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Readers’ Views

What do you think?

To the Editor:

If you happen to wander upstairs to the second floor of the excellent Martin County Historical Society on Blue Earth Avenue in Fairmont, you might see something unexpected: A white robe and hood from the KKK (Ku Klux Klan). In the 1920s, the KKK was strong in Martin County. It had more than 3,000 members here. Membership diminished substantially by the end of that decade.

Fast forward to 2019. As far as I can surmise, the KKK has not made a resurgence in southern Minnesota. But, surprisingly, a white nationalist is a key adviser to the current President of the United States. The White House senior policy adviser is Stephen Miller. Mr. Miller is one of the administration’s longest-term advisers.

White nationalists share many of the same beliefs as the KKK, particularly the belief white-skinned people are superior to people with other colored skin. Mr Miller is a white nationalist. He advises the POTUS about immigration policy that affects many non-white skinned humans.

Do representatives here in Minnesota know about Mr. Miller’s hate-based views? Currently, members of the House of Representatives are calling for Mr. Miller’s removal from the White House. Should a man with close ties to white nationalism and hateful actions toward immigrants be an adviser to the POTUS? Or even near the White House? What do you think?

Peter Engstrom

Fairmont

Vote Hagedorn out

To the Editor:

I read that First District Congressman Jim Hagedorn of southern Minnesota at his recent town hall in Winona stated his belief that those who die by suicide go to hell. He concluded, “It’s a bad thing.”

We are asking members of the military to put their lives on the line every day. Many of those who return are burdened with physical or mental disabilities for which the supports provided by the government they served are inadequate. That’s a bad thing. And veterans are dying by suicide at twice the rate of civilians.

Smaller farmers are being squeezed out of business due, in part, to the Trump tariffs. This also impacts related agri-businesses. That’s a bad thing. And the rate of death by suicide among farmers is rising.

Youth suicides are also on the rise. Far too few individuals suffering from mental illnesses receive the help they need. As a psychologist (now retired), I was fortunate to be able to help many along the road to wellness, while being aware of the fact that many lack access to the care they need. Mr. Hagedorn’s full support of the Republican plan to gut health insurance hurts us all. Imagine having PTSD — or cancer, back injury or heart disease — and being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. If Mr. Hagedorn’s agenda prevails, this is where it will take us. That’s a bad thing.

PTSD is an illness. Depression is an illness. Cancer is an illness. Would God consign to hell our loved ones who died by suicide from mental illnesses? I don’t believe it, not for one minute. For Mr. Hagedorn to say such a thing stigmatizes the deceased and inflicts pain on their loved ones. That’s a bad thing.

Do a good thing. Vote him out in 2020.

Theressa Hanson

Blue Earth

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