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Readers Write (June 30): Marriage, voting rights, bike safety

  • June 29, 2013 - 5:38 PM

VOTING RIGHTS

Act was intended to put an end to suppression

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act, it should be remembered that the act wasn’t passed so minorities could vote. It was passed to force white people to allow them to vote. Minorities always knew they had the right to vote; it was the white power structure that stood in their way. The Voting Rights Act began to end that barrier, in effect tearing down a Berlin Wall that separated the races. Now that wall has been resurrected.

IRVING KELLMAN, Hopkins

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State Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, should have heeded the words of this famous quote: “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.” (“Minn. lawmaker apologizes for ‘Uncle Thomas’ tweet,” June 26).

MIKE McLEAN, Richfield

• • •

Ryan Winkler was spot-on in his criticism of the majority decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on the Voting Rights Act. He has nothing to apologize for. In fact, I thought the exact same thing. Watch these Southern states now. They will come up with different ways to keep minorities from voting.

MARTIN FLASHER, Plymouth

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FISCAL PRIORITIES

GOP is contradictory on SNAP, immigration

I’m confused. U.S. House Republicans refused to pass an agriculture bill because it contained $700 million for the Supplemental Nutrition Aid Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. Then the same party supported the expenditure of $43 billion on the Mexican border as the price for passing an immigration bill. Isn’t this supposed to be the party of fiscal responsibility?

PAT HAGERTY, Champlin

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DEFINING MARRIAGE

Court rulings won’t end the national debate

As the definition of marriage changes, the definitions of husband and wife change as well. In my (heterosexual) marriage, I have a job, mow the lawn and do the laundry. My husband has a job, fixes the plumbing and does the cooking. We both raised the children. The word “spouse” is a common, simple and acceptable acknowledgment that one person is married to another person.

MARY AXELROD, Bloomington

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s majority thinks that opposition to same-sex marriage is motivated by the malicious intent to disparage, injure, degrade, demean and humiliate gay people. Thank God for Justice Antonin Scalia, who in his dissent exposed the moralizing majority’s sententious sophistry.

MARK E. WALDELAND, Brooklyn

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SAND MINING

Associated activities also must be mitigated

The Star Tribune’s much-­welcomed editorial endorsement of strong sand mining safeguards alluded to the auxiliary operations of processing and transportation, which have their own negative impacts (“Enforce sand mine safeguards with vigor,” June 23). But the Editorial Board omitted a key point: Regulation of mining must include assurance that the associated processing and transportation will also be required to mitigate environmental impact. Transporting sand from Wisconsin to rail lines in Minnesota, for example, is already threatening the well-being of small river towns (see Wabasha for a case in point), with very little economic benefit in exchange. Wisconsin is happy to offload these impacts to an unsuspecting Minnesota. This cross-jurisdiction passing of the buck must be stopped.

ELLEN T. BROWN, St. Paul

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MANAGING PAIN

State needs marijuana for the chronically ill

Medical marijuana was not among the alternative pain relief methods mentioned in the last Sunday’s article (“For those in pain, changes fuel fears,” June 23). Why hasn’t this gotten off the ground in Minnesota? It does what it’s supposed to do — relieve pain — with much fewer adverse effects than oxycodone or other narcotics. It should be considered alongside other nonpharmacological interventions, because it works. Minnesota needs to catch up with the several states giving compassionate options to the chronically ill.

DAN and SADIE WATTS, Northfield, Minn.

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SEEKING JUSTICE

Two cases show that America has no clue

Just what does it say about our mixed-up sense of priorities in modern America that the results of the two cases highlighted on the front page June 28 can be so inequitable?

A man whose shockingly foolish behavior with deadly weapons resulted in the death of his own son is judged to have suffered enough and is told to go and not be foolish again (“Dad’s tearful remorse draws leniency and stern warnings”). Meanwhile, a woman whose foolish words caused mere discomfort to a squeamish and hypocritical populace and in turn terror among the corporate supporters who so loved her only a few days ago is given what is, for all intents and purposes, a virtual death sentence and told to simply go away (“Paula Deen done at Target as the company severs ties”). No forgiveness.

Justice? Any sense of proportionality? Not even close.

HAROLD W. ONSTAD, Plymouth

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