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Readers sound off on censored education, Tina Turner and ‘cracker’

San Francisco: Florida’s Department of Education has rejected two new textbooks on the Holocaust and has announced that there will be no approved Holocaust texts in the following year. The department does not give reasons for the censorship, but one can imagine that they do not meet the standards of the Stop the Woke Act established by Gov. Ron DeSantis. In Florida’s desire to meet the standards of this act — one of its tenets being that children should not feel guilt or shame in relation to historical events — the state has a litmus test that strips the human element from education.

Yes, Mr. DeSantis, the world should recognize from a young age the horrendous nature of the Holocaust. And sometimes there is shame in truth. Students from a young age should not be sheltered from the truth that is stated inside the walls of Dachau: “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

DeSantis wants the Donald Trump base that doesn’t want to be told that their racial hatred is not justified. His educational policy seeks to erase collective memory of moral conscience. He wants to anesthetize the masses to human compassion and sanitize history to serve his ends. He is as bad as Trump but perhaps worse — the man has studied history and knows how to erase it. He isn’t only creating false realities, he seeks to destroy a collective consciousness.

He is the next step in America’s totalitarian temptation to embrace fascists who whitewash history for racial purity. We are watching in Ron DeSantis the spreading of a banality of evil. Bruce Farrell Rosen

Manhattan: Hey Ron, you’re messing with the Mouse. You are going to find that nationally, Mickey Mouse is bigger than you or your stupid little state of Florida. Chris Job

Beechhurst: The maniacal bullying that now-fired Hunter College adjunct professor Shellyne Rodriguez displayed toward students who had set up a pro-life information table highlights how the age-old notion of the university as the dwelling place of the marketplace of ideas has bit the dust here in America. We can lay this dangerous development at the feet of the radical left’s stunning success at marching through our institutions of higher learning. A specter is now haunting U.S. academia — the specter of red fascism gone wild. That CUNY’s faculty union, the Professional Staff Congress, called Rodriguez’s intimidating actions “fully justified” speaks to the deplorable depth of this institutional rot. James Hyland

Dartmouth, Mass.: While disparity of income, expensive educational opportunities, climate disasters, monumental gun violence and a host of existential threats continue unabated, the MAGA crowd is still motivated by social issues with minimal or non-existent impact upon their lives. Keeping MAGA voters in a constant state of resentment is the most effective strategy exercised by the new extremist Republican legislators. If their attention is diverted from dwindling income, unchecked gun violence, devastating climate catastrophes, expensive health care, diminished access to higher education, intrusive limitations on private life decisions and other nonessential issues, it will keep unqualified elected officials in office and the donations flowing. The MAGA objective is to deflect anger onto the Democrats to prevent voters from casting blame on the real culprits of their unhappiness. The slow but steady march to autocracy and a completely decimated middle class will occur and it will be too late for legitimate grievances to be addressed. Betty Ussach

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Utica, N.Y.: It is appalling that Republicans refuse to allow a replacement for Sen. Dianne Feinstein to be named to the Judiciary Committee, forcing her to return to work despite the fragility of her health. It’s one thing to move politically to consolidate power, but it’s quite another to act with the extraordinary meanness, cold-heartedness, absence of compassion and utter lack of humanity that the Republicans have embodied. They think nothing of making Feinstein risk her life by staying on the job, hoping that her absence will allow them to block President Biden from appointing judges. And for what? So the Trump MAGA judges can continue to make and uphold laws that take us back to the Puritan Age, while increasing their already obscene wealth and that of their donors! Then these people have the gall to tell us they are “pro-life”? Not a chance. They sure aren’t pro Feinstein’s life! Joan Palmer Ganeles

Seaside Heights, N.J.: Tina Turner truly is inspirational. She overcame domestic abuse and personal hardships. She launched an extremely successful comeback career. Without a doubt, Turner is legendary, and her passing is a tremendous blow to the music industry and her numerous fans. However, having said that, Turner is not the “Queen of Rock and Roll.” That distinction belongs to the unforgettable Janis Joplin. Igor La Manna

Bronx: Between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. yesterday, there was a commercial break on Channel 7. I counted 21 commercials, but since they ran into each other so fast, there may have been more. The Scripps News channel’s commercial breaks are so long that I can’t watch it anymore. More than 20 is an abusive number of ads to endure when you just want to hear what is happening in the world. Rose Mary Lancaster

Staten Island: To Voicer John Amato, and anyone else who may be interested: If you visit TreesNY.org and navigate to their citizen pruners page, you’ll find information on helping the Parks Department take care of trees in your area. It’s a proactive way to help this great city. Victor R. Stanwick

Manhattan: Voicer Jim “Bro” Heimbuch weighs in with his take on the Jordan Neely-Daniel Penny incident from bucolic Oak Ridge, N.J. Yes, Oak Ridge — a tiny community with no subways, I imagine. Ride the subways regularly, Jim, or even in the last three years? Try riding the F train early in the morning when the car is used as a bathroom and bedroom. A young woman is now a quadriplegic, pushed into a train by another “unfortunate” soul. Neely previously punched and shattered the face of a 67-year-old woman and punched two other people. Neely was given every opportunity for help and walked away from a residential year-long program. Pop Neely, prior to the GoFundMe page, said he couldn’t find Jordan for the past four years. Did he try Rikers Island? Penny will deal with a trial if the charges stick, and it is hardly proper for you to pronounce his life ruined. Robert J. Katz

Brooklyn: An innocent bystander, Reda Girgis, 66, was shot in the head and killed by a stray bullet while standing on the street in front of his son’s bodega in Washington Heights (“Man critically wounded in drive-by shoot in Wash. Hts.,” May 25). He was in the city only three days. Again, this horrific crime is why we should have anti-crime units patrolling our city. How many lives have to be waisted or maimed before anyone acts? Evil flourishes when good men do nothing. Louie Scarcella

Manhattan: To Voicer Kevin John Carroll: In the 1590s, in Shakespeare’s “King John,” “cracker” was used to insult Celts. That insult followed the Scots-Irish to America. However, in the early 1800s, those immigrants started calling themselves crackers as a badge of honor and a term of endearment. In the late 1880s, writers from the North started calling the “hayseed homesteaders” crackers because they figured they were probably referred to as such due to the cracking of their whips. Slaves didn’t come up with that meaning of the word. For all we know, if they did use the term, it could have been because they heard white overseers referring to each other that way. Pointing to the original usage of the word in the South, in the 1990s it was proposed that a new school in Florida be named “Cracker Trail Elementary School.” It didn’t happen. You lost me about not remembering the past regarding this word. Vanessa Enger

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