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 V.17 No.5 | January 31 - February 6, 2008 
 

Letters

Who's More Black?

Dear Alibi,

Why aren’t Blacks offended?

Only in a Democratic debate can Barack Obama be asked a question about who would be the “first black president.” Contrary to physical evidence, in some circles, people actually feel that Bill Clinton was. Obama acted above these contentious remarks, even making a joke about it. This was his way of dealing with it, but I could see him crawling within his own skin.

This question was insensitive and bigoted. The only reason it is being brought up is because Black Americans (as a whole) allow it. I have yet to hear Black Americans rebuff the notion that a White person could “ideologically” transfigure into a Black person and, for that matter, vice versa. Some will say this is only a joke. If this happened at a Republican debate, I do not think you would hear anything but crickets in the audience.

This absurd "racial" assumption should really bother our nation's psyche. Can a person be so sympathetic to a certain race that he/she be given an honorary “racial status”? Most races would not entertain this idea and the thought of bestowing such a ridiculous notoriety to a person would be an insult to most people.

So why has this issue been perpetuated by those in the Clinton camp? It works. Look at the polls and you can see why they do it. These same advisors feel that an overwhelming numbers of Blacks will be influenced to think the Clintons are more “Black” than Barack Obama. This is nothing less than racial demagoguery and it should not be viewed as anything less than that. Where is the outrage and rancor from Black Americans?

In America, we have a diverse nation. There are many races and creeds, and we have learned to live together, even within our differences. We should spend more time on what we can change and leave things we cannot change, such as race, creed, sex and gender.

This empty rhetoric is just another example of politicians saying whatever has to be said to get votes. This entire way of thinking is wrong, deceiving and simply un-American.

Shawn Fairman

Albuquerque

Red-Light Cameras are the Devil

Dear Alibi,

They have to be the devil, because what other harsh, unfeeling sort of monster could fine an innocent, law-abiding student for turning right .19 seconds after the yellow right-turn light had disappeared in her harried frenzy to get her 8-month-old pug puppy to her vet appointment? Not even Osama bin Laden (and maybe not even George Bush) would do that. Only Martin Chavez and the rest of our illustrious city government would be Draconian enough to take $100 from an impoverished college student and her adorable pug in order to feed their slobbering, engorged political machine.

Now, of course, Martin Chavez did have a moment of clarity and saw the true evil of the cameras--albeit for the run of his brief bid for the Senate when he knew his support of the cameras would be a death knell to any votes from the constituency of Albuquerque (does our government just enjoy keeping us here in New Mexico in near Third World status by taking taxpayers' money and diverting it to slush funds stamped with names like "Meth Force"?). However, immediately after withdrawing his bid, he rejoined forces with the dark side and is now most certainly enjoying lining his coffers with the money paid for with the blood of sweet, innocent little pugs (and he says he's animal-friendly)!

These cameras are without reason, without compassion, without common sense, without humanity. Is that really the way we want our law enforcement system to be run?

Stephanie D. Porter

Albuquerque

No Crypto-Jews for You

Dear Alibi,

[Re: Gallery Preview, “Secret Lives,” Jan. 24-30] Researchers like Cary Herz spend decades stitching together obscure bits of information that are "cryptic" and ambiguous but rarely definitive. New Mexico's crypto-Jews were so secretive that even they did not know who they were. How committed to their culture were they?

The indigenous people of the New World knew a little about persecution. They suffered occupation, forced conversion, slavery and genocide. Their societies were shredded, their religion, dress, culture and language targeted for obliteration. They survived all this with their religion, language and rituals virtually intact. Now that's commitment!

There are, no doubt, some Nuevo Mexicanos of Jewish ancestry, but to base this on such flimsy and nuanced evidence is mildly pathetic. If you played with a homemade trompita (top) or swept the floor a certain way, you must be a Jew! Maybe your ancient, toothless grandmother on her deathbed said "I'm a Judio," or did she say "ay jodido"? Some claim Jewishness because of the way they butchered or lit candles on Fridays, avoided Catholic practices or because they were circumcised. There are those who have resorted to DNA analysis for proof. That would be a neat trick, except that Arabs and Sephardic Jews have virtually identical genes. The Israelis know this because they have been trying, for years, to develop a genetically specific biological weapon to kill those troublesome Palestinians.

You see, the Arabs were the dominant force in Spain for more than 700 years, and 700 years is not 15 minutes. Also, the Arab armies did not travel with women (hmm). Jews and Arabs were buddies in al-Andalus. Arab Muslims also fled the Inquisition, settled in New Spain, eschewed pork, were circumcised, recognized Friday as the Sabbath, ignored priests, and prayed before butchering an animal.

It would take minutes and an open mind, not decades, to determine that the language, poetry, architecture, music, literature, agriculture, religious rituals and folk customs in New Mexico are saturated with Native American and Arabic influence. Well, maybe more than minutes because the evidence is so voluminous. We do not need an electron microscope to know who we are.

But racism is an insidious creature. It makes people want to be something they're not. Its victims become vehicles for new manifestations of the same old disease.

Joseph Duran

Duran, N.M.

Bed Bath & Illegal Drugs

Dear Alibi,

[Re: Blog, “The Daily Word 01.25.08”] If the biggest problem facing the economy is the mortgage crisis, sending someone facing a foreclosure a cute little $300 check is a kick in the balls. They're expecting you to cash it in and take the money straight to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy throw pillows for that house you can't affrod. Fuck thatI hope everyone spends it on prostitutes and illegal drugs.

nozlkoff

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