9-5-13 Waconia Patriot Letters to the Editor

Letter didn’t meet paper’s goal to better community

To the editor:

I was saddened as I read the Aug. 29, 2013 Patriot to find no mention of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. M.L. King’s “I have A Dream” speech.
The only item in the paper on race relations that day was an objectionable letter to the editor from Joe Polunc of Cologne. My main reason for writing and the issue I would like to address is to ask that you keep to the standards you print each week in the paper for letters to the editor. Included in your statement is, “We encourage all people to write letters to the editor as a way of communicating ideas and opinions to make this a better community for all people. Please be courteous in your letters and make the attempt to offer opinions that will be constructive rather than destructive only in nature.” Offensive statements are destructive rather than constructive.
How do you as the editor square the above statement “make this a better place for all people” with letters that offend and devalue members of our community?
One example of many offensive statements from Mr. Polunc in his letter is, “Instead of having the economic and social guidance of parents, black youths have been taught to rely on the surrogate government for their economic well being and the gang/rap culture for their socialization. Poorly educated with no guidance has resulted in a cultural subset of moral depravity and barbarism!”
This statement by Mr. Polunc does not reflect my experience with the “black youth” of Carver County. I don’t think his statements help make Carver County “a better place for all people,” nor does it reflect my experience with the “rap/gang” culture.
Thousands of youth across the country, including the youth from the church I serve in Waconia, have been enriched by the music of the rapper from Minneapolis who goes by the name of Agape’ which is a Biblical Greek word for love. Agape’ whose real name is Dave Scherer raps about love and making a positive difference in the world.
Our church recently did a joint mission trip with a “gang” from north Minneapolis. Actually, it was the youth group from Redeemer Lutheran Church in north Minneapolis. A great group of African American youth who, in contrast to Mr. Polunc’s statement above are well educated and definitely not morally depraved or barbaric.
Everyone has the right to their opinions. You have the right as editor to refuse to print opinions that do not help make this a better place for all people or are more destructive that constructive. I hope you will exercise that right and maintain your good standards.

Rev. Dale R. Peterson
Senior Pastor
Faith Evangelical Lutheran
Church, Waconia