White Man Working

Letters published May 2, 2007

Set-asides: Culture of welfare for women and blacks? After reading "Lone Ranger" [April 11], I wondered how Bob Dean can be portrayed as a heroic figure. What are contract set-asides other than legalized discrimination against white males?

Look at black culture, where working hard takes on the negative connotation of "acting white." Members of such a culture are not going to be able to compete against members of a culture where hard work is valued.

And why should there be set-asides for women? During summer breaks from college I poured concrete foundations. I don't believe there are any females who could do that type of work, lugging around 100-pound forms for 10 to 12 hours a day in the summer sun. Why should white males who work their way up from the bottom in the construction industry have to watch a woman, who's probably never gotten her hands dirty, be handed a contract?

Bob Gross
Garfield Heights

Bob Dean wades through muck like a champ: Thanks for your article about screwing black workers. Sometimes one person can truly make a difference. Although it takes support to change things, that one person's death threat or resignation was needed to place things in motion. It's not easy to unveil muck and mire, but neither is living in poverty. Thanks, Bob Dean.

Sharon Thompson

Abusing Medicine
First, do no harm -- then, don't play God:
We are another one of those families Dr. Steiner is going against ["Guilty Until Proven Innocent," April 18]. Our beautiful six-month-old girl accidentally fell out of my husband's arms onto a carpeted floor. It was an accident. There was no abuse.

But Dr. Steiner always says otherwise. He is not a god, and we will find another specialist to look at the medical records and state the truth: that my baby girl's injuries could have happened from a fall.

Dr. Steiner has his reputation to maintain. He does not care whose lives he ruins. He always says 100 percent abuse, ruling out the possibility that it could have been an accident. My baby was not crying, and my husband did not get mad. She simply wiggled out and fell.

We are not minimizing shaken baby syndrome -- Steiner did not even diagnose that. He called it "abusive head trauma."

Dr. Steiner has seen real cases of abuse, but he does more than err on the side of caution. He rules out the possibility of it ever being an accident. He always blames the parents, but he has never met us. We are loving, wonderful parents, and now our children are separated from us.

The truth will come out. And Dr. Steiner, who I think is Jewish like me, will have to answer to our God. How does this man look at himself in the mirror?

Anna Milholland

The personal toll of medical arrogance: Thanks for publishing such a great article. We were falsely accused of shaking our baby more than 10 years ago, and it's still a mystery why this happened -- the CAT scans show not one shred of medical evidence.

We spent thousands on an attorney and still lost custody of our older son because of some doctor who obviously did not have expertise in reading brain scans (she was a cardiologist). Thankfully, our case was dismissed and never went to trial, but the damage was done.

Just like the victims of a terrorist attack, the falsely accused will never get over it. If authorities are so concerned for children and families, why did they not offer any help and support after they found they were wrong? It's doctors like Steiner who need to get in touch with the science swirling around SBS. There are plenty of peer-reviewed articles available. Do your research.

Belinda Moran
Apopka, Florida

Steinerism -- a worldwide phenomenon: What a great article. When our 10-week-old daughter died over five years ago in the United Kingdom, my husband and I were accused of murder. He was charged and I was not, due to the fact he was with her at the time she stopped breathing. After two and a half years, the case went to trial. Six weeks into the trial, the judge threw out the case.

That, you would have thought, would have been the end of it; but social services, having found us very tricky customers, decided on a trial in family court. Not surprisingly, my husband lost.

Over five years later, my husband is still not living with us. Tired of the continued pressure, the children and I came to live in New Zealand.

What these doctors do to families comes from a fixed mind-set and an unwillingness to accept the still-unknown areas of medicine. It would seem that when babies and toddlers are involved, and no cause can be found, the only cause can be abuse.

Prosecution medical experts are paid for their opinion in court, but that's all it is -- a doctor's opinion. When asked to back up their opinions with medical fact, they refer to other experts with the same opinions. It seems that if you are a medical expert, your opinion, if said enough, turns into fact.

It's a shame the same is not the case for falsely accused parents of SBS. We keep saying it is wrong, but yet we keep getting persecuted. Some child protection, eh?

Sharon Latta
Auckland, New Zealand

For some, justice; for others, uncertainty: I am so thankful for this article. There are many of us out here who have been falsely accused. Some of us have been cleared, some haven't. Those of us who haven't are just waiting, not knowing what our future holds.

I wonder many times what it's going to take to get doctors and laypeople to realize that there can be many reasons for injuries like this, not just child abuse. For those of you who are finished, praise God. For those of us waiting, keep praying.

Kathy Hyatt
Macon, Mississippi