I'm an old guy, 88, who has seen and experienced the disaster that the civil rights laws have brought on us for more than 50 years. A July 2 letter ("Williams a plague on all blacks"), which concerned the conviction of former District Attorney Seth Williams, said, "For decades, bigotry and hate told us that we couldn't aspire to become elected officials because of the color of our skin" and "We were fed daily a spoonful of ignorance that we were not intelligent enough to hold elective office."

Good grief, there are successful blacks all around us. Just a few ringers make the headlines. I'm disgusted that blacks have allowed the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to conduct a policy of defeatism, offset by organized violence. There are literally thousands of respectable, talented, capable black citizens, a vast pool of ability to offer real leadership. It's time to step forward and establish responsibility for representing black people.

I'm all for the success of blacks, as are the vast majority of white people. Get with it! Success would really make America great again.

Richard Lamb, Kennett Square, lam29@aol.com

SEPTA makes me want to drive my car

As a seasoned SEPTA regional rail rider for more than 30 years, I truly believe things have hit rock bottom. The trains are habitually late, usually with absolutely no lucid communication from SEPTA employees.

Conductors shrug their shoulders when you inquire why there is a delay. Cancellations happen routinely. There are constant mechanical issues, from signal problems to downed wires. Let's not forget to mention "crew shortages."

At this point, you cannot rely on SEPTA Regional Rail at all. How is management addressing this degraded service? Through higher fares!

For the first time in many years, this SEPTA customer is strongly considering commuting to work in his car.

Jon Liss, Fox Chase

Health management agency takes job seriously

Your editorial ("Robbing city's vulnerable," June 29) has helped generate much-needed attention to mental health and substance-use issues challenging the entire Philadelphia community.

However, it mischaracterized the role, quality, depth, and transparency of Community Behavioral Health, a component of the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services.

CBH is Philadelphia's behavioral health managed care organization, serving nearly 700,000 Medicaid members. We continuously work to ensure that our network of providers adhere to the requisite standards required to operate in our network and ensure quality services are delivered to our members.

Approximately 115,000 Philadelphians annually utilize services and supports through CBH. Despite the many safeguards already in place, we acknowledge that there are always opportunities for improvement.

When an adverse event occurs, even one that is beyond our control, we reexamine our processes and those of our contracted agencies and ask what, if anything, could be done differently.

We take our role as a health care organization and steward of public resources very seriously and welcome opportunities to address concerns raised by the press, family members, and the community.

Joan Erney, chief executive officer, Community Behavioral Health, Philadelphia, christine.aguado@phila.gov

Republicans care more about tax cuts

Senators, including our own Pat Toomey, will be back in Washington soon and the Republican leadership will once again try to ram through an insidious, immoral health care bill ironically called the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

It more accurately should be called the Huge Tax Cut for the Rich Paid for by Takin Health Insurance from 22 Million Americans Act. This bill would especially hurt the rural poor, raise rates, and reduce coverage for those still able to afford insurance.

Toomey's support for this bill clearly demonstrates whose interests he is serving: his wealthy friends and contributors and the wealthy insurance companies. His claim that the federal government has to cut over $800 billion from Medicaid because it's simply too costly rings hollow when he favors giving the richest Americans tax breaks totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.

I am proud of our nation for instituting Medicare, Medicaid, veterans' health care and other programs that promote healthier Americans. Never before in this nation's history have we taken away health care from our citizens. Let's not start now!

Dave Posmontier, Melrose Park

Christie deserves low poll ratings

If there was any argument about Gov. Christie's approval rating setting a record low, the photo of him leisurely sunbathing with his family entourage at a closed state beach firmly cements the issue.

Christie's arrogant, insensitive and appalling comments to reporters (straight out of Donald Trump's playbook of crude tweets) were beyond even the most callous of his many previous nasty encounters with the press and public.

Gene Muccolini, Mount Holly, genemucc@comcast.net