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Tearing down statues in a rush of sanctimony

Christopher Columbus is now viewed as some kind of satanic character. Whose next on the hit list?

A Chicago police vehicle sits in front of a Christopher Columbus statue in Arrigo Park, 801 S. Loomis St., on June 11, 2020.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

It is more than regrettable that some people, apparently carried away by sanctimonious zealotry, believe that social justice can be achieved by disparaging the past.

People of great accomplishment are being vilified for perceived wrongs of centuries ago. Christopher Columbus is now viewed as some kind of satanic character. Whose next on their hit list?

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

A number of our nation’s Founding Fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were slave owners. Abraham Lincoln was far more interested in preserving the Union than with abolishing slavery. Franklin D. Roosevelt permitted segregation in the Armed Forces on the theory that Blacks were ill-equipped to fight side-by-side with whites. And the list goes on.

Shall we tear down every statue of those vital contributors to this country’s success? Shall we rename every place and every institution bearing their names?

William P. Gottschalk, Lake Forest

Calling on black fathers

Guidance and support from black fathers is needed more than ever. Our sons and daughters are on the frontlines in the fight for racial equality and justice in a world where black lives seldom matter. As we enter the fifth week of protests for criminal justice reform, our children need their father’s crucial involvement to help set the course for future generations to come.

They will not get there alone, though their tireless efforts are heroic, if the lives that they fight for don’t include the voices of black men and fathers, the struggle may very well be lost.

Many people have lost their lives due to police brutality and excessive force. It is a call to action for black men who believe and want to see real change. The whole world may well be watching, but as fathers it is our solemn duty to love, support, and protect our kids by any means necessary. This Father’s Day, we honor all fathers who want to see a brighter future for their kids, and those who have died trying to make a world of difference.

William J. Booker
Founder of Black Men Matter

Trump marches followers into danger

President Trump should have been a general in the Civil War. On the Confederate side. The way he likes to rev up his troops to attend rallies and the Republican National Convention without masks or social distancing, with no concern for illness or death, reminds me of that long line of Confederate troops crossing a field at Gettysburg under deadly Union fire. All that unnecessary risk. For what?

Maybe Trump thinks he’ll end up with a glorious statue or military base named in his honor.

Kevin Coughlin, Evanston

Why not a capital “W”?

I cannot understand the Sun-Times’ new policy with respect to capitalizing the words black, brown and white. Referring to people by color is wrong to begin with, as there are many shades of people from many different backgrounds, cultures, countries, ethnicities and races. A generalized label is always inaccurate. But not capitalizing “white” while capitalizing “Black” and “Brown” is divisive and not inclusive at all.

I know that people’s actions are more important than any words, but I do not agree with this policy change.

Mike Tully Hillside

Condescending policy change

The Sun-Times’ decision to capitalize “Black” when referring to Americans of African heritage might be well-meaning, but it comes across as condescending and patronizing, especially the part of your explanation about “Black art and culture” not being as “disparate” as the culture of white Americans. Really? The notion that blacks are culturally homogenous is no more accurate than the notion that we all look alike.

Who are these omnipotent arbiters who presume to define the so-called Black experience? Everyone, whatever his or her ethnicity , is unique to a lesser or greater extent, and certainly African Americans should not be treated as a group that must be catered to for the sake of societal harmony.

Samuel C. Small, Roseland