Reader takes issue with letter writer

In response to the letter from Mrs. Mendez, I would like to start by saying that if you are here legally and you are in fact acclimated into the society, then you are an American, not a Mexican or any other nationality.

After many years of law enforcement in the Yakima Valley there is one incident that stands out in my mind in reference to this issue. As a deputy, I responded to a loud music call at Outlook school. I ended up arresting one male subject because he pulled a knife on me. After this, the other 20 to 30 people accused me of being prejudiced. I asked them how they could say that. They said because they were all Mexicans. I was dumbfounded! I asked how many of them were born in Mexico. Not one responded. I asked for a show of hands as to how many were born in America. Needless to say, they all raised their hands. I informed them we were all Americans, including the person being arrested.

Mrs. Mendez commented on Americans using passports to come and go about the earth as we please. In order to obtain a passport we must go through the proper paperwork. If we intend on going to another country, staying there indefinitely and getting a job and bringing our families to live there, then we would need more than a passport. We would then follow the procedures that country has in place to become a legal resident.

Another example…my grand-son is attending school in Sunnyside. There was a tug-of-war competition organized by the school. The Mexican flag was displayed, there were cheers and positive comments yelled from the stands. The American flag was displayed and there were boos and things thrown toward the flag.

Mrs. Mendez said that by flying the Mexican flag “in our face” shows pride in your roots. If you have so much pride in Mexico, and it being a third world country, then why are you living here? Why do so many of your people die trying to get to the U.S.?

It’s OK to know your heritage and it’s OK to be proud of your roots. It is not acceptable to disrespect the American flag and those of us who consider ourselves to be American when you are obviously here by choice, your choice or your parents’ choise. You are free to leave any time you want. If we were holding you here against your will then I could see the disrespect toward our flag.

Back in the 1700s the founding fathers decided by vote to speak English rather than French or any other language.

As far as the Native Americans go, they were conquered in war, not “kicked off their land.” We didn’t even require them to acclimate into society. Instead, we gave them reservations on which to live as they pleased. You can bet that would never happen in war today.

The Mexicans have never conquered an American state or our country, no one has, or we probably would be speaking their language.

/s/ Richard Desmarais Sr., Chewelah


Regarding the letter to the editor by S.E. Lain, my question is, who says racism isn’t alive and well in Sunnyside?

The kind of ignorance displayed in that letter reveals a ripe environment in which prejudices flourish.

First of all, the premise of the letter is wrong. May 1


was not a day for all “illegal Mexicans” to stay home from work, school and shopping. It was a day for everyone in support of immigrants, legal or not, to rally on their behalf and influence lawmakers on proposed changes in immigration policy.

If the letter writer and their family had such a great day because “illegals” weren’t blaring their music, bothering their kids at school, adding to traffic congestion, disobeying traffic laws and generally causing them an inconvenience, then I have two questions. Does Lain have special eyesight that gives her the ability to tell who’s legal and who isn’t, or is she really stereotyping, showing her prejudices and practicing racism toward a whole culture? Secondly, if May 1


went so well for her because she didn’t have to deal with a significant part of our population for one day, does that mean the rest of her year is full of daily frustration, hate

and resentment?

That’s not only sad but it’s bad for her health and that of her children, who are absorbing her distorted outlook on life.

The inconveniences she attributes to “illegals” is called life. Plain old, everyday life in a culturally diverse valley, which relies on agriculture for its economic base. Personally, I work with young migrants every day. Some have just recently arrived, others are second, third generation and beyond. I find many more positives in my experiences than negatives and I consider my life enriched.

One segment of society doesn’t have a corner on behaving badly. That’s a characteristic shared by the entire human race. If “illegals” are that distasteful to Ms. Lain, I’m sure no one will probably stand in her way if she chose to move. Or, she could prefer to stand guard on the border. I hear the Minutemen have some openings.

/s/ Joe Meersman, Sunnyside

Spreading hate

I am greatly upset with the Daily Sun News for printing such racist rhetoric as you did in Wednesday’s

paper (boycott appreciated by S.E. Lain’s letter to the editor).

Lain’s Hitler-type comments are what someone might find on a Neo-Nazi or White Supremacist website. It is a shame the Daily Sun News condones the spread of hate by printing it.

If Lain’s remarks were directed to any other ethnic group, I seriously doubt that you would have printed it.

/s/ Silbestre Hernandez, Sunnyside

Letter insulting

I am a 17-year-old student at Sunnyside High School, and my letter is in regards to the “Boycott appreciated” letter in the Daily Sun News “Forum” on May 3. I will not even begin to make judgements on this person’s class or maturity, but I will start by saying that this letter not only insulted my race and my culture, but the community as a whole. Discussing matters such as your daughter being teased, poked and sexually assaulted are not examples of “misbehaving Mexicans,” but straight out racism.

The boycott was demonstrated as a powerful movement for not just Mexicans, but all immigrants of the U.S. Although the immigration issue can become frustrating at times, I cannot believe someone would write such a letter, out of pure ignorance, for the public to see.

If the person who wrote the letter can’t appreciate the multi-cultural community we live in, then perhaps it is time they be invited to move to a more suitable and adaptable community for their family’s needs.

Please, next time you voice your opinion, think about the hard working members of the community you are humiliating.

/s/ Veronica Romero, Sunnyside


the race card

“Illegal immigration is the act of moving to or settling in another country or region, temporarily or permanently, in violation of the law or without documents permitting an immigrant to settle in that country.”

This is a definition I found on the Internet while looking up information about illegal immigrants. This definition is quite contrary to a picture I saw in a newspaper the other day, one of the immigrant protesters in Yakima, saying they were not criminals, but workers. The sad part of that statement is that they and more than 11 million people across the U.S. are indeed criminals, violating the law each and every day they are in this country illegally.

May 1 was a sad day in our country. A divisive day that will indeed come back to haunt this country. I don’t mind that people protested to voice their concerns about an issue. What I do mind is that at what expense did it come?

Where do people get off defending something that is illegal? If it is illegal, is it not against the law? What are we going to condone next?

The problem is that the race card has been played too long in this country. People are afraid to voice their concerns for an issue because someone on the other side will play the race card, instead of respecting a person’s opinion. The race card has changed the face of our country. People use it as a crutch. How many times have we heard that something is happening based on the color of a person’s skin?

But you have to give credit to those in power who play the race card to their advantage. School districts have changed the face of education based on the race card. We have quality teachers in some school districts being forced from the very jobs they are good at because they are not bilingual. We are changing the face of the curriculum in our schools to suit those who play the race card.

But it is not just those who play the race card that are to blame. Those who head our schools and city governments, as well as the federal government are to blame for these problems. These entities are rewarded for promoting racial inequality. I encourage you all to go down to your local school school district, find out how much money is doled out for the migrant programs that are offered. Go and find out what kind of federal monies cities receive for having high Hispanic populations.

From what I have gathered reading different accounts of the concerns about illegal immigration, is that there will be no one here to do the farm labor. Which is a valid concern, but like an Hispanic friend of mind told me the other day, there will always be someone who needs a job, someone who is in this country legally.

May 1 taught our children a couple of things that I would like to point out. Based on the arguments of those with concerns, it is OK to break the law. It is OK to sacrifice something such as a young child’s education to promote something that is illegal.

You tell me, what could a kindergarten student possibly know about immigration that would justify him or her missing school? You tell me why half or more of the Sunnyside School District’s 5,000-plus students were justified in missing school on Monday?

It is time we stop playing the race card in this country. Because the one thing I have learned is that those who play the race card usually have nothing else to justify what they are doing. It is a weak effort of scared people with nothing more to offer.

We need to learn to work together as a country. A country filled with people who have taken the legal steps to be residents of this great country.

Teach our children to not judge people or to not expect to be

handed things because of the color of their skin.

/s/ Michael Kantman, Sunnyside

Help make S’side a destination spot

I am a physical education teacher and coach at Sunnyside High School. I am writing in support of the athletic bond proposal from the Sunnyside School District.

The current stadium and bleacher system is out of date and unsafe. The supports for the bleachers are crumbling and failing in many areas. While the rest of the school and facilities were updated in the late 1980s, the stadium has not been improved in well over 40 years. It was moved from Lincoln School and reassembled at its current location in the 1960s.

This bond would allow us to create a brand new sports stadium, which would help make Sunnyside a destination and not just a town that is passed by to get somewhere else. The revenue from a facility like this can help in the economic growth for our town. One three-hour game could bring thousands of dollars to local businesses. We can get all of this for less than the price of a family of five going out to a sit-down dinner.

The district has also remembered the community in its plans. They will be creating a fenced-in walking path around the entire complex. This can be utilized by community members to walk or jog in a safe and beautiful area. The facility can also be used for community events or concerts.

I personally believe that this bond is a wise choice for our community. I urge everyone to support this bond and our children.

/s/ Mark Marro, Sunnyside

Service project

As a follow-up to the beautiful letter paid for by Bill Gant in the Daily Sun News, when the high school bleacher situation became apparent, the citizens of Sunnyside were made aware. The Sunnyside Lions Club offered to assist.

It was a real struggle to come up with the funds for steel and lumber, and some members even resigned, saying we went too far in this endeavor. Fortunately, other citizens joined the Lions in this financial endeavor and we proudly helped with new bleachers. With time they have declined, but at least we did a service to our community, which in time has not been recently recognized.

/s/ Dr. J.R. Hale, Sunnyside


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