The March 30 Sunday Arts list of organizations that believe they should have museums in Washington [“Which museums show real promise?”] was alarming. Most of the groups represented by proposed museums on the list (women, Latinos, gay people, Irish Americans, “the melting pot”) are part of the broader American story, and their stories should be told by the Museum of American History. Why not let that museum use the Arts and Industries Building, pick two subjects from the list, do nine-month exhibitions of each, rotate them out and exhibit another two?
Betty Stacey, McLean
I take issue with Dan Gamber’s April 2 letter, “What the Mall is missing: Shame,” for suggesting that the Holocaust was “a European story.” The Holocaust was a failure to act on a global scale. We failed in the West to prevent the slaughter of millions. We could have done something sooner to prevent the devastation that would wreck havoc across the globe.
As for whether more museums are needed on the Mall, I say it is time to stop erecting monuments to what was and do something about people in need today.
Michael J. Rice, Alexandria
Dan Gamber left out the treatment of Irish immigrants. Last I checked, half of them qualified as the “white Anglo-Saxon males” whom Mr. Gamber asserted are the only group that has been exempt from bigotry in the United States.
Mr. Gamber mentioned genocide and discrimination, but we have come a long way. The birth of a nation, like any birth, is painful. Our forefathers lived in different times. But a shame museum? Glorifying the worst in a country serves only to perpetuate hate. I, for one, am proud to live in the greatest country ever conceived. The museums on the Mall are and should be a testament to what’s good about this nation.
H. Michael Smith, Ashburn