Letters: Whitewashing diminishes us

31January 2021

People keep saying, “This isn’t who America is.” Unfortunately, it is who we are.

Our history books gloss over our long history of degrading other cultures, then complaining when they want fairness. We’ve repeatedly broken treaties with First Nation people and forced their children into abusive boarding schools. Accommodations during the Aleut Evacuation and Japanese internment camps contrasted greatly with our German POW camps. We approved of the Trail of Tears, the Oklahoma Land Rush, and the Mankato Massacre. Construction of I-94 and Dodgers were projects that displaced the stable neighborhoods of Rondo and Chavez Ravine, respectively. Add past foreign policies and slavery.

“White superiority” is an expensive fallacy. How much was lost while we short-sightedly destroyed other cultures? Diversity can be our country’s salvation. We’re ALL needed to strive for the ideal of a beneficent nation. Our country’s like a colorful mosaic. Whitewashing diminishes us.

Rochelle McDonald, Hastings

 

Minimizing the costs

I do not envy Gov. Waltz and his staff as they try to strike a balance between taking steps to minimize the spread of Covid-19 while not damaging the state economy.

But I think the governor and the media, including the Pioneer Press, have been minimizing the costs of the lockdown.

For example, the Pioneer Press reported on Jan. 21 that Minnesota lost 49,800 jobs in December 2020 alone. The article minimizes this devastating fact by claiming it was expected, that the unemployment rate actually declined, and that only 10% of the job losses were expected to be permanent.

But may I point out:

Just because the loss was expected, doesn’t mean it isn’t devastating to 49,800 families.

Wisconsin added 15,000 jobs in December.

When you lose jobs and the unemployment rate falls, it means people have given up looking for work.

And no job loss is “temporary” unless you have a date when you can return to work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimates,  Minnesota lost 8.3% of its jobs, as a share of total employment, between December 2019 and December 2020.  That is one job in twelve.

It is time for a more objective assessments of the costs and benefits of the lockdown.  It is time for this balance to be struck by the Legislature and not the governor.

Douglas Weeks, Burnsville

 

Work as an election judge, then get back to me

As a longtime Ramsey County election judge I feel the need to respond to the recent Pioneer Press article about a proposed bill that would require people to show ID when they vote.

Fear-mongering and lies by the former president in an attempt to decrease voter confidence in elections and undermine the results to remain in office have repeatedly been proven false. To keep this line of thinking alive is an insult to the many people involved in the election process, including voters, and an attack on our democracy.

I challenge Sen. Scott Newman or anyone else who would support this bill to spend 15-plus hours working as an election judge at a polling place. Then get back to me on the integrity of the election process.

Ann T. Barrett, St. Paul

 

More Gophers women on cable

Why can’t broadcast outlets like the BigTen network or FSN show more Gopher women teams?

Sports fans who love their Golden Gophers have to pay for streaming companies (such as BTN Plus, Flow Hockey) for the women’s games while the men are televised on BTN, FSN North, FS1, etc.  It seems unfair that cable coverage isn’t for both.

There are only a few games for women’s basketball, volleyball and hockey aired on cable. We have two top-ranked hockey teams that wear the maroon and gold and yet one is but an afterthought.  What a perfectly missed opportunity to give hockey fans a chance to watch these games. These women are incredible — and just as accomplished in their own right as the men’s team. They have awesome coaches, their skills and dedication is proven just by watching the game. I pay for BTNplus just so I can watch the women play — an unfair extra burden in my mind. With so many sports fans at home these days, it seems now would be the perfect time to introduce these incredible women to a wider audience — you will thank yourself once you give them a chance to be fully seen by all sports fans.

Amy Omodt, Minneapolis

 

It was exciting. Why?

Ok, the Wild lost 2-1 on Monday, but at least it was exciting at the end.

Why?

This year …THEY SHOOT THE PUCK!

I don’t know if other fans are with me, but over the years they have had one of the all time most agonizing power plays.

They would literally go on a two-minute power play and not take a shot. I don’t know if it was coaching, unselfishness, or what; but they would pass and pass, everyone looking for the wide open shot that never comes.

We know most goals are scored off rebounds, and you only get rebounds if …YOU SHOOT THE PUCK!

If I was playing today, I would tell my mates, I’m going to intentionally shoot at the goalie’s chest, be there when the rebound falls in front of him and he’s off balance.

I guess I have to give the credit at this point to Dean Evason, finally, this team … SHOOTS THE PUCK!!!!

Rob Godfrey, St. Louis Park

 

Consider your audience

I’m a senior (over 70). I’m used to buying merchandise and registering for programs online. Vendors and organizations always ask for an email address so that that they can send an email confirming my purchase or sign-up — usually within minutes.

But not the Minnesota Department of Health. In the course of signing up for the Covid-19 vaccine lottery, I received a message on screen that I was on a waiting list. A waiting list for what? Did this mean I had successfully signed up for the lottery? There was no way of knowing. Oh, thought I, there will be a message in my email inbox confirming that I signed up successfully. Nope. More than 12 hours later, I still didn’t know if I was signed up.

Oh, yes, there is also the matter of phone numbers. The signup asked for a mobile phone number and assumed that everyone can receive texts. It would be nice if the non-senior staff who design these things had kept in mind that their target audience was people over 65.

J. H. (“Jay”) Fonkert, Roseville

 

There’s a better way

We keep hearing on the newscasts that we are now in the “senior rollout” phase of Covid vaccination. Being well into this age group; it appears to me that in reality it is the building of a new state-run bureaucracy that is getting every special interest group vaccinated as determined by our governor. If there is any vaccine left over we are encouraged to join a lottery to get it. While lotteries are acceptable for Powerball, it seems foolish to use such an approach when it would have been more sensible to let the existing of health care providers and pharmacies take care of the administration. They already have the expertise and in most cases the records necessary to accomplish the task with a minimum of effort and more reliability.

Seniors who would normally have this done as couples are now split into individuals and have to make more trips than necessary to keep their appointments.  Last time we had flu shots it was done as a couple; and also shingles shots, for both the first and second doses. One was done by a health care provider, and the other by a pharmacy.

I have no problem with health care workers getting the vaccine as soon as it is available; nor of getting those in elder care homes done up front. But the existing approach leaves much to be desired. As for those in education all getting vaccinated; I would look at the methods used in the private schools to decide who gets the vaccine. Most of the private schools are open, and their teachers and students are in the classrooms. Those who are actively teaching in the classrooms should be eligible. If teachers are not in the classrooms they should not be considered eligible. This would increase the supply.

With all of the “Circle Speak” coming from the state officials I wonder if the first phase will be completed by July. I have serious doubts.

Russ Thompson, White Bear Lake

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