Treason not worthy of honor
Re “Efforts to sanitize our past are an attack on history” (Viewpoints, July 10): Regardless of the outcome of Senate Bill 539, Robert E. Lee’s name needs to be stripped from the schools that bear it.
A slave holder who whipped his slaves, Lee made a personal decision to commit treason and armed insurrection against the United States. Had he fulfilled his oath as a U.S. soldier and accepted the offer of a generalship, this exceptional officer would probably have shortened the Civil War considerably, saving hundreds of thousands of casualties.
The naming of a school should honor those who can serve as exemplary to the students who attend. Lee is not such an example.
Tom Donohue, Sacramento
Sanitizing? Bring it on!
Ben Boychuk is right. Let’s go all the way and get rid of all the shameful names. What about Davis, Calif., as in Jefferson Davis?
But there’s more. With Russia still full of Commies, how can we have a place named Russian River? Didn’t the Chinese just hack our government files again? Let’s get ahead of this one, every name with “China” in it has gotta go.
And since the killer of Katherine Steinle is clearly of Hispanic stock, isn’t it time to take a hard look at all the Spanish place names around here?
Martin Owens, Sacramento
The real sanitized history
Ben Boychuk, who worries that removing Confederate military figures’ names from public places is “sanitizing history,” needs reminding that the resurrection of a Confederate flag in response to the civil rights movement did just that.
Displaying that flag went hand in hand with the rise of a historical revisionism attempting to portray the Civil War as one of Northern aggression against Southern liberties, and not a symbol defending slavery. That’s sanitized history.
Expunging a few names from buildings, right or wrong, is of minor consequence to our understanding of history and its lessons.
Spencer P. Le Gate,
Déjà vu should be avoided
I know little about Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, who authored SB 539 to expunge the names of high-ranking Confederate politicians and military figures from government buildings, but I am guessing he is much younger than I and too young to remember the post-World War II Soviet policy of erasing from history all remnants of fallen Soviet leaders, a policy that all Americans abhorred at the time.
SB 539 is attempting to do just that. The Civil War was a tragedy that claimed a huge number of American lives, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor. Although slavery was at its core, it was about more than that, and it was fought by brave, honorable people on both sides.
We can’t change history. If we erase it, we won’t learn from it.
Bob Kaster, Yreka
More taxes not needed
Re “Tax increases back on state’s agenda” (Insight, July 10): David Siders and Jim Miller discuss how California’s multibillion-dollar surplus continues to grow. Despite unprecedented state revenue, legislators continue to call special sessions to raise taxes. Politicians are considering $132 billion in new taxes, including a new sales tax on all services and higher property taxes. Californians already carry the heftiest tax burden in the nation. Now is not the time to raise taxes even more at the expense of California’s hardworking taxpayers.
Debra Jackson, Rocklin
Investing in the great outdoors
Re “Obama designates national monuments in Texas, California, Nevada” (Sacbee.com, July 10): The Sierra Business Council welcomes President Barack Obama’s protection of the new Basin and Range National Monument, a jewel in the south central Nevada desert, and Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, which protects public lands north of San Francisco and west of Sacramento.
The designations have garnered support from business leaders due to the acknowledgment that recognition and visibility of the areas may help to grow tourism economies. Nowadays, policymakers from local government to the White House recognize that conservation equals jobs. We encourage Obama, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and our elected officials to continue to invest in America’s Great Outdoors.
Steve Frisch, Truckee
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