Recently, the American Library Association in Chicago stripped Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from an award, citing her negative references to Native Americans and African-Americans. This greatly distresses me, as I know it does many others.
Wilder was an incredible writer and a true inspiration to many. She and her family endured incredible hardships during the late 1800s. She authentically described the feelings she and her family endured through many tough times.
Like it or not, things were very different 150-plus years ago.
Yes, she wrote that “Ma Ingalls” said that the “only good Indian is a dead Indian.” While we find those comments reprehensible, we need to remember that pioneers in that time were enduring massacres we could not fathom today. Her mother’s comment was a common theme for many Americans at that time, as were other comments in her books.
We can’t, and shouldn’t, whitewash history. Wilder was an incredible hero to many of us — especially to women. In reality, she was an incredible feminist. At an incredibly young age, she taught school to provide her parents with the means to provide for her family. She was a hero who selflessly cared for her family members. Instead of obliterating her works, parents and educators should use her words as an opportunity to teach the next generation. While stripping her name from an award seems minor, where will it end? Will they next remove her books from libraries?
Tina Palmer, Eden Prairie
U.S. SUPREME COURT
A travel ban ruling for the ages, and not in a good way
The Dred Scott/Citizens United-like decision on Tuesday (“Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban,” StarTribune.com) will no doubt result in another gigantic ego boost for this power-hungry president. I predict that within days he will serve up a highly restrictive travel ban aimed at the southern border, based on so-called national security concerns, thus obliterating the need for any hearings or judicial review. It appears nothing can stop him.
Charles E. Dean, Apple Valley
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I imagine in future decades that the demise of the U.S. will be analyzed, much as the demise of the Roman Empire was attributed to lead pipes. Ours will be the decision of Senate Republicans not to hear Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, commencing the unraveling.
Barbara Vail, Minneapolis
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In 1944, the Supreme Court upheld the United States’ authority to intern Japanese-Americans when a fever of nationalism and xenophobia swept the country in the case of Korematsu vs. United States. This decision validated a federally endorsed policy of racism and remains a black eye on our nation’s history — one that has not been technically overturned even now.
On Tuesday, the court’s majority referenced this black eye in its ruling on Trump vs. Hawaii (regarding President Donald Trump’s much-maligned travel ban), saying in response to the dissent, which invoked the 1944 ruling, “Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and … has no place in law under the Constitution.” I hope future generations and the “court of history” will judge this court’s decision with a similar clarity.
Sean Lynch, Minneapolis
Perspective on motivations
Our approach to immigration to this country from Central and South America needs to change. How can we do this? First, let’s look at homicide rates in the U.S. and Central America (per 100,000): U.S., 5.35; Canada, 1.68; Mexico, 19.26; El Salvador, 63.54; Honduras, 56.53; Guatemala, 37.26 (Wikipedia). Then let’s have a look at poverty rates: U.S., 15.1 percent; Mexico, 40; Honduras, 29.6; Guatemala, 59.3 (Wikipedia). Just looking at the data, it’s pretty clear that the homicide rate and poverty are strong predictors of migration to safety and economic improvement. It would seem that investments in these economies and use of our military and police to prevent crime would be most likely to alleviate the need for migration here.
Vincent Garry, Minneapolis
Editor’s note: For further consideration of the issue of migration from Central America, see “What immigration crisis? U.S. isn’t being swamped. (Numbers.)” and “Joe Biden: Try diplomacy instead of detentions on issue of Central American migrants” at StarTribune.com/opinion.
LINE 3 PIPELINE
Enbridge: Honor the Earth’s full-page ad misled Minnesotans
In an advertisement published in the Star Tribune on June 25, Honor the Earth misled Minnesotans. Two statements in the paid advertisement do not reflect the facts and evidence on the record with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in the matter of Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project.
It is not true that Minnesota would be liable for Line 3 incident costs — what is true is that from the beginning Enbridge has been clear that it is responsible for safely operating all of its assets and would be liable for incidents. We have also agreed to guarantee costs related to incidents on Line 3 backed by the resources of the largest energy pipeline company in North America.
Furthermore, Enbridge has not pressured counties to support Line 3. We recognize counties are caught in the middle of a state-imposed tax dispute and have pledged to work with counties on this matter. In fact, 90 elected officials, cities, counties and townships have passed resolutions or submitted letters in support of replacing Line 3.
It’s disappointing, but not unexpected, that opponents of Line 3 seek to misinform Minnesotans about the Line 3 Replacement Project when the evidence clearly supports the need for this vital energy infrastructure replacement project.
Lorraine Little, director of community engagement, Enbridge
Editor’s note: Both Enbridge and Line 3 opponents have taken out paid ads in the Star Tribune pertaining to the replacement project. Neither the news nor opinion departments plays a role in the production and review of ads, and we generally do not publish letters responding to them. We are making an exception because of the late stage of the Public Utilities Commission’s review process. A decision on whether to grant a permit for the $2.6 billion project is expected by Friday.
Teen golfer inspires
I have a new sports hero. It is your selection for Star Tribune Metro Boys’ Golfer of the Year: Tristan Nelko. His golf achievements as detailed in the June 26 Sports section article are extraordinary, but what really elevated him to heroic status was that he did not make the cut on his high school golf team in freshman and sophomore years.
Although it’s many years back for me, I think all of us can remember how delicate is the psyche of a 15- to 16-year old. Golf is a game that cannot be played, even at a mediocre level, without some level of self-confidence and trust in oneself. For a young adolescent to be undaunted by such disappointments and to use them as motivation is even more extraordinary than the golf achievements.
Young Mr. Nelko might be destined for a stellar career in golf. He is almost certainly destined for a very successful life.
Gerald Ridlehoover, White Bear Lake