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Letter to the editor: Pine and fake

In his recent letter to the editor, "A burning question," Pineandlakes columnist Pete Abler has expanded his reach, grasping for readers' empathies now from both sides of the opinion aisle.

A previous reader's letter (mine) once discounted Mr. Abler's credibility in his decrying the removal of Confederate statues and monuments from public spaces, and contested his premise that the American Civil War was fought not over the issue of slavery, but over "states' rights."

In a sense, Mr. Abler is correct, the war was fought over states' rights: the rights of states to choose whether to allow their citizens to enslave and imprison other human beings for profit.

Yet, he persists, and pines: "Why is it that (we) are supposed to be understanding ... (of) the feelings of those who want to tear down Confederate flags and ... remove monuments while at the same time we are asked to accept the actions of those who ... kneel (for) the national anthem, which we believe is being disrespectful to the nation, the flag and ... military veterans?"

Since the Civil War ended, millions upon millions of answers have abounded, including most recently when the players, at their game on Sunday, Oct. 29, in a stunning display of unity rejected the premise of Houston Texans' owner Bob McNair that "we can't have the inmates running the prison," in reference to his players exercising freedom of speech and taking a knee for the national anthem.

Why is it, then, that we are supposed to be understanding of some feelings but not others, like racism and police brutality? Instead of talking about fake news, let's first slam the door on fake morality.

Steve Olson,