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You blew it, CITY

Enjoyed the "Artful" cover and accompanying story (Culture, June 29), but the "mashed-up" spelling of "paletes" (sic) caused me some dyspepsia. Either "palettes" or "palates" would have made a delicious pun!

JOSEPH FINETTI

Rochester needs to change, too

My family is proud to live in Rochester. We believe in it. And we know it needs to change.

Its social structure mirrors that of America: there is a white Rochester and a black Rochester. To deny this is to ignore myriad racial disparities affecting black lives across the nation. The poverty rate for local black families is nearly double that of whites. Our public school system continues to suffer the lingering effects of white flight. If we truly wish to become a city united, we all must do the work.

Support black businesses. Stop criminalizing black youth gathered in public spaces. Invest in rehabilitating economically depressed neighborhoods. Hold intolerant colleagues, friends, and family members accountable. Research, understand, and support the Black Lives Matter movement.

The callous actions of the Dallas sniper derailed years of hard work by inducing hysteria toward a modern-day civil rights movement. Rochester's recent BLM event was not a nonviolent confrontation as reported. The mere presence of officers in heavy gear insinuated that their mission was not to protect locals exercising their First Amendment rights, but to intimidate. This does not make our community safer; it elevates risk and heightens tensions between residents and local law enforcement.

Militarized police forces are most prominent during situations involving black and brown people. The only two journalists detained while covering the local BLM rally and march were black. Does no one else see the problem?

Confusion and fear reside on both sides of the line. I have beloved friends in the military and law enforcement; I recognize the psychic cost of being on the front line in times of conflict. If we can acknowledge the complex struggles of those sworn to protect, can't we recognize the daily struggles of those living on the front lines of racial inequality?

Black and brown people can't clock out; we don't have the luxury of stepping out of our skin. We shouldn't have to want to. So until black and brown lives are valued the same as white lives, we will continue fighting for equality. This fight must include everyone; the luxury of the white bystander must come to an end.

RACHEL MCKIBBENS

Airport doesn't show best of Rochester

Thank you for the insightful and accurate column on airport art. The Rochester airport was an attractive and noteworthy attraction before the art was removed.

The artists' work was site-specific, designed and planned not only for special spaces but for the theme of Rochester's history, heritage, and its artistic community. Now all that is gone.

The replacement ads and diverse decorative, inappropriate objects do not speak for the quality of our community and its talents. Those in charge have little understanding of the impact that an important exhibition has on the traveling public.

ROSLYN BAKST GOLDMAN

Assaulted by sound

I am saddened by the East Avenue garage's advertisement for "TV news at the pump." I value the silence at the gas pump. The TV news and advertising that blares from the pump is something I can't turn off, something that invades my mind whether I want it to or not. Constantly in the media torrent, there are fewer opportunities for reflection.

Petra Rathman, ethnographer of Kamchatka, describes how silent moments can be peaceful and whole, full and perfect. "Silence is never quite empty," she says, "and much learning can transpire in quiet moments."

I have not been back to East Avenue Auto since I was assaulted by televisions blaring from the gas pump. I just hope some garages continue to offer the choice of quiet pumps, and that "noise" from pumps does not become ubiquitous. I don't want to have to put in earphones to get gas just as I do at so many grocery stores that now blare music.

STEVE DERNE

Silence has deadly cost

What happened when a psychiatrist received a journal of detailed plans for a mass shooting? What happened when someone physically abused his first wife and had a history of being aggressive? What happened when someone decided to practice military maneuvers in a person's back yard, fully armed? The answer: Nothing.

And yet, each one of these individuals was able to stockpile weapons and explosive devices and deliberately plan to carry out mass murder in Aurora, Orlando, and now, Dallas. And yet, the warning signs were there all along and NO ONE thought, perhaps, that these people should not be allowed to purchase weapons to kill the greatest amount of people in the shortest amount of time?

Yes, there exists systemic racism, misogyny, and homophobia that need to be addressed. At the same time, there exists systemic blindness to patterns of disturbing and destructive mental illness that call out for attention and intervention. How do these shootings happen? Because we stay quiet and let them.

LINDA PRATT

Rich men's wars

If there had been a real draft 50 years ago instead of a phony draft, the Vietnam War would have lasted a few months. If the children of the ruling class were on the front lines in Iraq, there would have been no front lines. Extra credit: Which ancient Greek philosopher said, "A nation that makes distinctions between its fighting man and its thinking man will have its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards"?

TROLL WHISPERER

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