Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss is no joke

As children, we are taught that violence is not a productive way to resolve a disagreement. We are also taught not to belittle or make fun of people who are different from us. I have a different perspective on the Will Smith-Chris Rock incident than a woman who has lived with alopecia since she was 3 years old.

Jada Pinkett Smith boldly took charge of her alopecia areata and was an incredible role model. When Rock denigrated her with his sarcastic wit and indirectly called out her different appearance, it seemed to have hurt her, as it would hurt any of us (especially women) living with alopecia.

To be clear, I don’t condone violence, but I fully understand Will’s predisposition to protect his family. I only wish Jada could get out of her seat, get on stage and talk about her brave journey, how alopecia is not something to be laughed at or gawked at, but something that is simply. It would have been a great TV!

Pamela Sims, Alameda

Suffocating speech is not free

Regarding “Protest is Free Speech” (Letters to the Editor, March 30): Writer Kevin Murphy tells us that UC Hastings students who yelled at a speaker they disagreed with practiced their right to freedom of expression. So by preventing someone else from expressing his opinion and yelling at anyone whose views he doesn’t share, he’s exercising his First Amendment right? This must be the “counter-intuitive” way of looking at this problem.

To refuse to allow someone to express their opinion because it is different from your own and to hide it behind a mask of free speech and the First Amendment is underhanded and insidious. The first amendment seeks to ensure that everyone has the right to express their opinion and that their opinion be heard.

In Murphy’s world of “free speech,” no one will be heard because everyone’s point of view will be shouted at by those who disagree with their opinion. Is that why the architects of the Constitution enshrined free speech in the First Amendment? So that everyone has the right to shout, suppress and stifle any opinion they do not share?

Kenneth Jones, San Francisco

Car-free helps drivers

On “Push to Save the World, One Car-Free City at a Time” (Home Page, March 30): Kudos to Emeryville Mayor John Bauters, who has the foresight to think outside the box and encourage the bicycle in his city with new infrastructures.

For those who might think this is draconian and only benefits a small percentage of people, no one is forcing old people to ride bikes or parents to take kids on them or IKEA to deliver furniture with them . Drive if you need to. But if the roads are safe enough to cycle, more people will.

More cyclists means fewer cars and that means those who have to drive can do so in less traffic. This will benefit everyone. It’s about creating safe choice, not taking cars away.

Michael Gill, Berkeley

Pay Native Americans

I am happy to see a movement toward reparations for African American Californians who have suffered from hundreds of years of cruel and unjust racist policies. I think it’s unfair not to reward California Native Americans at the same time. They suffered the horrors of servitude and genocide even before the arrival of the majority of African Americans, and they too live in communities that need help, restoration and reward.

Joanna Biggar, Oakland

Sink Port Stage Idea

Regarding “Owner Fisher’s Secret Plan for the A’s Uncovered” (Sporting Green, March 31): Scott Ostler’s column is particularly brilliant and hilarious in exposing the owner’s 15-point master plan of the A’s to maximize his profits at the expense of the A’s. citizens of Oakland, the city and the A’s, by not simply redeveloping a new ballpark on the site of the Colosseum.

The Port of Oakland is simply too important for the city, its citizens, its port workers and the state to disrupt it and downtown Oakland by installing a stadium at the Howard Terminal. Finally, deciding on a new ballpark at the Coliseum could even get the city council re-elected.

Peter Grenell, San Francisco