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Embrace humanity

In my social studies class we were recently learning about immigration and the three most common complaints: immigrants are taking our jobs because they will work for lower wages, don’t speak English and bring in crime. Current events lesson?

No, it was from 1840! Hmm. What does this say about our society? My students and I pondered over this and I believe the community should, too.

The immigration issue is causing people to begin to play the “race card,” and each side is as guilty as the other. It saddened me to see a small group of students walk out of school holding a Mexican flag because this issue is about becoming American, not the forcing of relinquishing your culture and heritage. These students could have made a better, more pro-active statement by writing letters to our congressmen/women. But, it also saddened me to see the letter to the editor by S.E. Lain.

One side was guilty of not truly understanding the issue and acting impulsively, but the other is guilty of much worse—racism. It’s a fact that children are taught to hate, so I shudder at the thought that the vile bigotry that poured out of Lain’s letter at the community pour into the ears of the children of that household daily.

Hmm. Why haven’t sentiments against immigrants changed much over the last 166 years? Now is the time to do something about it. Review both arguments for the proposed immigration bill, for and against. Educate yourselves on the issue fully before acting emotionally. Truly listen to each other.

I love this community and I want us to respect one another. Let’s be good examples for our children.

Let’s embrace humanity.

/s/ Rebecca Rodriguez, Sunnyside

Everyone

deserves a chance

While reading S.E. Lain’s letter putting down other people for being rude and disrespectful, I was reminded of some rude and disrespectful people I’ve had to come across.

Several years ago I was the janitor at our mall. I can never forget one of the rudest people. When I was cleaning the window on one of the entrance doors, here comes a woman with a frown on her face, staring straight at me cleaning the door. She pushed the door open on me and still frowning like I was doing something wrong, like she was so much better than me. There were three other doors she could have walked through.

Do you think this woman was Hispanic or Native American? No! She was a blonde, white woman, an American woman, who thought she had every right to treat a working, fellow American that way.

I’m also reminded of the time, several years ago, when I was asked to sing at a chamber of commerce banquet. The woman who asked me must have thought she asked my beautiful daughter, Charlotte, to come and sing. When I arrived at the banquet to set up to sing, the woman informed me that I would have to sit in the bar to eat. I was shocked and saddened. My guest and I looked at each other and said, “No way.” We found us a place at one of the tables. In all my years of performing in public I had never been told I’d have to sit in the bar away from the banquet.

And the blonde who pushed the door open on me? I see her sometimes, don’t know her name, but she still has that frown. Remember, you are no better than anyone.

Everyone deserves a chance.

As for the rude people in other cars, whoa, watch out for some of your fellow American, white people drivers.

/s/ Debbie Skinner, Sunnyside

May 1 boycott

an important day

I just want to thank all the people who were involved in organizing and helping with the May 1

st

boycott.

I am truly grateful and happy to have seen all the police departments from different cities cooperate with directing the traffic at the intersections with patience and goodwill. I also want to thank all the radio stations, TV stations and newspaper reporters for documenting and informing people of such an important day.

I am happy to see that people can unite together and hopefully accomplish the goal that we all set out for.

Once again, thank you all for your support.

/s/ Llesenia Ramos, Sunnyside

Taxes high enough

What a bad time for a protest! But I have found that people who don’t appreciate what they have, often do have bad timing.

On Monday, May 1, we had 50 percent of the students from the high school walk out in protest about immigration issues. I think there were the same percentages in the middle school and elementary schools, as well.

At a time when there is a bond before the taxpayers asking for money for sports programs in the district, half of the students (with parents’ permission?) have made a bold statement of what they think of America and our community.

Let’s think about it. Of the students in the district, could we say that 50 percent of them have parents who are illegal sympathizers? Could it be even higher? And what percentage of these parents are homeowners, and would be paying taxes on this bond issue? And what percentage of students are involved in sports? Is it 10 percent? And of those students involved in sports, could the same percentages be applied? Why are the taxpayers of Sunnyside being asked to give yet another free ride to those residing in the district who don’t pay into the tax base?

I, for one, am tired of handouts! If the schools want new sporting facilities, let’s impound all the entitlement money that is given each day to the illegal residents of this community. The money spent on medical care, food, housing, cars and so on. It wouldn’t take very long to pay for the improvements that the district wants.

Perhaps it would be better to offer us a bond that would promote academic advancements in the district. I think we could then offer a required course called “Famous Sayings.” Here are a few questions that should be on the test—for a pass/fail grade, tell me who said these words: 1) I fear perhaps we have awoken the sleeping giant; 2) Never look a gift horse in the mouth; 3) Don’t bite the hand that feeds you?

My taxes are high enough. Taxation without representation is over in America. Send me a bond improving the academic standards of this district, and I will vote for it. My children would be well represented there.

Good luck.

/s/ Brent Cleghorn, Sunnyside

Support for bond

I am writing to express my support for the Sunnyside Athletic Facilities Bond that is pending. The WIAA Executive Board is always looking for quality sites to host WIAA events.

The proposed athletic complex in Sunnyside would provide an opportunity for the WIAA to hold playoff football and soccer events. The combination of the proposed new complex and the professional, service-minded staff of the Sunnyside School District would provide a viable opportunity for all WIAA member schools, which would translate into a positive impact for the Sunnyside community.

I urge members of the Sunnyside community to support the bond.

/s/ Mike Colbrese, Executive Director, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association

Discrimination

Marching for what you believe, regardless of whether others think it to be a worthy cause, is beside the point.

I would first like to say that not all immigrants are Mexican, and to target a race in such an abrasive and ignorant manner is an uninformed lack of justice and ethics.

Next, I would like to point out that to judge a child is a very unforgiving act on the part of the one judging. Who’s to say they are a certain way, and since it is very unlikely that one knows every illegal Mexican child, you cannot generalize in such a demeaning manner. Don’t turn this into a war on race, but open your minds and see it for what it is.

Example is the strongest teacher, I would hope no person would wish to rear and lead their children in hate. While I do not particularly agree with either side’s arguments, I have my own opinion, but it does not promote hate or discrimination.

Next time you look in the mirror or are asked to describe the assets pertaining to the content of your character, I highly doubt one would refer to oneself as a kind and thoughtful white or Mexican human being. It would be wise in the future to judge a person’s character by the contents there of, rather than distinguishing them by their race.

We are genetically 99 percent alike. I guess the other 1 percent is ignorance.

/s/ Rachael Wagner, Sunnyside

The race card?

While it is very easy to point out the illegality in immigration, it is difficult to put a different perspective on this issue. Michael Kantman points out the obvious fact, that “illegal immigration is just that – illegal,” in his forum letter on May 5.

Mr. Kantman, was the fact that it was illegal for Rosa Parks to sit in a white man’s seat make it a justifiable crime? Did the fact that desegregation was illegal make it justifiable? Or maybe you can point out the fact that if I would have been born at the beginning of the 20

th

Century I would have been a criminal if I tried to vote, because being a woman with rights was just as much a crime as it is to be an illegal immigrant today.

If you do remember history, you may see the pattern that the U.S. has on creating oppressive laws that make criminals out of otherwise law abiding, hard working and respectful people.

It’s funny that Mr. Kantman mentions race in his statements about May 1

st

. May 1

st

was not about one race playing the race card. It was about human rights. What parents were teaching their children was that all people deserve human basic rights without being demeaned, regardless of their race.

Why does Mr. Kantman feel that he is entitled to basic human rights and not others? The hypocrisy is that we live in a country that frowns on dictators and fascists and goes to war in the name of spreading humanity. Yet, we are debating whether to grant basic human rights to millions of people, knowing that criminalizing them or “kicking them all out” determines ill fates of hopelessness, hunger and deprivation.

Mr. Kantman also goes on to point out how much money is spent on migrant programs, as if it were money being misused. Is it the fact that the government is funding people in need that bothers you, or the fact that most of these people are Mexican? These issues are not about race. They are class issues that are created for opportunity for people in low socio-economic situations.

Mr. Kantman, when did being bilingual become a race issue? To my knowledge, universities have required foreign language studies for longer than the rise in the Spanish-speaking population. Are illegal immigrants to blame for that, too, and if so what race are you talking about? Bilingual education comes in all forms, and is not to cater to a specific race, but is intended on teaching students to become productive members of a diverse world.

Lastly, Mr. Kantman says that people are demanding to be handed things based on the color of their skin. What people, Mr. Kantman? Mexicans? Asians? Russians? African Americans? You are the only one who finds something wrong with millions of people asking to work and provide for their families. You are the one who points out that unqualified people in high positions are using the race card to get there. However, an overwhelming majority of people in Congress, CEO positions and administrative positions are Caucasian. Are they, too, playing the race card to their advantage?

Although Mr. Kantman’s letter is not as blunt as S.E. Lain’s, his message is the same and he fails to see how he is blaming problems on people’s races.

As a Caucasian Mr. Kantman has the right to say who is entitled to be respected, have education and opportunity. And of course, because of where you were born, you are entitled to play the race card.

/s/ Monica Sanchez, Cheney

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