Letters to the Editor

American problems are not Russia’s business

It is my sense that opinions ought to be based on experience, research and critical thinking. My opinion on the president-elect Trump and Putin-Russian “relationship” is based on the above ideals.

Back in the 1970s I won a fellowship to live and do some special education presentations in Russia. However, I lay no claim to being an expert on Russia because of my six-week stay. Even though Russia was an ally of the USA during World War II, I do not trust or endorse American presidents seeming to be so trustworthy of Russia. I prefer the President Reagan stance in terms of USA-Russian relations during the Cold War.

During the time our academic team worked closely with our Russian colleagues, our passports were held “hostage” by Russian officers. We were even told to not lock our luggage in our hotel rooms so it could always be inspected by Russian officers. We were followed everywhere we went.

I was often challenged by Russian colleagues and others as to how I, as a black American, could be loyal to America in the light of the bigotry and the way black people were denied equal opportunities in the USA. My answer was always that my presence on the USA academic team was proof that even though race relations are not all they should be, that in America there are hard-won laws that protect the rights of American citizens.

I appreciate our progress, but more needs to be done in USA race relations. I do not appreciate the Trump-Putin-Russian relationship, or Russian hackers who are accused of messing with USA elections by using cyber bully techniques. I believe they did it. I stand with President Obama in his sanctioning Russia.

Meanwhile somebody ought to sanction Illinois Gov. Rauner, who plans to use $50 million of his own many millions to fund his re-election while Illinois is still in a budget impasse, causing suffering among us, agencies closing, schools needing funding and more. While Obama is in a sanctioning stance, perhaps he ought to “sanction” the governor and state legislature about the the budget plight in his home state of Illinois. But American elections, budget woes and other problems are not Russia’s business.

Katie Harper Wright, East St. Louis