Letters: Here’s why we need ‘Black Lives Matter’ signs

20September 2020

This is a reflection from an 84-year-old retired inner-city special education teacher who had the good fortune to work with high-risk students, many of whom were Black, as they overcame obstacles and achieved vocational success.

I have heard many comments from some friends and some relatives suggesting the Black Lives Matter signs are not necessary. They often say that all lives matter.

I agree that all lives matter while maintaining the importance of the Black Lives Matter signs.

I receive some e-mails that include some very negative depictions and comments about Black people. The same can be said about many jokes I hear. Other very serious negative racial comments are made by mature people during our conversations. This makes me think that there are some people who may truly believe that Black lives do not matter; hence the signs are needed.

Gus Bjorkland, St. Paul



For as long as I can remember, every two years Democrats have been campaigning on strengthening the middle class. And right on cue they’re doing it again this election cycle.

Which leads me to the logical conclusion that Democrats are admitting that they’ve failed on these promises that they’ve made to the middle class all these years. But apparently they expect us to believe them this time.

Don Anderson Jr., Cottage Grove


Those are Trump-world standards, DFL

Minnesota House of Representatives candidate John Thompson’s behavior and language in Hugo on Aug. 15, 2020, where he traveled with his mobile protest unit to rail at Minneapolis police union president Bob Kroll, was  an embarrassing spectacle — angry and most certainly not leadership behavior. It was reprehensible and a neon warning signal as to his fitness as a candidate and leader.

I have made a promise of honor to myself and to my country to vote for Biden/Harris (by mail) this Nov. 3, but when the DFL did not remove Thompson from the privilege and responsibility of running for DFL office, and even tried to defend him to explain why not, there is no way that I will ever identify as a DFL Party member again. Shame on the DFL. They are backing uncivil behavior that is completely modeled on Trump-world standards.

Frances Greis, Mahtomedi


History’s lesson

Dec. 7, 1941, America was attacked by Japan. If you are 84 years old, as I am, you would remember it well.

President Roosevelt declared war on Japan. Our naval fleet  was decimated. Our B-17 bombers were not capable of reaching Japan at this time.

But in nothing short of  five months, the aircraft carrier was retrofitted to carry medium B-25 bombers to the Japanese nation, sending them the message that they could be reached. This lifted the morale of the American people. It was a brilliant strategic move.

It was stated by a Japanese admiral that they had awakened a sleeping tiger by bombing Pearl Harbor. Within days, Hitler declared war against the U.S.

As of now, nine months ago we were alerted of a pandemic, and nearly 200,000 American lives have been lost. We are awaiting masks. We are awaiting Personal Protection Equipment and testing. Currently, there is a lack of leadership, experience and production systems. If  the American people were aware of their American history it should be clear as to the right choice in this coming election.

Marshall Burke, Hudson



Gaslighting, a term first depicted in a 1930s British play, is psychological manipulation making small changes daily, weekly, monthly, but then denying those changes happened.

Gaslighting aims to control people by sowing seeds of doubt, making them question their own memory, perception. It attempts to destabilize and delegitimize the target’s own beliefs, instilling cognitive dissonance.

The “alternative reality” advanced on most mainstream news channels is inconsistent with our own sensory observations and common sense. We see riots, looting, arson, but are assured it is “peaceful protesting.” Those who question the false “alternative reality” are oftentimes vilified as “racist,” or “crazy.”

Gaslighted allegations that President Trump colluded with Russians repeatedly guaranteed “proof of Trump’s guilt was coming.” Failing to ever produce evidence, they switched to baseless allegations of Ukrainian collusion, which were disproved by official telephone transcripts.

Meanwhile, evidence of Hillary Clinton’s email-based crimes, and of the Obama administration’s illegal spying on the Trump candidacy documented by DOJ Inspector General reports were ignored as being “already debunked.” They were never debunked. Substituting the truth with falsehoods defines gaslighting.

Our heightened awareness of this tactic can prevent subversion of our political system. We must trust ourselves, our senses and common sense. Don’t reward gaslighting.

Brian H. Davis, Lino Lakes

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