Email Letters: August 17, 2017

Extremism is morphing into fascism here in the U.S.

My father and father-in-law both served in World War II to make us safe from fascism. Now extremism is morphing into fascism more than ever here in the U.S. Pillars of fascism include scapegoating and demeaning groups of people to make them seem sub-human. That’s what small men do to feel big: blaming their inadequacies on others. Today’s acts by the KKK and white nationalist groups mock the ultimate sacrifice of over 400,000 American service men and women who gave their lives to beat fascism and win WWII for democracy.

Grand Junction

Germany has remembrances to learn from the past, not glorify it

In Germany 2017 there are no monuments to historical figures associated with the real Nazi regime, the Aryan supremacists. No statues of Hitler, Goring, or Goebbels. No statues of Generals Rommel, Rundstedt, or Kesselring. Germans have remembrances in which they learn from the past and do not glorify it.

Grand Junction

Would recent letter writer support statue of Hitler?

So, Judith Chapin, you would support at life-sized bronze statue of Adolf Hitler in the Fruita roundabout to “remind” us of what not to do? Really?

Grand Junction

It is extremists of any stripe who think that rewriting history is a good thing

I traveled in China a few years ago and was struck by how well Mao’s Cultural Revolution wiped out the monuments, the historic sites of ancient China. More recently I was in Russia and saw how well they have restored their historic sites that were heavily damaged during World War II, so I can’t ascribe rewriting history to just communists. It is extremists of any stripe who think that rewriting history is a good thing.

Slavery is evil, plain and simple, and is a curse on our country. I traveled in the South in 1964, just after the Civil Rights Act was passed. We have come a long way since then. Yet most attempts to help blacks in inner cities have failed. President Trump sees that and is working to bring jobs and better education to these inner cities. It’s a tough job. Too many black children are born to single parents.

On an ancestry site I found that three Kearsleys fought for the South in the Civil War and two fought for the North. In school in the 50s we were taught that it was a war that had brothers fighting brothers. We were taught to be sad, not mad. It is a complex part of our history. Soldiers for both the North and the South fought bravely. PBS has a great documentary on the Civil War that points this out.

Does tearing down a monument to General Lee help backs? I wish it were that easy. Lee’s plantation was taken as spoils of war and is now Arlington National Cemetery. There is a modest section there for soldiers from the Confederacy. That is the lasting memorial to General Lee. He respected all brave warriors, as most soldiers do.


Councilors should make statement condemning hate and white supremacy

I attended the Black Lives Matter Grand Junction community meeting last night. I want to commend their moderator for doing such a great job of leading by example. Everyone had the opportunity to have their say as long as they were respectful. It was heartening to have a nice crowd show up to discuss current events.

One topic that came up was asking our city councilors to make a public and explicit statement that they condemn hate and white supremacy and to affirm it has no place in Grand Junction. I call on our city councilors to do so. Now is the time to stand up and say: not here, not now.


Grand Junction

Support certified visual art teachers for our elementary students

I was so pleased to read your article about the economic impact art has on our local financial well being.

That being said, isn’t it time for our citizens to support certified visual art teachers for our elementary students? Most people I talk to are unaware that our students have no visual art access until middle school. We have an excellent volunteer Art Heritage program headed by Connie Brady and presented by parent volunteers, but many of our most underprivileged children have no such access because their parents are working so hard to just to put food on the table and a roof over their children’s heads and haven’t the time to volunteer.

If I were the CEO of a manufacturer that requires employees with fine motor skills, I would not locate here for the lack of potential employees. When I had the privilege of teaching art to a local school (because the PTO funded a teacher) I was appalled at the number of students who had no scissoring skills, had trouble controlling a long handled paint brush, could not understand how to translate a 3-dimensional object to a 2-dimensional surface or knew all of the primary, secondary and tertiary colors, much less how on earth to mix pigments to create all these colors.

Let us hope the new superintendent realizes visual art teaches history, math and science in a fun way and does something about this lack in our children’s education. Of course he can’t do much if our citizens don’t pony up the funds to support our schools. I hope people think about the loss of economic expansion because our elementary students are missing out on the training of a certified art teacher, which limits our pool of future skilled employees.

Grand Junction

How can we appreciate history if we only see one side of it?

Why would anyone erect statues in honor of an invading army or those of an opposing side? Has the South become so Americanized that it forsakes its past in abandoning statues honoring its fallen? Today those statues are for forgotten men and symbolize the cause for which they fought: to hold to the old way of life and economy enveloped in “state’s rights” by way of slavery. It’s sad because the bloodshed was as real as those who fought for the North.

Today, the desecration of these statues is “just” in the minds of those who take statues literally as a symbol of an inhumane cause. Civil War statues are sentimental reminders of another age, yet people on the extreme right and left take them as literal objects of affection or literal objects of disdain. What about the rest of us who see them for what they are: a counterpoint to the Lincoln Memorial? How can we appreciate history if we only see one side of it? Maybe this is “the sound of one hand clapping.”

So look at the AP photo of a young person standing on the pedestal of a toppled bronze likeness of a Confederate soldier at his/her feet. This image will live as a symbol of the future: Androgynous in both sex and name…. no apparent breasts, but with a pregnant looking gut, short hair and carrying a purse. The title could be: “The Triumph of Value Relativism,” where
everyone is equal and all right, all good, but no God, and clueless beyond the moment. Where are the adults?


Grand Junction

You Said It should permanently be removed from the Sentinel

Yes! I want to second Robin Brown’s suggestion to remove You Said It from The Daily Sentinel’s Sunday edition. I have found in-depth articles and two sided editorials offered within The Daily Sentinel’s Sunday edition to start formative discussion from either side. Let’s stop promoting the mentality of “They are the problem,” and finger pointing, which is all too often the basis of You Said It. In fact, I think You Said It should permanently be removed from The Daily Sentinel.

Let’s put our energy into options rather than building obstacles. In doing so, may we discover what can truly move mountains!

Grand Junction

We must aim to rise above our differences, use our talents to solve the big problems

You cannot erase history by removing statues. For so long we were unable to admit America was not perfect, as if doing so was unpatriotic. The gift of having an African American president was that we have been exposed in a mirror to some of our collective unconscious biases. We saw blind rejection to Obama in the phrase “we need to take our country back.” We have at our roots, great difficulty with the concept of equality and the individual pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. We long for unity in the form of sameness; to think the same, believe the same, look the same and act the same because differences threaten us and blind us to our similarities as human beings.

While recently in Germany I noted that they have tough laws against hate speech and symbols related to Hitler and the Nazis. Two Chinese students were arrested and fined for their Nazi salute at the Reichstag. They have not forgotten their history, and on the contrary, have learned a great lesson from it. They know evil does not stem from a race, a color of skin or a religion. It stems from ideas that persecute groups of people based on race, sexual orientation or religion. I was particularly struck by the Berlin memorial to the thousands of homosexuals targeted under the Nazi regime and the German resolve to stand now worldwide for protections of gay rights.

We are making enemies of each other right now, playing into the hands of totalitarian powers. Both our religious principles of loving kindness and our constitutional foundation will guide us out of a dangerous place. We are being tested and it has been a long time coming. We will survive it and be better off for the struggle. That struggle is to rise above our differences and use our talents to solve the big problems that confront us. I can think of some real challenges.


Grand Junction


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While it might be more politically correct to suggest that Dave Kearsley’s latest offering (“It is extremists of any stripe who think that rewriting history is a good thing”) provides “food for thought”, it should more accurately be characterized as shallow “pablum”.

First, the current shift of public opinion toward removal of Confederate statuary from public buildings and spaces is not a contemporary attempt to “rewrite history”, but rather to eradicate the remnants of unrepentant White Supremacists’ efforts to do so – by coyly obscuring their history of treason and murder behind a patina of “honor” and “tradition”.

Second, while Dave concedes that “Slavery is evil, plain and simple, and is a curse on our country”, he fails to appreciate that the statuary at issue originated as part of a deliberate crusade to perpetuate the racist bigotry that fostered such evil and still inflicts its curse on all of us.

Third, while Dave opines that “we have come a long way since” passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he conveniently ignores why it took almost 100 years to reaffirm the 13th,14th, and 15th Amendments and what happened during their hiatus.  Instead, he treats Trump’s blowhard promises as if he really means them, while “blaming the victims”.

Fourth, during the decades following the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and again at the 50th anniversary of the Civil War (coinciding with the resurgence of the KKK following release of the movie “Birth of a Nation” in 1915), Confederate statuary proliferated across the South and Border States, and the Confederate flag reemerged as a signal to locals that whites’ political power had been restored, such that Negroes could once again be denied their civil rights and treated as second-class citizens.
Therefore, removal of those racist symbols “helps Blacks” by signaling to all that the promise of “equal protection of the laws” is to be respected and fulfilled, not given mere “lip service”.

Finally, both General Robert E. Lee himself (’s-what-robert-e-lee-thought-about-confederate-monuments/ar-AAqdaUZ) and the great-great grandsons of General Stonewall Jackson ( understood the divisive intent and effect of such symbols – even if Kearsley does not.

Mary Thom, I was not able to attend the meeting, did they also call for condemnation of BLM and others for the violence, destruction, and hatred they have brought to the streets? If not, why not?

Are we “good people”, are we all “Americans first”, or are we something else?  I call on City Council, County Commissioners, and all other authorities to denounce violence and hatred and to get the point across that we will not stand for it here no matter who it comes from.

” As all evidence has shown, we are not on the same side. The progressive policy in America is to embrace and defend any group no matter how radical or violent or anti American they may be. That is unless they are conservative in their ideology. Then they become a target of the lamestream media. And they are demonized and slated for destruction, as is anyone who opposes the progressive agenda. “ (American Patriot)

Thank you Tanya Travis for your letter telling the truth and encouraging us to use our talents to solve the big problems that confront us and to rise about above them. That is not done by destroying our history, but by understanding it and working together to see that it does not happen again. That takes honesty from all sides. Will we let that happen?

Ms. Patton

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