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July 21 Letters to the Editor

Cohen and race

EDITOR: Richard Cohen's Tuesday column (“Politicians blinded under hoodies”) criticizing politicians who wear hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon Martin was misplaced as supposedly a second view on the Zimmerman case verdict (not the “Martin case”). Cohen's comments are really a denial of accusations that he is a racist “for recognizing the reality of urban crime in America.”

He goes on to make the case for his detractors with such statements as: “the public knows that young black men commit a disproportionate amount of crime . . . the widespread fear of crime committed by young black males . . . we know them from the nightly news . . . race is a factor, without a doubt.” Such statements surely cannot reduce the tension or the stereotyping.

Some facts need to be inserted: The classification of humans by “race” is erroneous, from a bygone era. Modern humans are all of one race distinguished only by their differences from other mammals. “Black” is a color, not a race; white and brown are shades of black.

In my town, there is a large contingent of so-called “Hispanics,” another stereotyping; by language, in this case. Many of them have darker skin than I. What “race” are they? Cohen needs some education.

JACK RUSSELL STONE

Healdsburg

Abuse of free speech

EDITOR: I was tending to business near the Healdsburg Post Office last week. At the edge of the driveway, protesters were displaying depictions of Barack Obama with the beady eyes and mustache of Adolph Hitler.

I can find no similarities between our commander-in-chief and a tyrant who attempted to eliminate an entire race of people, let alone started a world war that cost 21 million lives.

I found this to be quite offensive. I'm sure that it was to other citizens as well. What would those dead at Hitler's hands think of this?

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