Colin Kaepernick, Parkland Survivors and Cardi B: Guests Our Readers Would Invite to the State of the Union

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CreditTaylor Glascock for The New York Times

Jussie Smollett because he was singled out as a victim in a hate crime combining hatred of his skin color with hatred of his sexual orientation. I’d like to draw attention to the unacceptable hatred that is seething in this country.

— Jim Arnold, Los Angeles

I would invite Jussie Smollett as a concrete, human reminder that racism and homophobia are alive and well in our country and have violent consequences for L.G.T.B.Q. people of color. Feeling safe on the streets should not be a privilege. It should be a right, one that is defended vehemently by the president at all times for all people.

— Trish Vawter, Portland, Ore.

Ruth Etzel, the former director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Children’s Health Protection and a world-renowned expert on environmental health, whom the Trump administration placed on administrative leave with pay.

Dr. Etzel’s team was getting ready to release new, stricter lead guidelines to protect children. Children will continue to suffer.

— Kathy King, Stillwater, Minn.

I would invite one of the people who have been unjustly placed in prison for decades and have had their verdicts overturned because of the work of the Equal Justice Initiative, so they could see, face-to-face, the people who appoint federal judges and who have sworn to work for justice in our country.

— Barbara Ann Brothers, Staunton, Va.

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CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times

I would invite Christine Blasey Ford because she had great courage, and I know she was telling the truth. She stood up to power and still does. She is a true hero.

— Christine Williams, San Jose, Calif.

I cannot fathom the strength it takes to tell the entire world about something as deeply personal as sexual assault. She gave a voice to people everywhere who have faced abuse at the hands of those in power, and because of that she is an American hero.

— Emerson Ellis, Austin, Tex.


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