Letters to the Editor: Don’t attack people for speaking Russian. That should go without saying

Protesters in Vilnius, Lithuania, carry a giant Ukrainian flag in a demonstration against Russia's attack on Ukraine.
Protesters in Vilnius, Lithuania, carry a giant Ukrainian flag in a demonstration against Russia’s attack on Ukraine on March 11.
(Mindaugas Kulbis / Associated Press)

To the editor: Thank you for publishing Ruth Madievsky’s op-ed article on the hate and threats directed at Russian speakers in the U.S. after the invasion of Ukraine. Speaking Russian does not indicate support for President Vladimir Putin or his killing of Ukrainians.

This should be so obvious, yet many Americans sadly think it heroic to attack without thinking, reminiscent of attacks on Sikhs and others deemed to be Arab after Sept. 11, 2001.

Last week I met a woman who spoke with a captivating accent. Since I do not ask “where are you from,” I said to her, “I bet you speak more than one language.” She smiled and nodded.


When I asked how many, she replied Lithuanian, because she is from Lithuania; Russian, because learning it was mandatory since Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union; and some French.

I could not help but think that the horrific murder and destruction taking place in Ukraine made the portion of her reply about speaking Russian sound apologetic.

Jana K. Shaker, Pebble Beach, Calif.


To the editor: This op-ed article illustrates how the lack of critical thinking skills permeates our society. When former President Trump kept saying “China virus,” stupid people began attacking any Asian they could find.

Thinking people would realize that immigrants from repressive countries are not the enemy. They came here for the same reason our ancestors did.

It reminds me of an old saying: “If you think education is expensive, you should try ignorance.”


Michael Schaller, Temple City