Again we are experiencing a great uproar over race and racism. Yet to my knowledge no commentator has pointed out that it’s all much ado about something that doesn’t exist: Race doesn’t have a biological meaning. The genetic diversity within any historically defined race is greater than the diversity between groups.
Nevertheless, this artificial division is used by a corrupt president and his co-conspirators to deflect the legitimate anger of the economically exploited class of wage-workers — which includes people of every ethnic background — away from the plutocratic elite by stoking irrational hatreds between different groups of workers.
The truly significant division of our society is between the employed and the employers, the former producing society’s goods and services for the welfare of the latter. All the wealth produced by the employed workers is owned by the employers, who sell it for profit. The result is inevitably economic inequality, with all its negative ramifications for the well-being of the great majority. Obviously, it is in the true self-interest of all employees to unite to change this unjust and illegitimate system.
The majority has the potential political power to change the law so that the product of labor goes to laborers. A democratically owned and managed economy will do away with self-destructive infighting by eliminating self-destructive economic competition and the poverty, insecurity, violence and racism that inevitably go with it.
Jeff Miller, Minneapolis
• • •
President Donald Trump began with birtherism — taunts for former President Barack Obama to produce his birth certificate and verify he is a U.S. citizen. Then Mexican immigrants were criminals, drug dealers and rapists. And remember the call for a ban on Muslims entering the country? Or when he talked about Nigerians going “back to their huts” and Haitians all having AIDS?
Then there was the claim that a judge of Mexican descent born in Indiana was incapable of ruling fairly on a case involving him.
Remember immigrants from “shithole countries”? Or his infamous declaration that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the deadly clashes between hate-fueled white supremacists and protesters in Charlottesville, N.C.?
And now, a call for four women of color, U.S. citizens, to “go back” to their home countries (though three are from the U.S.).
The House has now passed a resolution condemning the president for his racist language (“House votes to brand Trump’s words as racist,” July 17). All but four Republicans voted against supporting the measure.
Republicans have left voters with a clear binary choice in 2020: support for racism and Trump’s white nationalist agenda, or opposition to it.
David Pederson, Minnetrista
• • •
It is disappointing, although not surprising, that Minnesota’s Republican representatives did not vote to condemn Trump’s recent racist tweets and comments. Although it’s also disappointing that almost every other Republican in the House didn’t vote to condemn the remarks, it hurts even more because one of Trump’s targets, Rep. Ilhan Omar, is from our state of Minnesota.
I am proud to be from a state that elected the first refugee to Congress. As Omar wrote on Twitter, “Here in MN we don’t only welcome refugees and immigrants — we send them to Washington.” For her fellow Minnesotans to not stand up for her, despite their political differences, shows that these lawmakers have chosen to support the president’s remarks. It shows that they likely also believe that Omar does not belong in Congress or even in Minnesota. And if they don’t believe this, then they are too cowardly to say so.
This is not the Minnesota that I am proud to be from.
Allison Agre, Corcoran
Immigrants, you belong here
Thank you for enriching my life and my community. I want to you know how much I value all the ways large and small you have contributed to my life.
Thank you for opening restaurants that have expanded my horizons and delighted my taste buds. Thank you to the woman at the farmers market who took time to explain, translated through her granddaughter, how to properly cook unfamiliar vegetables. Thank you to the accountant who patiently walks me through the numbers at work. Thank you to the laborer who made sure to return to my place of employment the next day to ensure I was satisfied with his work. Thank you to my grandmother’s caregivers at the assisted living; your compassionate attention needs no translating.
Thank you to all of the seasonal workers who keep our agricultural and resort communities going strong all year long. Thank you for those of you who are often working multiple jobs fulfilling online orders in warehouses, clipping grass, selling fast food, fixing streets, ringing groceries, cleaning homes and businesses and driving folks around.
Special thanks to those of you in service to your adopted country.
Kate Skapyak, Savage
Noor doesn’t deserve his sentence
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor’s conviction and prison sentence for the murder and manslaughter of Justine Ruszczyk Damond disregard the facts and circumstances of the case and have further endangered the lives of police officers in the line of duty (“Ex-officer Noor has filed an appeal,” July 17).
Look at the specific statutes for murder and manslaughter in the state of Minnesota. Each statute has specific requirements for proving “intent” as an element for each crime, which must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Noor could have been fired for incompetence and negligence, but the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the “intent” needed for the convictions obtained. It’s as simple as that.
Rodney J. Vessels, Osseo
Avoid the caricature Trump paints
It is time to call upon the Minnesota Republican Party to up the behavioral standards of activists who demean the honorable objectives of the conservative party. The embarrassing protests in the St. Louis Park debacle are beneath the dignity of our major American political party (“The pledge is reinstated in St. Louis Park,” July 16). Powerful arguments in favor of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at City Council abound. Resorting to profane e-mails, disrupting chants and exhortations, and other antics that reduce the honor of the political party for which I have run for office must stop.
There are other ways to express displeasure. Educate activists in the high principles upon which our democratic republic was founded — instead of reducing the image of the state’s Republican members to the stature of liberal extremists. Give activists the knowledge to express themselves clearly, the pride to do so, and the incentive to preserve the ideals this country was built on.
President Donald Trump’s way of expressing our views is already corrupted, distorted and misused by the media to our disadvantage. Why allow ourselves to fall into a trap of being presented as demagogues and tub-thumpers?
Bruce A. Lundeen, Minneapolis
Want to see your thoughts here? Submit a letter to the editor.