educating the rioters
Editor: No matter what other judgments are made, I think all those who stormed the Capitol should be condemned to education. Some will be imprisoned. Some may be sentenced to house arrest; Some may come down with a fine only and not serve the time. Regardless, everyone should be judged to have at least 120 hours of instruction in an integrated setting, whether live or online, that uses the Socratic method of teaching.
They must be judged by a curriculum that includes courses in African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Hispanic Americans, and other American Studies; Judaism. Christianity, Islam, Religions Across Cultures, and Literature Across Cultures.
Furthermore, their coursework should include critical thinking as it is generally taught in philosophy departments and a basic psychology course that requires writing autobiographical essays that instruct them to understand how and why they adopt mean and unpleasant ways of dealing with others, as well as how their biases and prejudices have developed.
Again, the teaching methodology must be Socratic, somewhat colloquial in nature, necessitating a great deal of questioning and dialogue between students and teachers. I’m not talking about group therapy here. I’m talking about education.
Threats and terror
Editor: We live in an age of civil division, anxiety, and fear of the future. One recent development is often mentioned but not given enough attention: anonymous death threats. American citizens issuing death threats to other citizens are everywhere. The suffering they inflict on ordinary Americans and their families is unsustainable. I am particularly concerned about such threats to government officials and voting workers.
These types of threats – to individuals and their families, including children – should be considered domestic terrorism. Fits the definition: sow terror.
These threats also prevent responsible and qualified Americans from seeking elected office. Great public servants feel the need to resign from important positions, and leave these positions to the party guards.
I’ve asked our local representative, Jared Hoffman, to consider introducing a resolution to the House of Representatives declaring a death threat terrorism.
Editor: While his forces are massed along the Ukrainian border, Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding a halt to any NATO expansion. It’s a bit like standing outside someone’s house with a flamethrower and demanding that the neighborhood fire station be closed.
Editor: Andrew Haynes complains that we overreact to the omicron variant, likening it to new strains of the common cold (“Omicron’s Overreaction,” Letters, Jan. 7). Orange County just suffered the third death of a child under 5 years old from an omicron variant.
Haynes imagined that Omicron and the new variants that would come later weren’t dangerous, that we could go back to life as usual, and it wouldn’t become a reality until everyone had vaccines, and everyone who qualified was vaccinated.
Unfortunately, we live in a world of capitalist greed and political exploitation of a public health crisis, which prevents mass vaccination. Thus, we all suffer.
Editor: To celebrate Sidney Poitier, we watched “The Defiant Ones.” He has often been criticized for his moderate stance on racial issues. I disagree. I think it was the right approach, in its time and place.
We generally watch the “normal” (network) news from 5 pm to 6 pm thereafter and usually watch Sean Hannity on Fox as long as we can stand it. As a regular viewer, I can report that it’s repetitive and boring. He and his guests regularly lie, pick cherries, frighten, and use juvenile appeal. They will say anything to bring down the Democrats, even at the cost of our country’s well-being.
The Democrats did not resist. They imitate Poitiers, behave politely and follow the rules. This pattern is incorrect for these times.
Eugene Robinson’s Jan. 8 column got it right (“Biden sets the stage for battle for democracy”). He praised Joe Biden’s clear new stance as evidenced in his speech on the Capitol Rebellion.
Let’s hope Biden and the rest of the Democrats continue like this. They should call out Trump and his supporters in the media and the Republican Party for their lies about the insurgency, the pandemic, the economy, and more.
Gloves must be removed.
Editor: The statements made by committee members on January 6 were interesting (for example, that Ivanka Trump twice pleaded with her father to stop the riots). They seem to have a fairly complete picture of what happened that day and are researching the events that led up to it. This may be more difficult with so many refusing to testify.
But without further work, they have two great closing statements: Senator Mitch McConnell’s February 13 speech in which he said Donald Trump is “practically and morally responsible” for what happened on January 6, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s January 13, 2021 statement: “Last week’s violent attack on the Capitol was undemocratic, un-American and criminal. … The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.”
These words leave no doubt about the responsibility.
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