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WOULD KING APPROVE OF PROTEST?

Bank has rights, too

I was somewhat saddened and frustrated by the actions of those protesting the decision by Goldome to remain open on Jan. 15.

It seems little has been learned in the years since the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s untimely death. He strove for unity, equality and freedom for his own race as well as all people.

To demonstrate at the entrance to a financial institution that decided, legally and within its rights, to remain open on a national holiday does not seem to be in the spirit of Dr. King's teachings. He sought to gain freedom for all people, but not at the expense of any one group.

Instead of breaking down barriers and bringing people closer, the actions of these protesters only serve to polarize the issues even more. It's doubtful Dr. King would have condoned or participated in such an action. More than likely, he would consider this a step backward on what has been, and is, a long, hard road.

ROBERT DIZER
Tonawanda

All holidays exploited

Why all the fuss about Goldome Bank being open on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday? The greedy stores are open on holidays and Sundays, exploiting these days with their "sales."

If the public would boycott these stores on Sundays and holidays these days would be what they are intended for.

JOHN A. WIDMER
Tonawanda

Anger misdirected

Let's keep a little perspective. The reaction of the local Afro-American community to Goldome's announcement that it'd be open on Martin Luther King's birthday would be more appropriate had the bank announced it'd be advertising in the local Ku Klux Klan newsletter!

Most businesses in the area are open on King's birthday, just as they are on Lincoln's birthday, Washington's birthday and Columbus Day. All the men so honored were great men, and out of respect to them all, government offices are closed on these days, even though businesses remain open. Just because one more business chooses to remain open on such a day, does it really merit such outrage?

There are more serious issues affecting the Afro-American community in this area, issues which deserve the abuse recently heaped on Goldome. To react so strongly to such a minor point only serves to belittle the more important problems these same leaders will need to address in the future.

CHERYL SULLIVAN
Lake View

Don't inhibit business

I respect and admire Dr. King's accomplishments in the field of social justice, but it should be remembered that his advocacy of equal civil rights was, in his own eloquent words, " . . . for all of God's children." This includes me, Councilman Clifford Bell and Goldome.

In this context, I really resent the coercive attempts of a Clifford Bell to have anyone and everyone observe the birth date of this martyr in a manner acceptable only to him.

Goldome has a primary obligation not only to serve its customers, but to present a positive income statement to its shareholders -- and the two goals are related. If it is inhibited in doing either by the requirement that it subjugate its business acumen to the personal whims of a Clifford Bell, this must certainly be an infringement of their civil rights. I doubt that Dr. King had this in mind.

ROBERT A. SCHAEFER
Depew

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