As a faithful fan of the Independent, I was dismayed by your recent observance of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln ("The Lincoln Legend," cover story, Feb. 4). Six full pages devoted to him and not a word about Charles Darwin, who was also born on the same day.
With all due respect to Lincoln, in my opinion, Darwin had a much greater impact on both the intellectual freedom of the mind of all peoples and the concept of racism itself.
During Darwin's time, there was actually a classic reference book that listed 15 species of humans. Blacks were considered a subspecies. By establishing that through evolution we all came from one origin, Darwin disproved this racist myth, replacing it with one common humanity.
As someone aptly put it, "Lincoln freed the slaves, Darwin freed the mind."
I have never understood why any county would deny more education to its public safety officers, equipping them to do their jobs better ("Next verse, same as the first," by Matt Saldaña, Feb. 4). These officers run into more situations than they were trained for, especially since there is an increasing population of this country which is non-English speaking, and are bringing their own customs with them.
Calling William Gheen, the head of Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee, a promoter of racism, a vigilante, etc., is a petty way of promoting a contrarian viewpoint. It is, in fact, quite childish. Implying that Gheen attacked "human rights activists" as racists is quite silly, and the non-differentiation between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants (aka, undocumented workers, illegal aliens, undocumented citizens), it seems Saldaña has not heard the entire presentation, or has listened with his own bias. It is a sad commentary to waste ink printing such apparent unpatriotic blather.