It is anticipated that the St. Paul City Council will be voting on a resolution to ban Donald Trump from the city. Council members need to think long and hard before casting their vote on this resolution. While on the surface the resolution looks to be about Mr. Trump, it’s really more than that.
There is a strong undertow against freedom of speech in Minnesota. After I’ve had letters published in this newspaper, my mail box has been filled with hate letters, and the phone calls I’ve received have vastly expanded the English language.
Activists at the University of Minnesota demonstrated themselves as being against speech that goes against a particular point of view when they attempted to prevent former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from speaking at the school last year. On Tuesday, the university is welcoming Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton without apparent controversy. Can we expect Mr. Trump or any other Republican presidential candidate to receive the same treatment?
This brings us to the council resolution. There is only one difference between the letters in my mailbox, the dispute at the U, the proposed St. Paul City Council resolution and what Mr. Trump recently stated, and that’s the side of the aisle from which it originates.
Richard Burton, Ramsey
In all that bluster, a truth can be found about campaign finance
Two Dec. 13 letters about the Dec. 6 story about Stanley Hubbard — one letter writer referring to political money as speech, the other as giving (great euphemism in this season of real giving) — reminds me of the only place I can name where my sympathies intersect with Donald Trump’s. Hubbard, Trump and many others are “buying.” One might even say they “shop” for politicians who, as the Donald says, always take their calls.
James McKenzie, St. Paul
JUSTICE SCALIA’S COMMENTS
His detractors are on the attack; never mind the issue at stake
Dark clouds of ignorance have descended on the discussion of affirmative action now before the Supreme Court. The media, not surprisingly, have been less than honest in their reporting. Briefs before the court have noted the substantial scholarship, much of it in fact by liberals, describing the phenomenon of “mismatch,” whereby black students, admitted to universities on the basis of racial preferences, are set up for failure when they have to compete against students not so benefited. A purely factual analysis of whether such preferences actually help the intended beneficiaries is necessary to properly evaluate their constitutionality.
Justice Anton Scalia is not a bigot for considering evidence that black students can be harmed by racial preferences (Readers Write, Dec. 14). He would be a bigot if he did not. Indeed, that is always the calculus with progressive policies: Does the smug virtuousness engendered in its adherents outweigh the damage wreaked on civil society and the character of its people?
Chip Allen, Woodbury
MARK ZUCKERBERG’S CHARITY
The message I see: We’re left to the mercy of private fortune
It was sad but certainly not surprising to see the Star Tribune Editorial Board getting in line to recommend a “worthy cause for Zuckerberg charity” (editorial, Dec. 12). After all, the newspaper periodically fawns over our local billionaires and is owned by one of them. Why not capitulate entirely to the New Gilded Age and concede that, like America in the late 19th century, our government is incapable of addressing the people’s ills, and to decently educate our children we must go on bended knee to 21st-century tycoons?
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are the product of blind stupid fortune no less than if they had they acquired their billions through a hot run in the world’s biggest casino. That we permit youngsters to acquire immense financial power in such ways, then use it as they see fit to “fix” our problems, is symptomatic of America’s once great potential now in advanced decline.
Since this poor democracy in the world’s wealthiest nation cannot assure its American Indian children a decent education, will Mr. Zuckerberg — or Bill Gates or Michael Bloomberg or any other plutocrats — please do the right thing for us? Sad. But sadly, not surprising.
Jerry Freeman, Minneapolis
JAMAR CLARK CASE
Now, here’s something that would have been nice to know
Somebody in the Minneapolis Police Department blew it. Why, a month after Jamar Clark was shot, does an article appear in the paper stating that it is common procedure for officers to handcuff a person after shooting them (front page, Dec. 14). If, in fact, Jamar was handcuffed after being shot and had the public been informed of this procedure shortly after the shooting, much of the protesting could have been avoided. This was a PR blunder of immense proportion. And I’m wondering: Why is it taking so long for the police to release their findings? How long does it take to interview all who were present and to review all of the video?
Sandy Beitsch, St. Paul
Hmm … do I detect something of a mixed message on quality?
Six months ago, the Legislature and the taxpayers of Minnesota reluctantly went along with Gov. Mark Dayton’s edict to increase the salaries of state agency commissioners. His argument was that top salaries were required in order to attract and retain top talent.
I find his selection for the commissioner of human services extremely inconsistent with his argument for increasing salaries (“A learning curve for new leader of DHS,” editorial, Dec. 9). Searching no further than across the hall for the leader of the state’s largest and arguably most complex agency, the governor has selected a person with no experience in the field and minimal management experience.
The taxpayers of Minnesota deserve better.
Terrance Brown, Eden Prairie
Come fly with me, if you will, toward a generational solution
Perhaps there’s a way to celebrate Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday while reducing school classroom disruptions.
Some 20 years ago, suburban Chicago high school teacher Bruce Janu required students in his after-school detention to do nothing but listen to Sinatra recordings. No talking. No homework.
Students “just hate it” and decline an invitation to sing along, said Janu, a fan whose Frank Sinatra Detention Club received national attention. After an hour of Old Blue Eyes, “it just got to where I couldn’t stand it,” Mike Niesluchowski, a Riverside Brookfield High School senior, said then.
The psychology is no loonier than that of towns that change behavior by playing classical music in public places where they don’t want kids to hang out. And, seriously, disruptive students don’t belong in the classroom, but they don’t belong out on the streets, either. Some schools have isolated kids but continue educating them — perhaps not in the music of their elders — with in-school suspensions.
And if Sinatra doesn’t work? Back then, USA Today reported Janu’s possible alternatives: Tony Bennett or Mel Torme.
Robert Franklin, Medina
‘STAR WARS’ FANATICISM
Oh, please. Don’t encourage it.
Really? The fact that a Maple Grove family decorates their Christmas tree with all “Star Wars “ornaments and is so eager to see the new movie that they decide it is more important to take their two girls to a 4:15 a.m. showing on a school day than to let them get enough sleep is front-page news? (“For parents, ‘Star Wars’ circle is now complete,” Dec. 12.) No, it is not even back-page news!
Linda Daley, Bloomington