A Jan. 18 letter writer chides those who are boycotting the inauguration and asks us to respect the process.
Respect the process?
Democracy is not broken, but the process is, and a boycott is called for.
The process is broken when Tea Party Republicans gerrymander districts to ensure that the most far right candidates are elected. It is broken when third-party candidates are restricted from presidential debates. It is broken when Electoral College votes, not those of the people, elect a president. When fake news and tweeted slurs replace facts and real information. When editors of a U.S. newspaper join a murderous tyrant in scolding the people for questioning the legitimacy of a broken election. When people have been suppressed and grievously harmed, the boycott is an action throughout the history of democracy that has made a difference.
The divestment of South Africa made a difference in ending apartheid. The 1955 Montgomery bus boycott made a difference in guaranteeing civil rights and voting for African-Americans. The massive demonstrations against the Vietnam war spoke powerfully that it could no longer be business as usual in the United States.
Usually a strong symbolic ritual of our democracy, the inauguration this time validates this broken election and affirms the words and actions of an unprincipled and unqualified individual. Like the flag, the inauguration ritual by itself is meaningless. It has meaning because of what stands behind it. What stands behind it now? A boycott is called for.
Thank you, U.S. Reps. Keith Ellison, John Lewis and others for your courage of conviction.
Olivia Frey, Northfield
Ballyhoo that independence if you’d like, but I don’t trust it
I read with amusement and interest the Jan. 18 editorial about a welcome development in President-elect Donald Trump’s allowing disagreement by some of his Cabinet choices.
I think the Star Tribune Editorial Board missed the mark. Trump may allow his Cabinet members to express their opinions, but he will listen to them only if they agree with his worldview.
I’m thinking we will hear “You’re fired!” for at least one Cabinet member by June. I’m picking the nominee for defense secretary, James Mattis, as I think he has the backbone and background to look Trump in the eye and tell him he is wrong — that he will not exercise that order, whatever it is.
Place your bets.
Mike Cassidy, Wayzata
COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM
Community grants are helpful; let’s keep working together
As a strong advocate of funding for programs to counter all forms of violent extremism, I appreciate this paper’s support for the work of so many in our community to stop terror recruiting. As the Jan. 17 editorial noted, the two recent grants awarded by the Department of Homeland Security represent an important investment. Much more is needed. As one of the architects of the Building Community Resilience program, I can say that we have enjoyed unparalleled bipartisan support from our congressional delegation. The progress we have made represents the efforts of all Minnesotans working together to solve a serious problem.
Andrew M. Luger, U.S. attorney, District of Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS GROCERY DEVELOPMENT
Don’t muck things up with more of what we already have
I am wondering what constitutes a “dearth” of grocery stores in “this part of the city” (“Grocery store proposed in south Minneapolis,” Jan. 13). There is Cub Foods on Minnehaha and Lake, Oxendale’s on 34th and 50th, Bergan’s Supervalu on Cedar and 47th, Lunds just across Ford Parkway in St. Paul, an Aldi on Lake and 21st, and the Seward Co-op on 38th and 3rd. Several years ago, I attended a community meeting at which developers were proposing to build a Cub Foods at the same location now being proposed by Oppidan Investment. Attendees at that meeting were adamantly opposed to the building of a new grocery store for two reasons: There is no need, and we do not want increased traffic in the already woefully congested intersection of 46th and Hiawatha.
Nadja Reubenova, Minneapolis
Allocation of newsprint, lack of context trouble these readers
Although I understand that it has become increasingly difficult to turn a profit in the newspaper trade, I was surprised on Jan. 16 to see that the price of the daily edition was more than I expected. Nevertheless, I bought a copy, reasoning that the paper itself had not changed. Imagine my disappointment, then, upon perusing the coverage. On page A5 appeared “Eight richest men own as much wealth as 3.6B people,” to which was devoted eight column inches, while on page E7 (Carolyn Hax’s column) “Husband shows a failure to launch” consumed 24 column inches. Please give me a reason to continue purchasing the Star Tribune instead of the National Enquirer. Some inquiring minds truly do want to know.
Justin Doyle, St. Cloud
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I would like to refer to Lake Calhoun by its Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska (“Mpls. will honor the Dakota’s link to lake,” Jan. 17), but nowhere in the article was there a pronunciation guide. This is a great opportunity to educate readers (an example from elsewhere: http://bit.ly/2iS9pdF). People are hesitant to use words they don’t know how to pronounce, and they won’t unless the newspaper and the new signs being added by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board help us.
There was an article in the Star Tribune a few months ago stating how important it is to learn a person’s correct name and how to pronounce it (“What’s in a student’s name? Family, culture, identity, stories,” Nov. 4). By doing so, you give that person respect and validity. The same should be done for Bde Maka Ska.
Kris MacDonald, Minnetonka
A Jan. 18 commentary incorrectly described Dayton’s transformation into Marshall Field’s. Dayton Hudson acquired Marshall Field’s and assumed its name.