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Newsday letters to the editor for Monday, Aug. 21, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Robert Castello, owner of the Dixie General Store,

Robert Castello, owner of the Dixie General Store, discusses his dislike of neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan in Chulafinee, Ala., on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. Photo Credit: AP / Jay Reeves

If a tree falls in the forest, and there’s nobody around to hear, does it make a sound? Maybe yes, but who cares?

If a bunch of backyard-barbecue, citronella-scented tiki-torch-carrying white nationalists and wannabe Nazis descend on a place formerly named for General Robert E. Lee, but recently rechristened Emancipation Park, and there’s no counterprotest, did it really happen? [“Pain & anger,” News, Aug. 17].

If there are no cops in battle gear to dissuade them, no media to report they showed up, and no gawkers to take pictures for Facebook and Twitter — did the protest really happen?

Could any future target of the alt-right white supremacists be calmed by a dose of the good old-fashioned parenting trick of not giving the temper-tantrum toddler any extra attention? What if David Duke and Richard Spencer held a gathering of despicable pariahs trading some good ol’ boy hate stories — with no one but a stone-faced General Robert E. Lee statue to hear them — and smacked each other’s backs and went home?

R.J. Teer, Commack

My condemnation is for Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer for failing to prevent two obviously opposing radical groups from coming together, destroying the life of an innocent 32-year-old woman and causing injury to countless others — all in the name of politics.

These radicals should have been placed at separate locations. The ultimate person responsible for the death of Heather Heyer was the driver of the car that hit her, but the mayor and governor are also responsible.

Henry A. Wager, Rocky Point

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired Suffolk County police detective.

President Donald Trump condemned all acts of violence by all groups. He said we must come together as a people, because this type of violence cannot be tolerated.

We all hate theses white supremacist groups and what they preach. However, if you only saw one side in the wrong, then you were not watching.

There were people in the counterprotest group carrying sticks and beating people. The man who ran people down with a car should be in jail for life.

There is too much violence and hatred coming from many groups: far-left groups, far-right groups, white supremacists, Black Lives Matter, etc. It all should be condemned and not tolerated.

We have to stop screaming at each other and listen.

Gene Lindsay, Mastic

The president had a meltdown on Aug. 15, when he defended the neo-Nazis and white supremacists. This came a few weeks after advocating police brutality while at Suffolk County Community College.

No Republican, irrespective of the office they hold or are seeking, who does not affirmatively renounce the comments of the titular leader of their party, President Donald Trump, is wholly unfit to hold the office they occupy.

Edward B. “Woody” Ryder IV, Greenlawn

As someone who has been involved in our political process for decades, who has supported candidates from many parties, and who believes in our great nation as one nation, I have to express my outrage at an occupant of the Oval Office equating Robert E. Lee with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Yes, it is certainly true that both of our founding fathers, and many more of them, were slave owners, but there is a distinct difference. Washington and Jefferson fought for our nation to be free from Colonial roots. They were the ultimate enthusiasts of immigration.

Lee was a general whose battle was to keep people enslaved, here, in our own “land of the free.” President Donald Trump’s remarks are not what America should see in its “leadership,” which is sorely lacking at the moment.

June Zeger, East Meadow

Editor’s note: The writer has volunteered for political campaigns for Democrats and Republicans.

I’m a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton, and I was devastated by the election of President Donald Trump, who I consider to be the least qualified person to be elected president, perhaps ever in the history of the United States.

Ironically I’m rethinking my views. Trump’s election is creating an effect that may never had happened otherwise: the awakening of the American electorate to the realization that if average citizens don’t pay attention, our democracy may fail.

As citizens, we can’t spend all of our time taking care of our families and socializing with our friends, without paying attention to the political process. Democracy requires that citizens be more proactive and perpetually aware of what is happening in our government.

Peter Monaco, Ridge