The opening paragraph in your recent cover story mentions systemic racism, which is not true of this country or city ("Crisis care beyond cops," June 17). There are individuals that are racists, and that is true with people of all color. But the systemic racism claims are reverse racism.

The statistics on police brutality are also a straw man argument. More whites than Blacks are killed by police, yet it's not even in the conversation. Also, the brutality numbers are extremely rare. None should happen, but what is going on now with defunding and accusing most police of being racist or bad is unfounded and doing more harm to the country.

I live in a neighborhood in Springfield that recently had frequent visits from the police. There were some mental health issues, but a police officer was needed, as that sometimes goes violent and armed police with handcuffs are required.

There is a subtle, and sometime not so subtle, message that says most white people are racist and most Black people are victims. The facts don't support that, and it's frustrating to see people buying into that mindset.

Steve Guikema

Michael Burlingame may be a respected author and scholar, but he's had it in for Mary Todd Lincoln for years. I have no desire to read this new book ("House divided," June 24). He's always portrayed Mary as difficult and insane, which she was not.

Garret Moffett

In Illinois, we are privileged enough to have some of the most diverse natural areas in the United States, while also supporting an agricultural industry that is a cornerstone of our state's economy. I have had the fortune to live in Sangamon County for almost 32 years, and I recognize that if future generations are to have the same access and opportunities afforded to me that we must heed the call to protect the natural resources which make Illinois so unique.

That's why I was so encouraged to see President Joe Biden's America the Beautiful plan, which he announced just recently. It includes a refreshingly ambitious approach to tackle our climate crisis, prevent further mass species extinction, and restore natural areas. By conserving 30% land and water (commonly referred to as 30x30), creating a national clean energy economy and creating millions of jobs, this campaign moves us closer to an America in which people and planet coexist in a sustainable manner.

The science is clear: conserving and restoring natural areas is an effective strategy to buffer against the worst impacts of climate change. Illinois depends on the natural systems that provide our food, clean air and fresh drinking water, and are the source of our well-being and economic security.

That is why the Illinois Environmental Council has joined over 300 groups from 45 states and territories to pledge our support for the national effort to conserve 30% of U.S. lands, waters and ocean by 2030. We stand alongside zoos and aquariums, scientists, environmental justice advocates, agricultural leaders, outdoor recreation businesses, faith groups, land trusts, conservation organizations and many others working to help steward, restore and conserve nature.

This ambitious and inclusive vision for conservation, which has gained the support of President Biden and his administration, is an opportunity for our state to address the environmental inequities of the past while laying the groundwork for a future that supports natural resource access for every citizen in Illinois.

Please join us in working to ensure that nature's benefits are accessible to everyone in Springfield, Sangamon County and the entire state of Illinois and are safeguarded for generations to come. Urge your local leaders to publicly support this important effort to conserve 30x30.

Eliot Clay,
Illinois Environmental Council

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