Letters: Readers discuss KC police residency, Kansas education and the Jan. 6 probe

·4 min read

Others’ choices

I am 90 years old and live in the Villa St. Francis nursing home. I am in quarantine. I cannot leave my room or have visitors. This is for my own protection from the COVID-19 pandemic. Why? Because too many people refuse to be vaccinated. So the pandemic has gotten worse.

Many people have gotten sick and some are dying. The shot doesn’t hurt, and it keeps COVID-19 from spreading. Why can’t these people who refuse to be vaccinated realize they are hurting everyone?

- Ruth Alice Smethers, Olathe

That’s civic pride

I was an employee of the city of Kansas City for 25-plus years, always with a residency requirement. I’ve always thought Kansas City is a wonderful place to live for many reasons, so I have to ask our city’s police officers: If you want to work here, why do you not want to live here? (July 28, 1A, “Police board loosens officer residency requirement”)

Any city is only as good a place to live as its residents make it. So if you think Leawood, for instance, might be better, why not stay here and work to make Kansas City as good a place to live as Leawood or any other area communities?

- Charles Ballew, Kansas City

Not theoretical

After reading the July 16 story, “Kansas Board of Education: Critical race theory not in state standards,” (4A) I immediately thought of Richard Rothstein’s book, “The Color of Law,” a New York Times bestseller. It describes how federal, state and local governments systematically imposed segregation throughout the U.S. I learned how, for decades, that was accomplished.

An example: “During much of the 20th century, police tolerance and promotion of cross burnings, vandalism, arson, and other violent acts to maintain residential segregation was systemic and nationwide.”

My hope is that in states that choose to limit teaching a full picture of our history in public schools, high school teachers require Rothstein’s book. Why? Because “The Color of Law” is not a theory. It is full of facts that explain in detail how our government at all levels planned and imposed segregation. Students want and deserve the truth.

- Pete Muenks, Raymore

Broader views

A Tuesday letter to the editor (7A) described two recent Star commentaries the writer didn’t care about as “worthless.” I would argue it is indeed worth it for your newspaper to print commentary that not everyone agrees with or deems interesting. In fact, I consider it your responsibility to print such articles in order to present all sides of an argument and to allow people to think for themselves.

If readers are interested in seeing only things that are relevant to their lives and politics, then they should be residing in the echo chamber of their favorite social network site. If, on the other hand, they prefer viewing the world through the eyes of a variety of commentators, a newspaper like The Star is the perfect place to do so.

As a senior middle-class male, I have a personal connection to neither menopause nor billionaires’ space flights. But I enjoy reading the thoughts of articulate individuals knowing that I have the freedom to believe or discard their words.

- Dallas Garr, Emporia, Kansas

In simple terms

Tuesday morning, I watched the House committee on the Capitol attack of Jan. 6. A hero can be defined as one who is noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life. Military and law enforcement personnel take oaths promising to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.

Washington, D.C., Metro Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell and police officers Harry Dunn, Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges upheld their oaths on Jan. 6. They are heroes.

A traitor can be described as one who betrays the trust of another or is false to an obligation or duty. Donald Trump took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. He violated that oath on Jan. 6 (and many other times, in my opinion). Donald Trump is a traitor. Period. End of story.

- Janet Lynn Mays, Kansas City

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