EDITOR: As one of the Santa Rosa High seniors up in arms after senior T-shirts were rejected for slang (“Students’ slogans vetted,” Sept. 8), I’m irritated, to say the least, that this is even an article that had room to be reported.
I respect and appreciate Staff Writer Susan Minichiello’s focus. The implications, though, of the new administration so strictly hounding down on this is kind of insulting. From what I see, there’s an assumption here that all of the slang terms or nicknames are ill-intended or purposed to be unsuitable.
By stopping problems that had limited to no potential to arise, by depriving students of a sentiment to avoid what could maybe be a risk, by seeking out the worst connotations and definitions certain terms can colloquially take on, administrators are telling me that there isn’t any trust there. They aren’t giving us the benefit of the doubt. Are you kidding me?
Yes, I’m sure there were some that were intentionally crude. I mean, we’re the closest to being thrown into the real world, but we’re still high schoolers. Toilet humor has its occasional appeal. But deal with that as it comes, not before the idea has even had an opportunity to grow in the students’ heads.
Taking a knee
EDITOR: Kneeling in the Catholic tradition (and other modalities) signals prayerfulness, reverence, supplication. It is difficult to understand how some find “taking a knee” as willful disobedience or abject disrespect.
Why can’t we honor our fellow citizens’ need to change wrongs against them and work together to make our world safer for all? One does not have to be the recipient of wrongdoing to perceive honestly what is going on around us and cooperate with healing our nation.
Concerning the national anthem, the “Star Spangled Banner” is a militaristic song born (1814) out of the hostile conflict against the British during the War of 1812. It has a complicated history and isn’t the testament to unity and national cohesion that it is meant to be.
The author Francis Scott Key was an anti-abolitionist who was angrily pro-slavery during that war. He wrote the poem (later set to music) in four stanzas. In the third stanza, he bitterly chastised the slaves who fought for their freedom.
The respect and reverence of our beloved flag is right and good, but taking a knee doesn’t negate that. Certainly this peaceful protest does not warrant sportsmen being called sons of bitches. No man’s mother should be verbally abused in that manner, even if that abuser is the president.
Kaepernick and voting
EDITOR: Colin Kaepernick doesn’t vote. His position is “the oppressor isn’t going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression.” Maybe. Maybe not. There are still many non-oppressors in positions of political power. Thanks to them the vote is still available to us as a tool of change. Vote for the non-oppressors. Though less dramatic, collectively our votes for non-oppressors can have an impact as great as or greater than taking a knee.
EDITOR: Michael S. George claims that “Donald Trump has achieved more in his term to date than Barack Obama did in eight years” (“Out of the doldrums,” Letters, Sept. 7). Yes, in less than two years, Trump, through his tweets, rants, raves and less-than-intelligent decisions has achieved the lowest rating of any president in recent history.