In regard to the Feb. 12-18 edition of El Machete [Re: Toons, Eric Garcia], it very much disturbs me to see a one-legged Native American being asked to jump through the flaming hoops of bureaucracy when Native Americans already have free health care, as they should. But even more disturbing is the white Uncle Sam holding the fiery hoop, when in fact it should be Obama. C'mon, Machete, get it right!
No Color But American
After reading the article in the Alibi by Gene Grant titled "Red, White and Black" [Re: Feature, Feb. 5-11], I became very sad and angry.
The students who decided Obama really isn't African-American because his ancestors weren't slaves should stop and think. His father was from Africa and his mother was white American. Who more can be called African-American? Most of the people who call themselves black are actually no more black than they are a mixture of several other races.
They're like the Jewish people who still cry about the Holocaust and say "poor me." Abraham Lincoln, the president so looked up to by African-Americans, set the slaves free as a political move only. At the same time he told his generals in the West to exterminate the Indians or bring them under control by any means necessary. Being of Native American and Irish heritage, how do you think I feel about him? Wasn't he a sweetheart?
The truth is Americans are a mixture of every racial and ethnic background. It's what we are and what Obama has tried to point out. Until a person can look at someone else and just say "he's a man or she's a woman" without feeling the need to point out color, we will always have problems.
I'm in my 60s and have seen and been part of a lot of changes. I can only hope that by the time my children and grandchildren are my age, people can look at each other and not see any color but American.
Gene Grant’s article “Red, White and Black” [Re: Feature, Feb. 5-11] was a deeply moving and inspirational write-up. What a wake-up call to any American who wants a future that is free from a violent backlash resulting from the frustration of those of us who have been deeply wronged by other groups of Americans without satisfactory corrections being made.
What to do with the anger is as important an issue as the economy, poverty, abuse of power, health care, war or any other. It’s my feeling that this issue is going to burn quietly until it is properly addressed by us. It’s not going to go away. Our ancestors won’t let it. And it’s going to explode in our faces if we don’t deal with it soon. Like, today.
I’m 62 years old and white. I’m a poor business owner with enough of an education and entrepreneurial spirit that I can probably make it in this kind and brutal world. But I have anger issues with some whites who don’t have a clue about where we all come from and have the power to shape the future to suit their narrow-minded ignorance. I have anger issues at narrow-minded ignorance about our history, period. We are all ignorant in some way. Ignorance can be corrected. A narrow mind is useless and hurtful. It doesn’t take in any information that doesn’t agree with its own point of view, so its intellectual choices are uninformed and sometimes dangerous. Narrow minds of every race proliferate today, and the media perpetuates them.
Now history may well repeat itself because we haven’t learned its lessons.
Although I’ve come to believe that narrow-minded ignorance is with us for the duration (these people most likely aren’t going to change), I have ideas on how to at least heal the frustration of this gap on an individual level and so balance this anger. And I’m not talking about More New Age White Voodoo Denial “healing.”
I would like to share these ideas with my black brothers and sisters, but I’ve been alienated from them by geographics. With e-mail this has changed, and if I can somehow network with people like Mr. Grant, Dr. Coleman and Dr. Martin, I would love that. Please share my e-mail (privately) with them and any others that may want to dialogue and share their own ideas on this vital and pressing issue.
Thank you, Mr. Grant, and thank you, Alibi, for a great and ever-so-timely article! You do that now and then, and it keeps me interested in you.
No More Nukes
As a taxpayer, I am angered that the Senate version of the economic stimulus plan includes $1 billion in funding for the National Nuclear Safety Administration, which oversees the U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure.
The economic stimulus plan is meant to create jobs and spur economic recovery, which is why I hope my senators and representatives will work to remove the $1 billion in wasteful nuclear weapons spending from the bill.
Throwing taxpayers' money at the nuclear weapons complex is an ineffective way to spur economic growth and create jobs at a time when the unemployment rate is 7.6 percent.
How is it that senators concerned about the price tag of the roughly $800 billion plan negotiated billions in cuts from education aid and school construction but kept $1 billion in funding for nuclear weapons infrastructure? President Obama has pledged to set a goal of a “world without nuclear weapons” and pursue it.
News outlets have reported that he is interested in working with Russia to drastically reduce the stockpiles of both countries. Investing $1 billion in atomic weapons infrastructure now just doesn't make sense. We also need to listen more than ever to the words of the late John Lennon when he said, "Give Peace a Chance." Most important, without more education funding and school construction spending, how's this nation going to survive (especially militarily)? Refusing to invest in educating our children is pennywise and pound foolish. Please think about it.
B. Thomas Diener
A Peace Action West Supporter
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