The Journal Gazette
Thursday, July 30, 2020 1:00 am


Nation's bad actors not worth commemorating

A statue, monument, flag or military base stands in honor of a particular person's deeds.

I do not honor Gen. Robert E. Lee for having pitted the South against the North because he wanted to keep slavery intact. I do not honor Jefferson Davis for being president of the Confederacy. I do not honor any American who denigrates another American.

Statues, flags or monuments to the dark past of the United States do not have a place in today's society. We need to take a long, hard look at what we continue to condone today that makes even one brother or sister feel inferior.

Take a look at the facts I've stated. I went to school and learned about both the good and bad actors in our past. History is present to all who attended school. We do not need to continue to honor the bad actors by having reminders of them in our presence every day.

Kathleen Kearns

Fort Wayne

Trump can't comprehend leader's responsibilities

There was a time when the premise that anyone could grow up to become president was considered evidence of equality in the U.S. Donald Trump has given us good reason to rethink that premise, and maybe add the word “qualified” in between “anyone” and “could.”

From the start, Trump did not comprehend that the office of president, and every other elected office in the country, is a position of service. He did not think he was being elected to serve, but to rule.

His wish is evidenced by his constant claims of power he does not possess, his admiration of and attempts at ingratiating himself with dictators, and his belief that he can address any problem by coming up with a demeaning nickname and commanding it to be gone.

He does not grasp that Cabinet and judicial positions are also service roles to the citizens of the U.S., and not roles of service to the president nor rewards to be handed out to loyal supporters. This is evidenced not only by his selection of appointees of dubious ability and/or motive, but his “off with their heads” conduct when the serious attempt at carrying out their duties causes those appointees to contradict him.

His personal vilification of all who disagree with him, and his encouragement of an “us against them” mentality against fellow citizens, makes him unsuitable for a position of leadership.

And this is why Joe Biden, with his lifetime of service in a variety of offices, is light years beyond Trump in being qualified for the office. This is why it does not matter if Biden occasionally flubs a speech or if some hysterical member of the outer fringe hallucinates some ludicrous conspiracy about him; he will still be a far, far better choice than Trump.

In Trump's case, it can truly be said that it is quite possible his main purpose has been to serve as a warning to those who don't believe qualifications and background matter.

Jacqueline Griffin

St. Joe

Memorials exist to honor heroism

When I saw the article and photo of the desecrated police memorial (June 17), I wondered how many FWPD officers protested and/or rioted when Kenneth Stiverson was shot. I still remember as a child my mother driving by the spot where it happened and telling me the story.

Blain Van Allen

Fort Wayne

Editor's note: Fort Wayne Patrolman Kenneth Stiverson, 36, was fatally shot in the chest during a gun battle on the city's east side on July 17, 1969. The 11-year veteran was shot at the intersection of Winter Street and Creighton Avenue after Hollis Irby, 35, threw a piece of brick, smashing the squad car's windshield. Stiverson's partner, officer Marshal “Dean” Heingartner, was also shot, but survived. Heingartner shot and killed Irby.

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