How does one treat a wound? First and foremost, it needs to be cleaned and disinfected. Water, rubbing alcohol or another disinfectant is needed to destroy the bacteria that would otherwise cause infection and fester the cut. After the area is void of any potential problems that would aggravate the wound, the affected area should be kept dry and wrapped in a clean bandage. These bandages should be changed regularly until the wound is completely healed and life can continue uninhibited by the injury.

Hate speech, like a wound, needs to be properly treated and cured. It needs to be looked at, scrutinized, sutured up and, if need be, cut out of the body of society.

The current political climate should view hate speech as doctors should view an infected wound. However, instead of being cured through proper channels, it seems that hate speech, at an increasingly alarming rate, is merely being covered up by ineffective rules and regulations that do little to eliminate the root of hateful thought. One need only look at the policies of social-media sites or local colleges to see just how prevalent these sentiments truly are. “Safe spaces” do little to combat problematic thinking, creating only a void that pretends to have dealt with the problem of hate. On a similar note, the removal of posts and tweets from the eyes of someone’s followers on social sites doesn’t make those ideas go away and, ultimately, makes the user double down on his or her opinions instead. As well-intended as these actions are, they are ineffective. We congratulate ourselves, but nothing has been accomplished in the fight against hate.

Ideas, as egregious and offensive as they are, need to be confronted and beaten with sound logic and fact. Laws and rules do little to stem the tide of an individual’s actions, as anyone who has ever enjoyed the company of cannabis, or even jaywalked, can attest to. Do I enjoy the fact that people are marginalized and hurt by the actions of others? Not in the slightest! I fear, however, the implications that arise when society allows hateful thought and prejudice to fester in the darkness, rather than exposing it to the light of day, in order for its despicable nature to be seen by all.

The system that we are progressing toward, one in which hate speech grows without being properly challenged, will unravel the work done by so many to combat the hate that lingers in so many minds. Only through open dialogue, with a free exchange of both good and bad ideas, does the ugliness of racism and sexism cease to exist.

Henry Rymer, Minneapolis

• • •

For a while there, I thought adding your name to a pretty darn necessary statement of tolerance might be a worthy idea (“Leaders’ ad decries anti-Islam bigotry,” Feb. 2). Silly me. The next day I read the letters and saw again the intolerance of many toward being tolerant (“Leaders’ message painted good people with a broad brush,” Feb. 3). Uh!? Nice try, Messrs. Dayton and Ellison and the rest of you who stick your neck out for public service. But there are those (yes, you knew this) who want to chop it off posthaste.

Dare we remind ourselves of William James (1842-1910): “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”

Rodney Hatle, Owatonna, Minn.

 

JOURNALISM

There’s sensitivity in restraint, and sports headline needed it

The Feb. 5 Star Tribune offered an interesting column by Jim Souhan about the Denver Broncos’ Demaryius Thomas titled “A moment with Mom.” I was, however, dismayed by the sub-headline topping the article: “Broncos’ Thomas relishes in playing Super Bowl with troubled mother in stands.” I think making a headline point of “troubled mother” was unnecessary as well as unkind; I would also question the undertone. Let’s celebrate Thomas’ athleticism and share his joy in having his mom in the stands on this special occasion for them both.

Addiction is a terrible disease; its effect can be numbing to the immediate family because not only is it incapacitating on occasion, it is often an impulse that is repeated. And depression is often a side effect, complicating matters. I know — we have addiction in our family, as, unfortunately, do many middle-class families.

As Emily Dickinson wrote: “Tell the truth but tell it slant … or every man be blind.” There is no need ever, publicly, to rub someone’s face in the dirt. Journalists as well as the employing newspapers have a responsibility to consider the moment to divulge the whole truth or whether to delete part of it for the sake of those involved. This article ultimately took away from the achievements of both Katina Smith and Demaryius Thomas. That’s a shame.

Colles Larkin, Dellwood

 

MSP TO TOKYO

Why should we stick with Delta?

Recently, we have read that Delta Air Lines may have to discontinue its direct flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Tokyo. U.S.-Japan bureaucratic negotiation is one thing, but Delta’s operation and management is another.

Delta has had ample time to improve its services and pay appreciation to local customers. But it did not. For example, a nonstop, round-trip airfare from Chicago to Tokyo is around $1,200 on United, American and two Japanese airlines. However, a nonstop, round-trip airfare from MSP to Tokyo is around $1,700 on Delta alone.

Delta has shown no respect to local customers, and the gap grows bigger during peak season. Delta has muddled itself into this mess by not improving its partnership with Japanese carriers and by just sitting on the most-money-making route for such a long time.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is in the making. It will increase opportunity for both Asian countries and the U.S. to exchange more investments and generate more imports and exports as well as travelers between the regions.

Minnesota must maintain its nonstop flight to Tokyo and thus expand routes beyond. Should we look for just Delta to dominate these golden routes? Or should we look to United, American, Japanese or other Asian carriers to provide quality services and reasonable airfares? We need fair competition in our market.

Shiro “Don” Katagiri, Minneapolis

The writer is a U.S.-Japan business and travel consultant.

 

THE 2016 CAMPAIGN

Here’s why Trump rose

When Jesse Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota, it wasn’t necessarily because we thought he was the best candidate, although he did outperform the others in the debates I watched. No, his election was a message to the entrenched career politicians who had lost touch with the people they are supposed to represent, as they are wont to do. Despite the clear message, being the arrogant, narcissistic people that they tend to be, our “leaders” failed to get a clue.

Fast-forward to today, and once again the people are sending a message, via Donald Trump, that we are sick of the fraud, waste, abuse, corruption and gridlock that is government. Yet in their infinite wisdom, our brilliant representatives are so entrenched in their privileged, pampered lives that they fail to see the message.

Part of guaranteeing us the right to bear arms was to allow us to take back our government, by force if necessary, from a corrupt government, but the founding fathers obviously didn’t foresee the advance in military weapons and equipment and power that now renders that impossible.

Donald Trump is our “gun” — our attempt to take back a bloated, out-of-control government. That they are still blind to the message of the voters they are supposed to be representing tells me we are on the right track.

We need a president who isn’t beholden to big corporations and special interests, and every incumbent should be voted out. Maybe then the message will sink in to the rest.

John G. Morgan, Burnsville