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Why do we tolerate politicians who stoke anti-police feelings

To The Daily Sun:

The assault in Dallas Thursday evening was nothing less than an attack on civilization. As we saw in Baltimore, Ferguson, and repeatedly in other riots, the only thing that stands between civilization and anarchy, where no person or their property is safe, is that thin blue line of police. In Dallas, police ran into danger as civilians fled.

We mourn the loss of the Dallas police officers, and pray that all the wounded, police and civilian, survive.

Although radicalized by others, the person/people who did these shootings was/were responsible for this crime. He/they claimed to want to kill white police, but he/they really didn't care who got hurt, white, black, anyone.

The instigators were politicians like President Obama, community leaders like Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson, office holders like the state's attorney for Baltimore, ministers like Louis Farrahkan, the Black Lives Matter movement, and others who blame police for any incident without knowing the facts, or even despite the facts, to promote hatred of police. The media is culpable for disseminating irresponsible and false statements.

The instigators were people who claim every victim of police shooting or arrest is an angel despite long criminal histories. They are the people who excuse bad, self-destructive behavior rather than demanding that everyone follow the law, obey authorities, and behave constructively.

We who want to live in a civilized society share in the blame for tolerating politicians, office holders, and others who lie about police actions, stoke anti-police feelings, and instigate racial strife; and for watching/listening/reading the media which disseminates and endlessly repeats anti-police statements.

The media promotes every police mistake or abuse, but ignores that brave police normally end dangerous armed confrontations without any injuries. Of course bad police should be dismissed or, if appropriate, prosecuted. But, every policeman and policewoman has a right to go safely home every night. They have a right to defend themselves and others. In doing their dangerous jobs, always having to be prepared to protect themselves, mistakes will occur and people will be hurt.

Part of the effort to reduce police mistakes must be to demand that people follow police commands explicitly and unthreateningly. These actions will reduce mistakes.

Hopefully everyone joined in the moment of silence on Friday in support of the Dallas police. And, hopefully we will all do a better job of supporting our police who nearly always perfectly perform their difficult and dangerous jobs.

"Thank you" to my local Meredith Police, to our county sheriffs, to our state police and to police throughout America.

Don Ewing

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Tolerance isn't always easy but one of things that makes U.S. great

To The Daily Sun,

An open letter to Ms. Denise Burke:
I sympathize with your discomfort with seeing Kia's breasts. Traditionally, we are all taught that women's breast should be kept covered in public.

When our forefathers wrote our Constitution, the people wisely insisted that one person's freedom of expression must prevail over other people's freedom from discomfort or offense.

Think what a horrible country this would be if people of color were restricted from eating at lunch counters because their presence made a Caucasian person uncomfortable. Or, if gay people were prohibited from holding hands in public because it made a straight person uncomfortable. Or worse yet, if people like you were prohibited from expressing intolerant views in letters to the editor because the letters offend tolerant people like me.

You may wish that the Constitution protected your right to be free from being made to feel uncomfortable in public but, fortunately for the rest of us, the fact is that it does not. On the contrary, our Constitution protects Kia's right to be top-free in public. For example, New York's highest court ruled that, under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, women have the right to be top-free any place a man is allowed to be top-free (People v. Santorelli 1992). The U.S. Supreme Court would undoubtedly rule likewise.

Tolerance isn't always easy, but it is one of the things that make this country great and one of things your father and grandfather fought for.

Think about the things you value that may make other people uncomfortable and what it would be like for you if they were prohibited. Ms. Burke, please help make this a better country by giving serious thought to the negative effects of intolerance, and then maybe you will want to become more respectful of other people's values even though they differ from yours.

Incidentally, you may be interested to know that up until the 1930s men were prohibited from being top-free in public, presumably because their hairy chests offended people.

Fred W. Van Nest
Kissimmee, Fla.

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