Reader's View: Mayor’s words were ‘ugly,’ ‘divisive’

Larson said, "We have a white supremacist in the White House.”

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A Jan. 9 story in which local officials reflected on the U.S. Capitol riot included comments from Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. The story also noted that the unrest came a day after St. Louis County Commissioner Keith Nelson called Duluth a "cesspool." (Nelson later told a TV reporter he was referring to Duluth politics.)

Larson stated, "Us versus them is not a strategy I use. … People who choose division and ugly language intentionally, pitting people against each other — that is much more a reflection on the character of the person offering the opinion than it is for the people they are attempting to disenfranchise."

The mayor’s words immediately brought to mind another News Tribune article, this one on Sept. 30 about President Donald Trump campaigning in Duluth, in which Larson said, "We have a white supremacist in the White House.” I would call that ugly language and a bit divisive.

In the Jan. 9 article, Larson also said, "We're seeing the depths of what humanity is capable of when people stop seeing themselves in one another." I think the mayor was speaking of division versus unity.

Our country and our city are divided on many issues, and that is why it is so important for all of us to be careful with our words and actions if we desire change. As Mayor Larson implied, we need to see ourselves in one another. All of us fall short and need to be forgiving of others. Violence causes division, but words have the power to heal.


Julie Zastrow


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