Letters: KC readers discuss 1619 Project, Kevin Strickland, thanks to Blunt and Hawley

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Honest history

I now understand why half our nation’s leaders do not want The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project to be part of history curricula to be taught in our schools.

Attending Catholic grade school and public high school and completing an undergraduate degree, I had never heard of the 1921 massacre of Black residents of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Reading the June 2 story, “The other race massacres you never learned of in school,” I learned more about such incidents in our nation’s history, and that was for me a real tragedy. (2A)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell advises that opening up our history for review would fixate us on our country’s flaws. He led 39 Republican lawmakers in urging President Joe Biden to withdraw an education policy that would place greater emphasis on African Americans’ contributions and challenges in U.S. history. A letter they sent to the president read: “Americans do not need or want their tax dollars diverted from promoting the principles that unite our nation toward promoting radical ideologies meant to divide us.”

To the contrary, I believe that our young students have a right to learn more about the history of how our nation has treated not only Black citizens, but also Hispanic, Asian and every other type of American over the years. And until we do, equity will be very hard.

Why are some so afraid of the success of others based on the color of their skin or ethnic origins? I think next year’s first-graders could sure help. Open the closet to learn how to rid this nation of inequality.

- Larry Miller, Overland Park

Not a priority?

Regardless of their political views, most people would agree that politicians can be infuriating. But on the worst days, we see politicians being downright and unapologetically cruel. I think we are witnessing this now.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has stated that Kevin Strickland’s exoneration and release from prison is not necessarily a priority for him. (June 9, 1A, “Parson says Strickland pardon not a priority, despite public outcry”)

I know no more about this case than what I’ve read in The Kansas City Star and seen on the TV news, and clearly there’s strong reason to believe an innocent man has been in prison for more than 40 years. I can’t imagine why getting to the bottom of that would not be a priority, particularly for someone who has been elected to look out for the best interests of all Missourians.

- Cindy Frenchers, Lenexa

Thanks, senators

The United States Postal Service is a vital part of the American economy, providing affordable and reliable package delivery to local businesses and consumers. Especially since the pandemic’s start, the USPS has been a crucial component of our daily lives, delivering lifesaving medications, home supplies, e-commerce products and more straight to our doorsteps.

However, we cannot take these services for granted. In many rural communities, the Postal Service is the only option for package delivery. Customers pay higher surcharges with private carriers.

That’s why we applaud Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley for backing postal reform that would enshrine an integrated delivery network with six-day mail and package delivery into law. Their support is critical to Missouri residents and small businesses.

- John McHugh, Chairman, The Package Coalition, Washington, D.C.

Editor’s note: The Package Coalition is an alliance of businesses and consumers opposing legislative or regulatory changes that would force the Postal Service to raise its prices above market rates.

The wrong word

I agree with the general tone of The Star’s Monday editorial, “Hawley’s anti-Fauci calls are about deflection, not COVID” (9A) but argue with its description of the senator: “Josh Hawley is an intelligent man.

“Intelligent” commonly describes a person with positive attributes, best defined as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. Sen. Hawley does that, but his cunning and self-serving behavioral skills hardly serve our state and country, with his fist raised in support of a coup of our federal government.

- Everett Murphy, Kansas City

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