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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Teach our children to not judge people or to not expect to
handed things because of the color of
/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
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
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