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Columnist Karen Tolkkinen rightly calls out the boorish behavior of the restaurant customer in a rural Minnesota establishment ("A tourist made a rural hostess cry. Don't be that guy," June 10). It is inexcusable. But without any other apparent evidence besides "his clothes and demeanor" she assumes he is from the Twin Cities and thus a perpetrator of the so-called urban-rural divide. Seriously? What kind of clothes? Talk about contributing to the divide. Did it occur to her find out where he was from before drawing this damning conclusion — perhaps some basic reporting? Does she offer any data on whether urban people are more likely to exhibit condescending behavior toward service workers than rural people? Not only is this highly unprofessional, but it merely provokes animosity. We have enough challenges getting along without this sort of needless provocation.

Ed Murphy, Minneapolis


Tolkkinen's most recent commentary was full of logical fallacies that did nothing to inform anyone of the lives of people in Battle Lake, Minn., unless, of course, she wanted us to know that people her in area hold many stereotypes about people in the nebulous "city." Surely, the editors of this paper could recognize the offensiveness of the assumptions built into the article about the lives of people in the city — particularly that anyone, anywhere, believes it is acceptable to scream at service employees. Also, I would love to know what this man was wearing that led her to believe he was from the city — I think I missed the memo about the urban uniform.

If the leadership at the Star Tribune believes that Minnesota's "city" residents need more exposure to the lives and opinions of Minnesota's "rural" residents to foster understanding, I would like to suggest paying small-town newspapers for articles those papers' editors select as representative of their respective communities. Twin Cities residents could learn about each other through actual journalism, presumably something this paper supports. Otherwise, the editors are seeking to capitalize on the rural-urban divide, not heal it. Do better.

Mary Voigt, St. Paul


Some don't get it. That's the problem.

I can't disagree with anything former Gov. Mark Dayton had to say about Donald Trump ("Read public sentiment and worry," Opinion Exchange, June 6), and I believe Dayton when he says, "I'm not astute enough to understand what about Trump causes this fanatical loyalty among his followers." Which is part of the problem.

I recently completed an audio Great Course by noted scholar Amanda H. Podany covering the rise and fall of Babylonian Empires 4,000, 6,000 and even 12,000 years ago (when my Northern European ancestors were still living in caves). There were droughts and famines contributing to the falls of these empires, but another consistent factor was the relationship of the Babylonians to their less educated (e.g., didn't even have a written language) rural neighbors, whom the Babylonians called "barbarians." The "barbarians," in turn, strongly resented the know-it-all Babylonians with their advanced technology (e.g., laws written on clay tablets).

There are parallels to our current problem. We city-folk tend to look down on the Trump loyalists in greater Minnesota and states beyond — and they react with glee at stories of our central-city struggles. Here's the thing: Our neighbors are unlikely to wake up someday thinking that we city-folk have been right all along. If we're the smart ones, a big "if," we need to figure out why they love Trump, and what we can do to address their real issues. Otherwise, the end of the empire is closer than we think.

John K. Trepp, Minneapolis


We still get to have opinions

Egads about the letter "City Council didn't create all this" from the opinion page this weekend (Readers Write, June 8). The writer made many good points, but he loses my support with the ending about "critics from the suburbs." This is a recurring theme over the past few years when the dang suburbanites have an opinion, suggested option or concern for affairs in Minneapolis. There is an opinion some hold that seems to state, "You don't live here, so you shouldn't opine." I have lived, gone to school and worked in Hennepin County for nearly 60 years. I have invested in local sports, arts and recreation in the city of Minneapolis. Previous writers have suggested/scoffed at my ilk not providing support for the Minneapolis community by "volunteering." Really? I could change my focus, but perhaps I and others are already obligated in our communities (or in other ways). I want Minneapolis (and St. Paul) to be better. Unfortunately the "critics" from those suburbs appear to not have a say in moving ahead. Sigh.

Carl Peterson, Hopkins


Double standards abound

I'm not sure there are words to describe the holier-than-thou hypocrisy found in former state Rep. Tony Jurgens' commentary on state Sen. Nicole Mitchell, but here goes ("DFL maneuvering in the Nicole Mitchell saga is contemptible," Opinion Exchange, June 10).

Mitchell is accused of a crime and a very serious one at that. As she's admitted to the substance of the accusations, I feel comfortable saying that her conduct was unbecoming of a senator, and she probably should have resigned immediately.

Jurgens is a Republican. Setting aside the obvious truth that if a Republican senator had done the exact same thing he'd be defending her staying in the Legislature while Democrats called for her resignation, Republicans are led in every conceivable way by former President Donald Trump.

Trump was recently convicted by a jury of his peers of 34 felonies, has been impeached twice, is accused of dozens of other felonies, many of which involve his attempt to violently overthrow the government. And while he is just as entitled to his day in court and all due process protections as Mitchell, Republicans have so far ... *checks notes* ... stood fully behind him, stand poised to nominate him as their presidential candidate and viciously attacked the same justice system attempting to hold him accountable for his alleged crimes as the one they're wanting to force Mitchell out of office.

So long as Republicans stand behind Trump and his efforts to return to political office, they do not have any right to attempt to be taken seriously in their attempts to shame any other political party or candidate for their actions related to unbecoming allegations.

If anything, Jurgens and all other members of that party should be deeply, truly ashamed of themselves for their behavior over the last eight years in throwing themselves behind the 34-times convicted felon and failed reality-show host who they now call their leader.

Adam Skoglund, Eden Prairie


I had to laugh at Jurgens' umbrage at the DFL's sudden abandonment of Mitchell once her vote wasn't needed for the now-adjourned session. As if the Republicans would never do such a thing!

These days, Minnesota Republicans are brimming with anger at Mitchell's alleged conduct. But at the same time, Republicans are falling all over themselves to support their presumptive candidate for president of the United States. While flattering the former president (to put it mildly; Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has compared the former president to Jesus Christ!), Republicans conveniently belittle the district attorney, jury and judge or outright ignore that the former president has actually been convicted of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records by a jury — the method this nation and our British ancestors have used to fairly try criminal defendants for nearly a thousand years. Jurgens' commentary would have merit but for the hypocrisy of his political party supporting a 34-time convicted felon for president of the United States of America.

Louis Hoffman, Minneapolis