Kudos to news organizations, including the Star Tribune, for capitalizing "Black" when referring to people. The rule should be to describe people as they themselves would like to be described. Also, call people "people." Therefore, Black people, Jewish people, Protestant people, Baptist people and so on.

The "disability" community would never use that term. It has been vocal about using terms such as "differently abled people" and phrases like people with Down syndrome, people with epilepsy.

We should continue to capitalize Black, continue to name people as they prefer to be named and continue to emphasize personhood.

Steve Katz, Minnetonka

Not the old talking points, please

Lacy Lee Johnson trots out the standard Republican tropes on why he wants to run for office as the answer to the disaster that we have suffered in Minneapolis ("I'm running for Congress to rebuild Mpls.," Opinion Exchange, July 7).

Long on going after those who looted and destroyed and bashing those elected officials who are trying to come up with a better life for all, he offers no solutions. He rhetorically asked, "Was it really the fault of a statue of a 15th-century explorer?" No, Christopher Columbus didn't murder George Floyd. He didn't come up with prosecuting "driving while Black" on Larpenteur Avenue. He didn't develop the corrupt Metro Gang Strike Force. Johnson bemoans "vilifying every police officer." It wasn't one rogue officer who killed Floyd or caused Minneapolis to pay out $45 million (2003-2019) in damages for misconduct. Heck, police misconduct was on full display for the world as we watched them shoot peaceful protesters and media with "less lethal" rounds, hose down peaceful protesters with pepper spray, even doing so from their cars as they drove by, and arrest reporters and cameramen on air.

Thanks for your offer, but the city and Minnesota have moved on; we need new ways of policing if we want better results.

Bruce Van Sloun, Minnetonka
• • •

Johnson makes a very strong case for his election — as mayor.

Run for that post, Mr. Johnson, and I will be among your earliest contributors.

Darryl G. Carter, Minneapolis
• • •

Johnson, GOP candidate for Congress in the Fifth District, claims that he and Nekima Levy Armstrong, former Minneapolis NAACP president, agree on police reform in Minneapolis. For the record, she has endorsed Antone Melton-Meaux, who is running in the DFL primary to unseat Rep. Ilhan Omar. Melton-Meaux has also secured the support of other community leaders and activists, including Josie Johnson and Don Samuels.

David Aquilina, Richfield

Another patriot is pushed out

Today I read about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman leaving the U.S. Army due to the campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation spearheaded by the president of the United States ("Vindman retiring from Army, lawyer blames Trump," StarTribune.com, July 8).

I cannot tell you how utterly disappointing it is to see a man of such incredible integrity have his military career ended by the efforts of such a despicable character and his loyal henchmen. As a former noncommissioned officer in the 25th Infantry Division, I was overwhelmed with pride watching Col. Vindman deliver his truthful testimony in front of Congress and the American people. His sense of duty to America and his commitment to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, regardless of the cost to him as an individual, makes him a true American hero.

There is no greater demonstration of what it means to have integrity and loyalty to this country. He will be remembered by history as an extraordinary patriot.

I hope a future (and far more worthy) president awards Col. Vindman the Medal of Honor for his willingness to put service before self and for demonstrating the highest standards of service to this country.

Alan Matson, Eden Prairie

Other courts claimed this power. Why shouldn't Minnesota's?

I am the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs in the Cruz-Guzman case, which D.J. Tice listed in his catalog of allegedly liberal decisions in his column about the Minnesota Supreme Court ("The legal dividing line is hardening," Opinion Exchange, July 6). I think that he owes his readers a correction in his characterization of that case as giving the Minnesota Supreme Court unwarranted "expansive powers to make education policy." To date, 28 state Supreme Courts have addressed the same question of whether courts can properly decide whether students are receiving an adequate education under their state constitutions. Including Minnesota, 23 state Supreme Courts have decided this is a proper function for courts. Among those state Supreme Courts are those in Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming — all red states in the last election.

The overwhelming weight of authority in red as well as in blue states is that courts are empowered to construe provisions of their state Constitutions and determine whether the Legislature is complying with its constitutional duties. There is nothing left-leaning in performing that function.

Dan Shulman, Minneapolis

Laugh a little. It works for me!

As a nonagenarian I have been reading the comic strips — aka "funny papers" — since I was old enough to read. I still cling to that habit formed decades ago. During the isolation of COVID-19, et al., I have found the comics a refuge where I can escape for a few minutes from the hard news of the day.

My earliest recollections go back to the days of "Dick Tracy," "Gasoline Alley," "The Katzenjammer Kids," "Alley Oop" and "Little Orphan Annie." Back then Google was not a search engine but "Barney Google and Snuffy Smith." In the 1940s, when the newspapers were on strike, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia took to reading the comics on network radio. It was a big hit. Today's politicians could do well by taking a page out of LaGuardia's book.

In these tense times I end my day by reading the Star Tribune "funnies" before I snap out the lights. "Dilbert," "Pearls Before Swine" and "Big Nate" are a perfect way to wind up the day: smiling.

Don Osell, Cohasset, Minn.

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