Kudos to reporters J. Patrick Coolican and Stephen Montemayor for their well-written and detailed piece regarding U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s marriage history (“Omar’s past haunts her present,” June 23).
As a resident of the Fifth District, I am disgusted with the DFL leaders who chose and promoted Omar without enough vetting. I am progressive, but I don’t care who you are: If you lie, hide information, perform illegal acts ... you do not belong in political office.
The man at the top of government (Donald J. Trump) has been instrumental in creating this culture of deceit and illegality, and the Republican Party has enabled this culture by not responding appropriately.
Omar has been nothing but a lightning rod with her volatile comments that do nothing to serve the residents of the Fifth District. Enough already; clean up this mess.
Find a legitimate, honest person to serve this district.
John M. Bell, Minneapolis
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In mid-June, the Star Tribune Editorial Board authored another piece that focuses on Ilhan Omar via discredited conspiracy theorists and known Islamophobic sources (“Omar’s credibility takes another hit,” June 12). This is as disappointing as it is alarming. I would hope there would be more focus on the policy and coalition-building efforts that U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is pushing for in Congress and in conversation.
In terms of policy, Omar has been pushing for more oversight on human rights abuses that are taking place around the globe impacting the LGBTQ community, women, children and religious minorities. Omar is also focused on a major bill to address our nationwide housing shortages. There are also the realities of student debt, and Omar, again, is involved. Her push for student debt cancellation speaks to not just freeing students from the awful effects of student debt but reflects the need to equip and bolster students entering the work force.
These are just a few examples. Omar has also shown support for bills in education, mental health and addiction, service members and veterans, and protecting our federal elections.
Omar serves as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and is helping to rally for a Green New Deal. And throughout these policy initiatives and discussions, she engages the community, raises energy and listens. Where is the coverage? I hope the Star Tribune considers this and changes course.
Tony Aarts, Minneapolis
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It is hard to argue, as some do, that questions about Omar’s personal life are illegitimate when she built her political brand around her (version of her) life story. The insinuation that anyone who is too inquisitive must be a racist, sexist Islamophobe is disingenuous and insulting.
George S. Adam, Minneapolis
On with the immigration raids
A recent letter writer (“Seized with disingenuous concern, Trump fakes caring about 150 lives,” June 25), apparently gifted with the ability to read minds, sees hypocrisy in the president’s recent decision to call off the strike on Iran. With equal clairvoyance, I wonder if people of that ilk could actually be closet war-mongers, disappointed by the president’s prudence.
Further, the writer posited that, were the president’s concerns genuine, he would stop advocating the “terrifying raids on law-abiding immigrant families.” My understanding is that the searches (raids?) are conducted where illegal immigrants (family or no) reside or are employed. Relatives or others who harbor or employ illegal immigrants are protecting criminals or others who have reason to run before the law.
On with the searches. The shame I see falls not on President Donald Trump but on the omission by elected officials who obstruct the illegals’ apprehension and incriminate themselves. And while police executives may not be required to offer the assistance of their officers, I believe that those who don’t expose a frail integrity and second-rate service to the United States.
Were illegal immigrants being kept out or deported, the innocent Americans whom they’ve murdered would still be among us. Our courts and other systems would be less burdened. Maybe we’d have lower taxes. Or more available to benefit American citizens and legal residents in need.
John P. Dunlap, Fridley
ST. PAUL COUNCIL MEMBER
Don’t tell me your beliefs — tell me you understand the Constitution
St. Paul City Council Member Kassim Busuri is asking citizens to understand his personal religious beliefs and how these excuse him from making past demeaning comments about the LGBTQ community and being absent from the council resolution supporting the 50th anniversary of Stonewall on Pride weekend. (“A call to apologize for posts in Ward 6,” June 25.)
It is not the citizens’ role to understand and accept his religious beliefs. It is the elected council member’s role to understand our secular state and federal Constitutions and govern accordingly.
Each citizen is equal under our Constitutions and should be treated that way, regardless of one’s personal religious views. If an elected person feels they can justify their official action based on religion, that makes them a theocrat on par with the Donald Trump/Mike Pence team nationally. I am not interested in apologies for Busuri’s religious beliefs that collide with his constituents. It would be best if he clearly stated he understands the constitutional concept of equality and the founders’ wisdom of separation governing from religious preferences, because keeping government and religion separate is the best way to respect a diversity of perspectives and enjoy more freedom in the long run.
Steve Petersen, Shoreview
Implying that Democrats rejoice in immigrant suffering goes too far
I realize and support the desire of the Star Tribune and any responsible mainstream (and that’s good) newspaper to open its opinion and editorial page to a variety of opinions. But the Dana Summers’ cartoon on June 25 crossed the line of decency for me. His premise was that Democrats are delighted by the suffering of refugee and immigrant children and adults in detention centers because it makes Trump look bad.
The conditions and treatment described in news reports over the weekend go way beyond the area of party politics. In the words of one letter writer on the facing page, “What kind of people have we become?”
I’m not advocating censorship, but I’d hope the opinion editors discuss whether or not to buy such unfair, inflammatory material. Not just because I don’t agree with it, but because it’s hitting below the belt.
Dick Parker, Roseville
The writer is a former Star Tribune news editor.