Readers Write: (April 30): Donald Sterling, Byron Smith, Minneapolis City Council, Minnesota Legislature

  • Updated: April 29, 2014 - 7:10 PM

Really, we don’t have to go easy on the Clippers owner.

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DONALD STERLING

Actually, public actions reflect private behavior

The writer of the April 29 Letter of the Day (“Who of us wouldn’t look bad if private words went public?”) is dismissive of the outrage over Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s private conversations and suggests that public actions are what matter. So let’s take a look at his public record, shall we? We have a $2.725 million Justice Department fine over housing discrimination, multiple lawsuits (and at least one settlement) over both housing and employment discrimination, and a long-documented history of racist statements that have largely been ignored by the media at large.

Of course, it takes an explosive tape to get people’s attention. Most people like to pretend that we are in a “post-racial” society (black president!). What’s interesting about Tuesday’s letter is that it asks the people who are the focus of Sterling’s repulsive behavior to do all the sacrificing, while asking absolutely nothing of him. Why should players be forced off their team during the playoffs? Why are complaints not valid unless one puts “every dime” on the line?

I, too, would like my conversations to remain private. But it is silly to assume that private beliefs don’t translate into public behavior. As for the letter writer’s demands, he will be happy to learn that the NAACP is giving back all of the money and that the NBA has banned Sterling for life.

Allyson Childress, Minneapolis

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Anyone can, and most people do, put on a public facade. We’ve seen it time and again with people in the public eye — politicians, pastors, priests — whose private lives, when exposed, are diametrically opposed to their stated views and public actions. That can change frequently, depending on the circumstances. It’s what a person says and does in private, alone or with supposedly like-minded people, that shows truly who that person is in the deepest part of his being.

Jeanne Torma, Minneapolis

 

BYRON SMITH

The verdict is in, but I didn’t see it as easy

The Byron Smith verdict — guilty of murder — was apparently not difficult for the jury of his peers. I would not want to be tasked with that decision. I would find it very difficult. The accolades presented post-trial by the friends and families of the two teenagers are understandable. The teens did, however, break into a senior citizen’s home with the intent of theft and/or vandalism. They didn’t deserve death, but deserved some sort of punishment.

I once experienced a stranger walking into my home. It was an honest mistake, but a very frightening experience. Had it been someone intending to commit a crime of whatever context, I might immediately have looked for some kind of weapon to defend myself. If I had a gun, I might use it. In the moment of extreme emotions, would I stop with one shot?

Don Eisenschenk, Minnetonka

 

MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL

This new crew basically is getting in the way

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