After reading “Why Confederate flag still flies high” (June 21), it’s easy to assume the righteous position that those South Carolinians should remove their symbol of white supremacy. But perhaps we Minnesotans can look in our own back yard and deal with our own mess before preaching to others. The name of Lake Calhoun honors a white supremacist who was the chief defender of slavery in the decades leading up to the Civil War. Changing its name would be an important statement that we are building a more inclusive legacy for our children. And there will never be a better time to do it than this year, the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s “With malice toward none, with charity for all, let us strive on to bind up the nation’s wounds, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves.” One possibility for a new name would be Lake Makaska, similar to the original Lakota name.
Ray Dillon, Minneapolis
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I’m befuddled but not surprised to see that the annual effort to rename Lake Calhoun continues. The lack of relevance to other timely, significant problems facing Minneapolis aside, we move along a slippery slope, one filled with agenda and emotion too common these days. John C. Calhoun is quickly portrayed as “racist” by any renaming proponent, an easy and flippant comment; but if we must participate in such an analysis, how much do we know about Calhoun?
The South Carolinian rose from little education to graduate with honors from Yale; he was a very complex intellectual who switched policy views often over time, and remains one of the most influential senators in history. Certainly he was wrong on slavery, but his views on government, trade, opposition to tyranny and war with Mexico should please both sides of today’s political spectrum. Like Jefferson, Jackson and Washington, Calhoun died before the Civil War commenced, so we have no idea where he’d stand on secession. All else is speculation. And “activists” looking to call names and rename a Minnesota lake two centuries later are purely playing games.
A.J. Kaufman, St. Cloud
The value of forgiveness; the danger of granting it too soon
The massacre that occurred this past week in Charleston, S.C., could have been the spark that lit a powder keg of pent-up frustration. Instead, it had just the opposite effect. Rather than the fearful response that the NRA provided to school shootings — more armed guards for school doors — church members across the nation are promoting a response of forgiveness, while encouraging more action to promote racial justice and understanding. As the pastor at our church on Sunday observed: “Fear escalates to violence, while faith escalates to love.”
Daniel Johnson, Crystal
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I am stunned by the horrific killings in Charleston. I am also unable to understand the immediate forgiveness of the accused by relatives of those murdered.
I see forgiveness as a process, not an immediate retort, unless someone steps on my toe in an elevator and the pain continues for less than a moment.
That young killer needs to hear the cost of his heinous action. He needs to know what deep pain and permanent separation have evolved from his few moments of wild shooting. He needs to know the grief that his frenzy frolic has cost this dedicated congregation.
No cheap forgiveness, please. This event is unbelievably costly.
Phyllis J. Peterson, Minneapolis
Article promoting it for kids ignored a wealth of data
The featured article in Variety (“Baby’s first adjustment,” June 22) was a prime example of the lazy science writing pervasive in popular journalism. The article raised questions that can and have been answered with controlled studies (despite the quoted claim that these interventions somehow cannot be studied properly). For science issues, it should not be considered sufficient to simply interview a few people with opposing views. There is a wealth of published data.
The fact is, chiropractic care is a fantasy-based system that has had more than 100 years to provide both a plausible mechanism of action and reproducible results that outperform placebo. It has failed on both accounts. Furthermore, the notion that chiropractors should in any way be involved in pediatric preventive care is belied by the numerous surveys exposing their disturbing rate of hostility toward the use of lifesaving childhood vaccinations.
Dr. Michael Hopfenspirger, Greenwood
Minneapolis school district’s changes are counterproductive
I am a licensed speech therapist (recently retired) who worked with individuals with autism for 15 years. I worked with students ages 2 to 21, both inside the schools and in clinics. The Minneapolis school district is shortsighted in planning to disband the citywide autism program, a program that supports capable kids in learning how to function well in regular-education classrooms (“Autism program cuts rile parents,” June 22).
In the long term, it should be more economical to provide a continuum of support for K-5 kids in regular-ed classrooms, so that students can, over the course of their academic careers, spend more and more time in the regular-ed setting. This should result in greater long-term savings than failing to provide adequate support in regular ed, resulting in disruption in the regular-ed classrooms, which in turn results in these capable learners spending more and more time in special-ed classrooms.
In fact, providing a continuum of support, which the citywide autism program has done so effectively, is required by law. I am saddened that the district has used deceptive language and tactics to prevent parents and the public from understanding its ill-conceived and self-defeating plans — plans that hurt kids, families and the district as a whole.
Jane Willis, Minneapolis
Skip the city working group
The McGuire group bid and received a Major League Soccer franchise primarily because it promised an outdoor stadium. There were no contingencies that stated the city of Minneapolis would have to subsidize the stadium (“Group to vet soccer stadium proposal,” June 20). This was a strategic and deceptive bid offer, and McGuire, of all people, should be cautious of this behavior. The stadium and development would be great; now it’s time for this group to pony up and move ahead with its original offer.
Robert Anderson, Bloomington
Well, it inspired me …
The commentary “6 signs you’re a Twin Cities bike jerk” (June 19) may have served a contrary purpose. It made me go out and put many miles on my bike. Despite the feelings of the author, cyclists have a right to the streets.
Jim Dahlgren, Minneapolis
‘YOU DON’T SAY’
So no one can repent?
Was it a low blow that the Star Tribune’s opinion editors chose to run this week’s “You Don’t Say” cartoon, with a quote about hypocrisy and an illustration featuring a bishop’s miter on the same page as a discussion of the recent papal encyclical on the climate? Also, is a true and heartfelt apology by a repentant hypocrite never to be believed?
John Ramsey, Minneapolis