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Opinion

Readers React: Stop trying to turn ‘Los Angeles’ into a free-speech argument

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A view of the downtown Los Angeles skyline from Griffith Observatory on July 1.
( Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Those who cite sectarian U.S. city names as an example of why it is problematic to banish art that offends, like the San Francisco mural depicting the life of George Washington, are apparently confused why there is no movement to change these names.

Officially pronounced “Las AN-ju-less,” the name of Los Angeles has become entirely secularized, in sharp contrast to the Latin cross that was removed from the county seal after a groundswell of denouncements. Also, much harm was done by those Spanish missionaries who were out to found a theocracy, not a democratic government.

Yes, George Washington did have slaves, but his vision for a nation where everyone is equal before the law was quite enlightened for its time, especially compared to those who believed that the natives were all wretched sinners who could only be saved by a god who supposedly made them this way to begin with.

Arthur D. Wahl, Port Hueneme

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To the editor: What a fabulously intelligent reply to the controversy over the George Washington mural from Karen Scott Browdy of Fillmore.

Hiding history or art does not teach us anything. Half of all art would be gone from the planet if we destroyed what we didn’t like.

This refreshing letter has boosted my faith in my community.

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Patricia Mace, Los Angeles

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