified providers can’t afford to take on these programs because they are underfunded and poorly designed. The city only covers 80 percent of the cost of providing services, and reimbursement often comes late, requiring nonprofits to pay poverty-level wages and carry interest-bearing loans.

As someone representing hundreds of these organizations, I can tell you the work our providers do is difficult and complicated. But they are qualified, diligent, creative and dedicated to changing lives and making all of our communities better.

If the mayor really wanted to solve homelessness, he would partner directly with these providers and stop making excuses.

Michelle Jackson, Executive Director, Human Services Council of New York


Spacey Kamala
Not only did Vice President Kamala Harris’ words fail to inspire enthusiasm for space exploration, she sounded like a giggling adolescent as she exclaimed, “To think about so much that’s out there that we still have to learn, like, I love that” (“Captain video Kamala,” Oct. 12). How vacuous.

Now we learn that a Canadian company aptly named Sinking Ship Productions hired child actors to stage this event. I bet the youngsters quickly saw through Kamala’s insincerity, even if the mainstream media applauded her outreach to young people.

Does America deserve this idiocy?

Stanley Rubin

Fresh Meadows

Save outdoor eats
The Post Editorial Board is spot on in its pitch to keep outdoor dining — with heaters — during the winter months ahead (“Blas’ Rx To Kill Outdoor Dining,” Editorial, Oct. 13).

Over the past 18 months, restaurants have relied on outdoor dining to stay afloat. The program has kept over 11,000 eateries alive, saved at least 100,000 restaurant jobs and allowed businesses to generate income. Despite our city reopening, the program is still providing immense support while restaurants continue to pay back rent and climb out of debt.

As we approach colder months, these heaters are necessary for restaurants to continue serving diners outside. And let’s not forget, the COVID-19 pandemic is not over.

Eliminating New Yorkers’ ability to comfortably eat outside is just bad policy.

While there are aspects of the outdoor dining program that can certainly be improved, these propane heaters are not the problem. Restaurants and diners have dealt with enough. There’s no reason to prohibit these outdoor heaters.

City Councilman Keith Powers


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