My name is Aaron Baumbach and I want to address some issues that I can relate to because I’m different: I have Down syndrome.

What has the world come to if we continue to live in fear of someone who is different from us, whether we come from different religions or races, are gay, are not white, or are diagnosed with cancer or other diseases? Should we hate them? No.

We should accept people for who they are because we can’t keep living in fear and hate of people who live differently.

Whether President Donald Trump thinks it’s OK to live in fear of people who are different doesn’t mean you have to do the same. He’s just preying on people’s fear and hate and using his position of president to work up a riot. But being the president of the United States shouldn’t give him the right to spread hateful messages or give harmful speeches.

We should be teaching our children to accept people who are different and give them good impressions of those people. We can’t be living in a world of hate, fear or discrimination.

The more we listen to negative, hurtful and hateful speeches from Trump, we will be no different from he is. Don’t be like him.

Be Americans — do the right thing and vote for a different person who is more deserving to be president on Election Day in 2020.

Aaron Baumbach, Bloomington

‘CONCENTRATION CAMPS’

Names aside, detention facilities don’t align with American values

A letter writer from Richfield argued that the detention facilities along our southern border are not the same as what was used in Nazi Germany (“ ‘Concentration camps’ invokes ‘Holocaust.’ Use with caution,” July 20). In that sense, he is correct. The detention facilities along our southern border, however, are pretty much the same as the concentration camps that we used on Japanese-Americans in World War II.

The real comparison we should be talking about, though, is how our detention facilities compare with our values as Americans. What do we stand for? In that sense, I think we have fallen dismally short. What we’re doing is wrong. It is unacceptable. It should stop.

Heather S. Olson, Eden Prairie

TRUMP AND EPSTEIN

A history of sexual misconduct matters, even if it’s years later

In response to a letter to the editor, “How is Trump partying with Epstein 27 years ago important?” (July 22): Let me tell you. Donald Trump is our president and the leader of the free world. That exalted position brings with it awesome responsibility.

Bearing that in mind, Trump has a proven history of bad behavior. Think “Access Hollywood” and the numerous accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct with models and porn stars to whom he allegedly paid huge sums of money to buy their silence before the 2016 elections. I could go on. The Jeffrey Epstein connection fits this mold. It is who he is.

If that doesn’t worry every American, then we have serious problems, not just in the White House but across the whole country.

Peter Whatley, Little Canada

FLYAWAY BALLS

‘Paying attention’ is not enough

On July 23, a reader criticized baseball fans “who aren’t paying attention” and are risking being hit by foul balls (“Keep your eyes on the ball”).

I agree that paying attention can significantly reduce the possibility of being hit. But tell that to a 5-year-old, a very elderly person or someone else who is human and therefore can become momentarily distracted. Tell it to someone who is perfectly healthy and in the prime of life who will still have a hard time avoiding a ball coming at them at over 100 miles per hour. Tell it to someone who thinks beyond simplistic solutions.

Jim Bartos, Brooklyn Park

• • •

No one goes to a baseball game to see a fan getting hurt by a foul ball (“Protect baseball fans from foul-ball risks,” July 22).

However, folks do go to watch the sport live, and the already-increased netting is not going over well with those who pay upward of $70 to sit near the field, along the foul lines.

Simply put, the netting, though it may be less obtrusive than other solutions, makes viewing from beyond the dugout to the batter’s box akin to looking through a dirty window. Especially at dusk!

And as tragic as the small children being injured is, the responsibility lies with the adults who had no business bringing toddlers into harm’s way. There are plenty of seats that are 100% safe. Go there.

Let the rest of us take our chances and view our sport unencumbered by nets all the way to the foul poles.

Joe Carr, Eden Prairie

EQUIFAX

Deal masks that data is still unsafe

The problem with the Equifax settlement (“Equifax to pay at least $650M for breach,” July 23) is that most people may not become victims of the credit bureau’s mismanagement of private data for a long time. The only compensation for such individuals is to get free credit monitoring for 10 years by the same folks who were supposed to protect their data in the first place.

This is a bit like asking geese to monitor the E. coli levels of Minneapolis beaches. For most individuals, the proposed $650 million settlement will be ineffective since “there have been no major changes to the federal laws covering what information credit bureaus can collect” or how they will protect the data.

Bruce Bruemmer, Minneapolis

BOUNDARY WATERS

Let public in on permitting decisions

U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber’s proposed bill to return Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness access from a first-come, first-serve basis to the former lottery system needs careful examination, including public input. I can appreciate that a lottery system provides more certainty to the BWCA business community, but it’s questionable that vacationers, who also need to plan ahead, are well-served by a lottery system. According to MinnPost, the crux of the permit reservation problem seems to be the sometimes-slow internet service to the Ely area and, more important, the U.S. Forest Service’s belated response to recent problems with its website. The system crashed on Jan. 30 of this year and was not restored to service until March.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar has weighed in on a partial restoration of the lottery system, but we should also hear from Sen. Tina Smith and especially U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, an influential House committee member in both appropriations and oversight.

Minnesotans deserve a public airing of this issue. I hope the Star Tribune staff will provide both information and support for this important question: By what means should access be granted to Minnesota’s most pristine and treasured recreational area?

Judith Monson, St. Paul

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