Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced on Wednesday that he will prosecute St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez in the death of Philando Castile. The announcement doesn’t prove the guilt or innocence of Yanez. In our system of justice, only a court of law can do that.
But Choi’s announcement does show that given the information that was available at the time of Castile’s death, the protesters led by Black Lives Matter did have good reason to be upset. They did not, however, have any basis at all, at the time, for concluding that anything Yanez did was motivated by racial prejudice, or that racial profiling had anything to do with Yanez stopping the car.
Those extensive accusations of racial prejudice and profiling by Black Lives Matter, accusations that at the time had no basis in any facts whatsoever, influenced Micah Xavier Johnson to kill five police officers in Dallas.
Our system of justice is about to hold Yanez accountable for his allegedly irresponsible actions. When is Black Lives Matter going to accept its responsibility for inspiring Johnson?
John Mattsen, New Brighton
The writer is a retired federal law-enforcement officer.
Does the GOP want lying to be the government norm?
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said after the 2012 elections — which President Obama won by 5 million votes, 4 percentage points and almost twice the electoral vote margin of Donald Trump in 2016 — that Obama had not earned a mandate. Right after the current election, in which Hillary Clinton won 1 million more votes than Trump and the GOP actually lost several seats in both the House and Senate, the same Ryan, now House speaker, declared that the GOP (of which many leaders opposed both Trump and his policies) now, magically, has a mandate from voters to institute all GOP policies.
Mandate is a malleable word, but once you define what it is not, you are not honest if you change your definition this shamelessly. Worse, the mainstream media promote this falsehood by using misleading adjectives to describe the election (“crushing,” “giant,” even “overwhelming” defeat). We know that Trump is a shameless liar and fabulist, because he proved it every week for over a year and continues. But does America want to become a country where government’s bald-faced lying to its citizens is the norm? We know what we can expect about truth from a President Trump. Now we will learn the same about other GOP leaders — so far, not good.
David Paulson, Minnetonka
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Republicans in the U.S. House seemed elated getting the Trump caps with his campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again” at their caucus. Did they realize that the slogan is truly a reflection on their inaction of the past six years when they controlled the House, during which their main activity was to block any legislation proposed by the Democrats and President Obama? It was amazing that they wore the caps with pride.
Mariah Snyder, St. Paul
Editorial Board’s call for ‘mix of viewpoints’ is ridiculous
Donald Trump has been president-elect for just more than a week. Already, the Star Tribune Editorial Board — since day one vociferous opponents of all things Trump — now deems itself the brain trust that will tell Trump who to select to serve in his Cabinet and other important positions (“Needed now in D.C.: the best and brightest,” Nov. 16). The Editorial Board goes so far as to say, “He must say clearly that he welcomes the mix of viewpoints that challenge a president to produce the best decisions.”
It seems absurd that Trump would call for “draining the swamp” that is our federal government in Washington, and then would populate his Cabinet and advisers with nice people with a “mix of viewpoints.” He will choose people to do these jobs who think like he does, many of whom will rock the status quo. I find it remarkably arrogant and presumptive of the Editorial Board to think it knows who those people should be — where they should come from, how they should speak and act. What you wanted and pushed so hard, hard, hard for the past six months is not going to happen in Washington. Best to hang on to your hats. It is going to be a wild ride.
Dave Arundel, Excelsior
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Not a bad week of events — Donald Trump was elected president and Blair Walsh was fired. A win-win, don’t you think?
Aaron Kubasch, Winsted, Minn.
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Hopefully, Mr. Trump’s advisors will convince him that we are not an island and that we are a major part of global trade — which includes our farm economy. I’m sure advisers will remind him of China and other countries that are holding many of our bonds.
Hopefully, his economic advisers will remind him that the trickle-down tax-cut theory has never worked. Middle-class security depends upon bringing down our debt and that the wealthy pay their share. Those who benefit from our system use our tax-supported infrastructure and should pay proportionately for it.
Hopefully, he and his followers will realize that most Americans support current reasonable and needed immigration.
Hopefully, he and his advisers will respect our public lands. They belong to all Americans and provide recreation and healthy wildlife hunting and fishing for us and future generations. Some of his wealthy supporters will be putting great pressure toward opening up delicate and beautiful wild areas for development.
Hopefully, advisers, including the military and insurance executives, will describe the horrific consequences of ignoring man-made climate change. Population relocation due to climate change and related conflicts is already causing terrible refugee problems.
Hopefully, Steve Bannon’s appointment is reversed.
Hopefully, Trump and his supporters accept the reality of being president with all its responsibilities is far different from being on the campaign trail. Otherwise, we’re all in trouble.
Gary Larson, Fargo, N.D.
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What do Trump supporters believe? Well, let me tell you. First of all, we believe in absolutes. For instance, socialism is absolutely wrong, inferior. Capitalism is absolutely right, a superior, successful economic system. Next, uh, we, uh … well, anyway, that’s a pretty good start. In fact, we don’t need to go beyond that start! That’s why we voted for Trump!
Joel C. Eliason, Hudson, Wis.
BOB DYLAN AND THE NOBEL PRIZE
He might be in Tangier
I’m sorry to hear Bob Dylan is not going to be able to pick up his Nobel Prize. I suspect he’ll be out on Hwy. 61 or some such place where he is forever young. At any rate, I’m offering to stand in for him.
David Kaiser, Apple Valley