The University of Missouri and Yale University are confronted with students, or a portion of students, demanding the removal of senior administrators. In Mizzou’s case, they won. The president and chancellor resigned. Yale’s outcome remains uncertain. In both cases, students have reacted vehemently to what they perceive as racial injustices. They have also demanded the removal of college deans for their supposed indifference to these slights. In Yale’s case, the students rebelled at the notion, expressed by a college administrator, that they should be able to contend with the appearance of Halloween costumes that might offend. She offered her defense on the premise that colleges should be venues where every kind of opinion is accepted and debated.
Far too many Yale students argued otherwise, saying that they felt “marginalized.”
How in the world are the handful of high school graduates who have earned their way to Yale arguing that they are disadvantaged?
We seem to be encouraging a new generation of accomplished young people without the slightest understanding of what their forebears lived through in order to guarantee their freedom.
Mark H. Reed, Plymouth
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A Nov. 12 article reported that Wadena, Minn., had nixed its Nativity scene because of a threat of a lawsuit by the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation. From my perspective, this event typifies what is wrong with our society: The rights of the masses are slowly but surely being stripped away by the few who disagree with the majority point of view.
Let me be clear: The Freedom From Religion Foundation has every right to protest, disrupt or whatever to voice its objections. My concern is that if communities like Wadena don’t stand up, band together as a community and declare that enough is enough — anyone can bully and threaten lawsuits in order to strip away our rights, rights that are granted to us by the Constitution.
Apparently the Wadena city leaders decided the easiest way out of this problem was to back off rather than fight back and or simply move the scene to a location that would negate the opposition’s argument.
If we, as individuals and communities, simply let the P.C. movement strip away the rights of the masses, very soon the U.S. will no longer exist.
Bob Rystrom, River Falls, Wis.
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Woe is me. I am discriminated against because I am ______. (Feel free to fill in the blank.)
Life is not fair. I need to be treated equally. People do not treat me as I feel I deserve to be treated.
I am offended. You have hurt my feelings. I am special. You need to walk on eggshells around me because I take offense easily.
You owe me.
I expect to be paid more because I am in a low-wage-paying job.
I am entitled and deserve a free college education.
I am part of a mob, and we want what we want and we want it now!
My life is more important than yours.
This is what I hear, but it is not what I believe.
I worked hard and lived within my means. I saved money because I knew no one was going to take care of me. I drive an old car even though I can afford to buy new.
I treat others as I want to be treated. I am responsible for my decisions. I respect authority!
I am an American, and I am proud to be free and independent.
You owe me nothing.
Mary Nelson, St. Paul
Positive talk is not surprising, but real safety is what counts
I would expect the CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council to be nothing but glowing about the growth and vibrancy in the downtown Minneapolis area (Readers Write, Nov. 12, responding to two Nov. 11 letters expressing concerns about historical preservation and public safety, respectively). It is Steve Cramer’s job to promote downtown Minneapolis. I agree with him that there is lots to do and see downtown. But you have to be careful. As I have watched stories over the last several years about shootings and murders downtown, as I have read stories about pedestrians being assaulted or having phones stolen, and as I was told a story by a business associate about police officers watching from inside a store as a drug transaction took place on the street, then going outside and making arrests, I would have to disagree with Mr. Cramer, Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Mayor Betsy Hodges on the degree of the problem. Minneapolis could be a lot safer. I don’t have to point out the problems for Harteau; she already knows where and what they are.
People living and working downtown, along with people going downtown for shopping or entertainment, would like to have an expectation of being 100 percent safe. Feeling 93 percent, 95 percent or 97 percent safe doesn’t cut it. Explain how people should feel safe when they see and hear people being shot, murdered, robbed or raped. People who have these concerns are not going to frequent downtown businesses. Hodges should have as her highest priority to make sure people who live in, work in, dine in or visit the downtown area for entertainment are safe — and feel safe. Clean up the trash that accumulates around the train stops so the areas don’t look like a dump, and get the outlaws and gangs off the downtown streets of Minneapolis. Then you will see a vibrant, exciting downtown area.
Bill Winters, Brooklyn Park
CLEAN POWER PLAN
It will ‘kill jobs, raise rates’? And what if we were to do nothing?
As a physician who has practiced in Minnesota over 30 years, I felt compelled to respond to the Nov. 12 editorial counterpoint by state Rep. Jim Newberger, R-Becker, about the Clean Power Plan (“Obama plan will kill jobs, raise rates”).
There is a price Minnesotans pay for their electricity, and it is not only 11 cents per kilowatt-hour. We are also paying for external costs — the social cost of carbon. These are costs to our health, infrastructure and agriculture from air pollution and climate change. By some estimates, this amounts to $2 billion per year for Minnesota.
The good news is that the cost of clean energy from wind and solar is now nearly on par with the cost of electricity from natural gas and coal. And, all the while, it is creating thousands of good-paying jobs, the number of which will continue to increase as we strive toward clean energy and efficiency. We all need to address the entire cost of energy production before drawing conclusions about which is better for Minnesota’s economy and health.
Mike Menzel, Edina
Good thing about those savings
I’d like to thank the Star Tribune reporters who highlighted the financial reasons that UCare was not chosen to provide health insurance through the state bidding process (Business, Nov. 11). According to the financial analysis, it would have cost taxpayers an additional $450 million next year if it had been “business as usual” with regard to state contracts for the Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare programs. For perspective: This one brave move by state officials to redirect enrollees for a single year has saved more than enough money to pay the state’s portion of the Minnesota Vikings stadium. Skol Vikings!
Scott LaChance, Rogers