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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, September 23, 2017 1:00 am

Letters

A Coney Island treat

A big thank you to the young person(s) who paid for a birthday party being celebrated by eight senior citizens in honor of their 92-year-old friend, Charlotte, at Coney Island on Main Street Sept. 6. We were just finishing up when our server said that someone had paid the bill for our entire party.

A young man stopped by the table to wish Charlotte happy birthday while we were leaving, and we thought he might have been the benefactor.

What a kind gesture by someone none of us knew!

ROBERTA A. BULTEMEIER

Fort Wayne

Statue removal starts us down slippery slope

I am a staunch liberal. I have been a student of history for 45-plus years. I find the the removal of certain statues and monuments wrong; they reflect an Orwellian sense.

I agree with removing statues of people such as Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan. I cannot agree with removing Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, James Longstreet or any memorial to the common Confederate soldier. Lee did not own slaves, Jackson taught his, in defiance of the law, to read so they could learn the scriptures, and Longstreet was quoted as saying they should have freed the slaves before seceding from the Union.

I have had many debates on social media stating that if having owned slaves is the baseline, then 10 of the first 12 presidents' statues should be removed (that takes Washington and Jefferson off Mount Rushmore). If it entails those who committed, shall we say, un-American acts, Teddy Roosevelt waged war against liberty-seeking people in the Philippines after the Spanish-American War to get the U.S. in an imperialistic race with Europe (that only leaves Lincoln on Rushmore)? And what about the acts committed by the troops of Gens. George Custer and Philip Sheridan against native American tribes, basically the genocide of the Lakota, Cheyenne and Apache, just to name a few, not to mention the Trail of Tears. Should their statues be removed?

I was told that comparing patriots like Washington to Lee, Jackson, etc. – who were traitors waging war against the U.S. – was wrong. Now if that is a baseline, armed insurrection against the U.S. government would also include statues or memorials to our own local Chief Little Turtle (Miami), Tecumseh (Shawnee), Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse (Lakota) and Geronimo (Apache), to name a few. Weren't all their homelands claimed by the U.S. without their consent? Wasn't their cause to defend “their state,” just the same as the Confederate generals and troops? Ninety percent of Southerners did not own slaves.

The question is, where do we draw the line? Removing these statues will only encourage the far right to more extremes. They will feel threatened, and nothing is worse that a cornered badger, so to speak. I feel they should remain if for nothing else than to remind us (the left politically) of what we must never let happen again. Destroying a statue does not change history.

Michael J. Ward

Fort Wayne

Missing the point

The headline in the Sept. 14 paper, “Shkreli's bail revoked over Clinton hair joke” completely misses the point of the article, which was that the judge found Martin Shkreli's bounty offer of $5,000 for one of Hillary Clinton's hairs to be a credible threat.

Helen Frost

Fort Wayne