Readers write: first gentleman, Rachel Dolezal, dandelion praise

Letters to the editor for the June 29, 2015, weekly magazine.

Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review via AP/File
In this March 2, 2015 file photo, Rachel Dolezal, president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, poses for a photo in her Spokane, Wash. home. Dolezal is facing questions about whether she lied about her racial identity, with her family saying she is white but has portrayed herself as black.

‘First gentleman’?
The June 10 online article “Lindsey Graham interview raises question: Do we need a first lady?” ( caused me to wonder: If Hillary Clinton gets elected would her husband be called “first gentleman”? In a case similar to that of James Buchanan, who was a bachelor, would there be a woman to assist with traditionally female interests while Bill plays the part of that role that would come naturally to a former president? Often women with high-powered careers have personal assistants to take care of domestic duties – I imagine the first ladies have this already – so would this person need to be more high-profile than your average personal assistant? Would the use of a politically correct term in the present open thought more to the possibility of a woman president or vice president, even if it happens further down the road and not in 2016?
Julia Miner 
Via e-mail

Repercussions of Rachel Dolezal controversy
The June 14 online article “Rachel Dolezal to address furor over her race. Who defines racial identity?” ( raises the question: How is this going to affect those of us who are truly black but have light skin when we apply for higher education jobs? Will we have to prove in some way that we are black? 
Emma Kent
Jacksonville, Fla.

In praise of dandelions
Regarding the essay written by Christopher Andreae, “In praise of dandelions,” in the June 8 issue: I had just completed a small painting highlighting the beautiful and ever-present dandelion when I stumbled upon a poem written by James Russell Lowell in a 1917 literature textbook titled “Outlines of American Literature,” by William J. Long. It is a six-stanza poem called “To The Dandelion,” and it certainly does praise that wonderful wildflower we love to hate. 
Karen Camp
Akron, Ind.

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