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Professor’s claim of
cancel culture falls flat

Re: “Settlement will allow professor to resign” (Page A1, June 27).

I’m confused by Professor Elizabeth Weiss’ use of “cancel culture” as the reason for public outrage over her “privileged ownership” display of an ancestral indigenous person’s skull likely excavated from a sacred grave site.

This woman thought she had the right to continue to display White ownership of another culture’s property without apology. A 21st Century anthropologist should know better. But for some still clinging to the claim that continues to demean another culture that experienced American genocide simply isn’t enough.

She chose to continue the historical practice of archeological race supremacy. So whose culture does she think the public is canceling: White supremacy? White ownership? White storytelling about cultures that are not their own?

Help us learn the parameters of “cancel culture,” beyond no longer excusing what is shameful.

Delorme MckeeStovall
San Jose

Tax implications of
development spur fight

Re: “‘Nuclear option’?” (Page A1, June 25).

The recent story explored the explosion of “builder’s remedy” projects popping up all over the Bay Area.

The other reality about many of the recent housing laws now impacting our communities is that they don’t require the developers to pay a dime in additional taxes or fees to build the necessary infrastructure — the roads, parks, public transportation, etc. — that the increased population growth will require. Ultimately, that bill will fall on taxpayers.

We all know we need more housing, but that shouldn’t have to come with a dramatically higher tax bill, new traffic congestion and the destruction of our single-family neighborhoods. That’s why so many of us are fighting back.

Anita Enander
Former mayor
Los Altos

State reparations plan
opens the floodgates

Re: “Task force suggests restitution for slavery” (Page A1, June 30).

I am so relieved that our reparations committee has finally completed its recommendations. Now all the Black people who have suffered injustices can be inadequately compensated. Could be a tricky process though, determining who gets how much.

Oh, and how about the indigenous people who were mercilessly hunted down and killed so our forebears could steal their ancestral lands? Then came the Chinese Exclusion Act. And who can forget the over 100,000 U.S. citizens of Japanese descent who were forcibly stripped of their homes, businesses and land and sent to internment camps during WW2?

It would seem our reparations committee has just begun to try and remedy the many injustices that our messy history includes. I look forward to continued reports on their progress and wonder how they plan to fund this can of worms they have opened.

Matt Rode
San Jose

Governor’s budget
abandons climate fight

Clearly, Gov. Gavin Newson and his cronies don’t prioritize residents when dealing with climate change and human-driven environmental collapse. He approved a budget, slashing funding for these purposes. Then he floats a possible bond measure to make taxpayers pay more to address climate issues, thus reserving more of “his” budget to build environmentally damaging projects, like a tunnel to take water to his hope-to-be agribusiness political donors.

Now he endroses a slate of bills that will further erode environmental protections by limiting the use of the California Environmental Quality Act and allowing protected species to be harmed by his projects or to just stop protecting them.

This man lives to build large projects and won’t address state climate issues — a population that has doubled in the last 50 years and spreading development causing environmental destruction. We could use a simple bill to legislate new buildings provide all their own electricity on-site.

Tina Peak
Palo Alto

International oversight
of mercenaries needed

Re: “Reports: Camp for Wagner fighters being built” (Page A10, July 2).

Made up of Russian loyalists and ex-cons, the Wagner Group is fortifying in Belarus.

To be clear, the Wagner Group is complicit in the torture, killing and rape of civilians across Moldova, Mali, Syria as well as Ukraine. Yet during the Iraq war former American convicts, and veterans rushed to join Academi (formerly known as Blackrock). Their brutal offenses against Iraqi civilians matched the Wagner Group’s atrocities.

Worryingly, mercenaries are the go-to playbook for proxy wars in the 21st century. Building upon the long history of young men aspiring to join the French Foreign Legion, there is one common denominator among mercenaries who are composed of soldiers who come from a lifetime of crime.

It is time to implement international standards to monitor mercenary war crimes. As John Stuart Mill aptly observed, we should stand against tyranny because in the long run, you may find yourself in the minority — caveat emptor.

Akeem Mostamandy
San Jose