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LAURIE ALLEN, San Juan Capistrano

Jan Siegel’s thoughts about understanding and learning from history struck a chord with me. While impossible not to see the injustices that have generated our recent protests, “erasing” our history without understanding the dialogue will not solve the underlying issues and concerns, and only serves to harden positions.  We should understand our history and the progression of our thinking over time, without expecting those who lived in prior times to have the same perspectives. If we were to hold our world ancestors to today’s values, we would have to take down nearly every statue of every king and queen in Europe, as they deployed much more brutal tactics than would be acceptable today. What bothers me most about what is happening today is that there seems to be only a very specific set of perspectives and even words that are allowed to be used, and anyone who feels differently and would like to engage in a reasonable dialogue or debate (as Ms. Siegel does), may be vilified. There seems to be no tolerance from people who say they respect diversity. Rational, respectful perspectives that are different are neither sought nor valued. As a result, there is no mutual learning or connection. I think the Drew Brees punishment is an excellent example of what can happen if one has a well-reasoned but different value set (respect for the flag and his grandfathers who fought for it). There is a narrow channel in which one can swim. Under these conditions, many of us are silenced. I hope this silent group votes. 

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