Scott Sinquah, of the Pima tribe of Arizona, competing in the annual...

Scott Sinquah, of the Pima tribe of Arizona, competing in the annual Thunderbird American Indian Pow Wow in Floral Park in 2019. Credit: /Kendall Rodriguez

Much to learn about the American Indian

We hear a lot about critical race theory. What about the history and culture of the American Indian? Most Americans lack knowledge of the native people, their ways of life then and now. What does this mean for teaching about the American Indian? There is no denying that America was created in part through the oppression and displacement of these native people.

Unfortunately, states are placing limits and laws on how teachers can teach American history. This can have a negative effect across our schools. Can the following topics be taught: the Indian Removal Bill and Trail of Tears, where the “5 Civilized Tribes” were forced out of their southeast homelands to areas west of the Mississippi River — thousands died along the way. Native people did not become citizens until 1924. The establishment of government boarding schools in the late 19th century for young American Indian children was a horror.

Today, the Native American community faces: poverty, unemployment, dire living conditions, lowest high school graduation rates, inadequate health care, and cultural exploitation. American Indians have a wide variety of lifestyles, regalia, beliefs and art forms. Our teachers should be allowed to teach age-appropriate lessons that are factual and truthful.

 — Chet Lukaszewski, Huntington

The writer is a retired social studies teacher who developed and taught a course on the American Indian.

Often, we just need to ‘agree to disagree’

There is hope. America was built on equality, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, etc. We are all Americans, no matter how heated the political discussion. To make peace and compromise, sometimes we must “agree to disagree” and change the topic.

In a political chat, we must be open-minded and ready to concede minor points. Your “opponent” must play by the same rules, but if we are all united in our patriotism and love for this country, then it becomes a discussion among friends.

Compromise, while imperfect, allows the United States to progress and advance, benefiting all.

 — Alan Cohn, Nesconset

Jones Beach concert exit leaves sour note

I attended the Doobie Brothers concert at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in June, and it was a good concert at a good venue. Afterward, though, getting out of the parking lot was a mess.

I counted 27 employees with yellow vests at the north entrance to the parkway. Two employees with flashlights directed traffic. Is there a shortage of flashlights at the park? I wondered what the other employees were doing.

With the high price of tickets, I do not think it unreasonable to expect the New York State parks department, the police and ticket seller Live Nation to do a better job getting customers out of the parking lots and on their way safely home.
 — Gerry O’Brien, Ronkonkoma

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