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The sadness behind the Redskins' name

Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy stands on the field

Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy stands on the field during the first half of an NFL game against the Patriots on Oct. 6, 2019, in Washington. Credit: AP/Nick Wass

Being somewhat of a traditionalist, I always advocated for the Washington NFL team to keep the Redskins name even though numerous people found it offensive [“Retiring old ideas, making changes,” Letters, June 22].

My opinion changed when I attended a Native American festival. Speaking with a Native American presenter, I asked if he was offended by the term “Indian.” He shrugged and said no, that even reservations in America are called Indian reservations. But he added that many of his friends refuse to handle a $20 bill because President Andrew Jackson’s portrait is on it, and Jackson in 1830 signed the Indian Removal Act which resulted in the Trail of Tears. I then asked about the Redskins controversy. He teared up, telling me that he vehemently objected to the Redskins name because in the 1600s colonists would get an extra bounty for the skin of every Indian they killed. Perhaps Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder might wish to reconsider his objection to changing the team’s name.

Chet Gerstenbluth,


Korean War vet grateful to Trump

As a veteran who served during the Korean War, I shall be voting for President Donald Trump in 2020 for the first time. In 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea, I was a 19-year-old college student who dropped out and enlisted for four years.

When the cease-fire was signed in 1953, over 36,000 American military personnel had been killed and more than 8,300 sacred remains of these young troops were left in North Korea.

During the ensuing 67 years, I have lived through 12 U.S. presidents who did nothing to bring the forgotten remains of these heroes home for a proper burial and closure for their families. Finally, in 2018, Trump struck an agreement with North Korea to start bringing home these forgotten heroes to the country they fought for, so they could rest in peace. Now, at 89 years of age, I will vote for the man who did not forget the troops.

Chuck Darling,

South Setauket

A different way to vote in person

I find mail-in voting to be a really dumb idea, rife with potential abuse [“High totals of mail-in votes on LI,” News, June 23]. Allowing this type of voting will let people scream foul and disavow the results if they are not what’s expected. A much saner and better idea is to vote over three to five days, using the alphabet to determine which days you can vote. This would keep us at safe social distancing and hopefully keep the voting honest. It’s such a good idea that I’m sure the government won’t allow it.

Bob Cavaliere,

Port Jefferson Station

Let’s get democracy back on track

Throughout these tumultuous times we’ve watched our electoral-college-selected president and his band of fabricators constantly submerge us with “alternative facts” (credit Kellyanne Conway). Can we believe anything coming from our government? Is unemployment low? More important: When we’re told that we’re “safe” from the coronavirus, are we? Are our elected officials responsive to the citizenry, or to some other foreign source?

These are troubling times. Once upon a time, we had confidence that our elections were fair and meaningful, that our government statistics were true and verifiable, and that leadership cared about us. I can say with both confidence and sadness that this is no longer the case. The U.S. Department of Justice is coerced and corrupted by the executive branch, showing no respect for the constitutional separation of powers. Congress has appropriated millions for election security that it has failed to use.

Despite an obstruction of Congress and abuse of power by this president, he can continue to make a mockery of the law. Wake up, my fellow Americans, we need to create a movement to remove these impediments to democracy. Our grandchildren will thank us for it.

June Zeger,

East Meadow

Reducing greenhouse gases has pluses

Finally, some terrific news about climate change [“Pipeline permit denied,” News, May 16]. It turns out we can live without the fracked gas that the so-called Williams pipeline would have brought to Long Island and New York City.

It turns out we don’t need to keep pumping fossil fuels after all. For the years of fighting over the pipeline, National Grid would have done better to have had a robust program of switching customers from heating oil to efficient and renewable geothermal power, not to natural gas. A tiny pilot program was a success, and a larger one planned, but a much greater effort is needed. For such customers, it is estimated they could realize average annual energy cost savings of $1,000 to $1,500 while reducing nearly 6.75 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

We have no choice but to pursue all means to reduce greenhouse gases. It’s amazing to discover that it’s a good deal for our pocketbooks, as well.

Abby Pariser,