There are many Indians in the United States, a number of whom are American citizens. But they are not the ones who are offended by the use of the term Redskins for a sports team. Native Americans have weighty reasons to be offended. The Free Press editor [June 20], seems to find this humorous, indulging himself in what he considers an argument ad absurdum reciting the names of other teams that might offend other groups. (He thinks his suggestion that Mad Hatters may offend the mentally ill is funny, but this is almost as crude and reprehensible as the offense in chief.) The legacy of the relations between European colonists and Native Americans is one of brutality, murder, betrayal and theft. The ethnic cleansing committed in modern Europe is not more horrifying, Nothing can erase that shameful history. The least white Americans can do is not to expropriate the identity of the first Americans for commercial purposes, nor sneer at the pain it causes. If Native Americans resist being abused in this way, decent people will acquiesce graciously. It is not for the Free Press editor to say they are misinformed or unreasonable.
BARBARA S. ARTHUR
We must be asking ourselves, "What's next?" Wars seem to have no stopping place, with crime and violence getting worse every day. The Veterans Administration has all kinds of problems, with no end in sight. I know of a veteran who was given a medical discharge during the Vietnam War due to a heart problem and has had a service-connected backlog claim filed for over five years. Since then he almost passed away and now has a defibrillator implanted in his chest. He does not intend to give up his fight for his service-connected disability benefits. It also took me five years to get my Social Security disability and VA benefits. This veteran was given Social Security disability benefits in less than a month and therefore didn't expect to have problems with the Veterans Administration, but as the readers of this fine newspaper know, it's nothing new, with many other serious problems with the VA, the worst being veterans passing away waiting for their hard-earned health care and not getting it. These veterans have to be wondering and asking, "Is this fair?" Of course the answer is no. Hopefully, the problems will be resolved very soon.
RICHARD D. BLOOD, Ringgold, Ga.
Here are 10 things that are wrong with America: seeing the America I love going to the dogs; people telling me I came from a monkey; the global warming crowd; infanticide being called a choice; sexual perversion being called marriage; free speech advocates restricting speech; power-mad politicians; oblivious, uneducated voters; the "we're all going to heaven" crowd; Christians who won't unite and take a stand! Number 1 is the problem. Number 10 is the solution.