Readers write: Coverage that meets a need

Letters to the editor for the February 21, 2022 weekly magazine. Readers highlight our Indigenous and diversity coverage, and we respond to concerns about an Afghan bookstore. 


Indigenous visibility

I would like to thank you profoundly for the articles over the past several months concerning Native Americans and the issues confronting them.  

We are indeed the invisible minority, not forgotten entirely, but certainly pushed off to the side, perhaps still in the hope that we will disappear. There remain many issues to be resolved among the United States government, the white population, and the tribes that still exist. A wider awareness of the issues is necessary to facilitate that resolution, hence the extraordinary value of your articles.

I would also like to thank you for your unique and positive coverage of people all over the globe. It gives one hope that humankind may still have a chance to redeem itself after all. Please keep up the excellent journalism! 

Ellen Evans
Atascadero, California

Bright spots

The Feb. 21 cover story, “Diversity under the dome: How advocates are recruiting people of different social and educational backgrounds to staff jobs on Capitol Hill,” was astounding. There is so much going on that we never hear about. Thank you for your investigation and interviews. I was interested to learn that so many of those interviewed worked for Republican officeholders. Opens my eyes further. I appreciate that!

It was also awesome to read of these bright spots of enlightened activity going on in the Jan. 24 Points of Progress. Thank you so much for publishing them. I need to read these every week!

Deb Wickersham
Roseville, California

Afghan books

Editor’s note: A number of readers wrote in about this photo of a bookshop in Herat, Afghanistan, that appeared in the Dec. 13, 2021, issue. They expressed concern about whether the shop was still open after the Taliban takeover in August. Because the photo was taken in November, three months after the takeover, we have no reason to believe it is not still operating, but we couldn’t confirm it. Staff writer Scott Peterson, who has reported extensively from Afghanistan, points out that “a number of the books appear to be bound as sets, similar to those of Islamic jurisprudence, so these could be textbooks on law or religious subjects, which might suit the Taliban.”

Petros Giannakouris/AP/File
A bookshop owner works amid a sea of books in Herat, Afghanistan, Nov. 22, 2021.

The power of education

This is in response to your Feb. 21 editorial “Mix-and-match solutions to gun violence.” I was left thinking that we still haven’t effectively used our schools to try to reduce violence throughout life.  

We have many high schools in the nation with police positioned in them due to violence. But how many of those schools equip teachers to help students choose alternatives to violence? Probably not many. It’s as though educators don’t believe in their own product: education. It seems like it’s easier for them to call in the police.

We should consider improving education as a way to reduce violence, with at least two goals: Eventually fewer people will need to use domestic violence shelters, and eventually fewer people will be incarcerated every year for committing violent acts. Reducing violence would help our economy and make the world a happier place.

Steve Kokette
Madison, Wisconsin

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