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LETTERS 

REMEMBERING TO NOT FORGET

On May 4, 1970, four college students in Kent were killed by National Guardsmen during an anti-war demonstration. Our complicated memories and lack of memory of these events underscore the reality that many kinds of violence permeate our culture, including the physical violence of shooting people and the historical violence of forgetting. [In response to "The New Face of Tragedy," April 28, 2010.]

Mistakes are repeated not only because people don't learn from history, but because people don't learn about history in the first place. Therefore, how do we move past a history that we don't know and can't discuss?

In the ruins of this and other tragedies, join us in considering that another world is possible — one that rejects violence. Discovering our shared past and listening to each other's stories about violence is one path to reconciliation. We should be willing to initiate honest and open conversations on a regular basis — not just in a classroom, but on a bus, in our homes, or in our places of worship.

Such private conversations may lead to institutional truth-seeking efforts and to a recognition that the study of history is about thinking of events not as facts, but as ongoing narratives that we must explore and interrogate. Indeed, we make history. Let us make history that affirms life.

Jack Shuler, on behalf of English 400 at Denison University

Granville, Ohio

THE MAY 4 MANIFESTO

The May 4 Task Force students at KSU are not pessimistic nor demoralized, and we remain confident our three goals in 2010 will be achieved — one way or another:

1) Scholarships for May 4 activists.

2) Removal of the four trees planted in the line of 1970 gunfire.

3) Completion of the unfinished May 4 Memorial.

Stay tuned for KSU student protest actions if necessary.

Jeff Miller

via the internet

THE CASE AGAINST NAZI BASEBALL

As a Catholic, I'm deeply offended by teams named the Cardinals, Saints, and Padres. No, wait — I'm not at all offended. [In response to "Scientific Study: Looking at Chief Wahoo Will Make You Hate Asians," at '64 and Counting: The Scene Sports Blog.]

Sports Illustrated published a poll in 2002 showing that the majority of Native Americans were not offended by Indian team names. If they're not offended, then it is just silly for others to take offense on their behalf.

Further, intent is what is important in symbols. The Confederate flag sybolized enslavement of blacks. The swastika symbolized killing Jews and overrunning Europe. All Chief Wahoo symbolizes is bad baseball. On a scale of evil, Chief Wahoo doesn't compare to the stars and bars or Nazis.

Hank Summers

via the internet

SMOKING WAHOO

Chief Wahoo is no worse than Notre Dame's mascot, whom no one has a problem with. And Brutus Buckeye is named after a political assassin.

I always wondered why you can't use Native Americans as mascots for sports teams, but cigarettes are OK.

John Carlino

via the internet

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