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OpinionLetters

Kudos for move on Tubman's $20 bill

A wax likeness of abolitionist and conductor of

A wax likeness of abolitionist and conductor of the Underground Railroad Harriet Ross Tubman in Washington in 2012.  Credit: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Many Americans protested former President Donald Trump’s arrogant pushback of placing Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. I support President Joe Biden’s move to correct Trump’s transgression. Black Lives Matter! The crystal-clear racism, classism and sexism of the Trump administration to push back the highly awaited release of the $20 bill featuring America’s Black Moses was unacceptable. Tubman and the Underground Railroad brought countless masses of Black enslaved men, women and children to freedom against all odds. I view the Trump administration’s inaction as racist, classist and a sexist slap in the face. Thank God that the Biden administration is correcting this act of gross injustice against the life and legacy of Tubman, and her positive and progressive influence throughout America’s landscape.

Arthur L. Mackey Jr.,

Roosevelt

Editor’s note: The writer is senior pastor of Mount Sinai Baptist Church Cathedral.

Complicit? Can’t have it both ways

I couldn’t agree more with reader Clare Worthing that "Complicit legislators should be removed" [Letters, Jan. 26]. Let’s start with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who barely condemns violent rioting in his city. Then you have Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who for months let violent rioters barricade a section of the city, vandalizing federal property and businesses, and causing several deaths in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest. Then you have Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) calling on supporters to harass and publicly confront members of the Trump administration, and they actually did that. Actor Peter Fonda, before passing in 2019, said that Barron Trump should be ripped "from his mother’s arms" and put ... in a cage with pedophiles." He later apologized, but he got his point across. Disgusting and vile, but hey, Democrats are concerned for the children but, in my view, only their children. So the letter writer and others can’t have selective wokeness. Condemn all forms of hate, no matter where it comes from.

Michael Appice,

Westbury

End, keep or tweak the filibuster rule?

It is time for the filibuster to go ["Schumer rises to top Senate job," News, Jan. 25]. We cannot let an antiquated procedure stand in the way of progress. We’re in economic and public health crises, and the Republican Party is about to play the same old games of obstruction, grinding President Joe Biden’s administration to a halt and then blaming Democrats for the lack of progress to try to win back power. Senate Democrats need to kill the filibuster. They’ll deal with two weeks of manufactured GOP outrage and then have two years to make American lives better — shoring up the Affordable Care Act with a public option; forgiving student loans, rent and mortgages; and helping stabilize the economy while we get COVID-19 under control. Also, statehood for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and real infrastructure spending. Think of all the possibilities without the filibuster. When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had the gavel, he did what he wanted, ignoring tradition and norms. He kept vacant one Supreme Court seat yet rammed another through very quickly. McConnell’s cries of fair play are laughably hypocritical. Democrats have two years. They need to make them count.

Thomas Wood,

Long Island City

The filibuster is a useful tool which should be retained, but with one improvement ["Biden’s unity call in three easy steps," Opinion, Jan. 26]. As I understand it, any senator can say he or she will filibuster and the bill gets held. I would require a filibuster to be out in the open for all to see. This seems like a simple solution.

Don Weimer,

Babylon

Change — so U.S. is ready next time

We passed, but barely. No nuclear bombs were dropped, the country did not dissolve, and the transition of power did occur. It seems obvious to me that Donald Trump was a bad president, but if the United States is going to survive 250, 500 or 1,000 years, do you really think he is the worst we will have? I think we should view Trump as a stress test for our democracy, and use this time now to patch the holes he exploited. This American experiment is a work in progress, and constant improvement is how it will survive. These solutions should be long range. Bickering over social media apps may be the topic of the day, but it will likely not strengthen our foundation 500 years from now. We should look at the balance of power between the president and Congress. I suggest we set disclosure requirements for public officials. We should look to make our elections even more accessible and transparent. We should discuss rules to prevent gerrymandering. Stress tests are meant to be tough, and this one pushed us to our limits. Let us learn from the past four years and be stronger next time.

Owen Elliott,

New York City

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