Letters for August 17, 2017

Uniting against hate

I thank Mobilize Chico and Chico Peace and Justice Center for this past Sunday’s call to action for a demonstration held at East 20th Street and MLK Boulevard in solidarity with Charlottesville, Va.’s justice-loving and grieving people.

On May 26, a white supremacist with ties to the “alt-right” stabbed three men in Portland, killing two who had risen on a city transit train to defend two black teenage girls, one wearing a hijab. One week later, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution honoring the heroism and sacrifice of those three men. The House Republican leadership still has not allowed a vote on a similar measure.

President Trump cynically blamed “all sides” for the white supremacist terrorist attack in Charlottesville. This man, who has openly white supremacist senior staff—whose hateful tweet speech has attacked immigrants, Muslims, brown and black people, women and the press—is complicit in these murders. As is the so-called “liberal” media for beating the flames with contextless reporting of sporadic violence.

We all must work to stop the hate and fear that make this possible.

Demand Congress repudiate these organizations and individuals.

Demand Attorney General Jeff Sessions investigate and prosecute them as terrorists.

Do act. Join together here in Northern California.

Paul O’Rourke-Babb


I went (along with other Democrats) to Louisiana in 1991 to help defeat Republican David Duke’s campaign for governor. There were Republicans from many states to help the KKK leader get elected.

I stopped by Duke’s campaign office. Duke came in and introduced himself to me. He invited me to his rally nearby. At the hall, there were about 75 older white people and dozens of reporters. The KKK “mouth” roared away.

I followed him outside, as his supporters cheered. I stayed close to him, listening to his conversations with people, when a young woman stopped to talk to him. As she walked away, I heard Duke tell an aide to go get her phone number.

Last weekend, Duke was in Charlottesville, Va., at the neo-Nazi rally, stating, “We are determined to take our country back. … That’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump.” Then a 20-year-old Republican white supremacist from Ohio allegedly drove through a crowd of Americans and killed one woman.

We defeated Duke for governor (60 percent of whites in Louisiana voted for him), but tragically Duke is still here.

I want to thank the Mobilize Chico group for holding a counter rally.

Bob Mulholland


Editor’s note: Read about the local rally on page 8.

‘Brainwashed America?’

Re “LaMalfa takes a licking” (Newslines, by Ken Smith, Aug. 10):

Like many of your letter writers, I was one of the 400 people who attended Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s town hall. The booing, catcalls and many of the angry comments were relatively respectful. LaMalfa did his best to “take it on the chin.”

While listening to the angry crowd, I was grateful we live in America, and can shout our disagreement without being jailed!

Most of the attendees agreed when I disagreed and vice versa. I wondered how could this be? The next day, I got an email with some disturbing facts that answered my question. Some 1,500 newspapers, 1,100 magazines, 9,000 radio stations and 2,400 publishers are owned by six corporations with 272 executives directing 90 percent of what 277 million Americans see, hear and read! Can you say “brainwashed America”?

It’s critical that Americans question all their basic information, find at least two different trusted sources before believing anything! I use the Internet to source Judicial Watch and Heritage Foundation for corroboration before I believe anything!

Loretta Ann Torres


Editor’s note: The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank. Its director, Republican “megadonor” Rebekah Mercer, is credited with shaping Donald Trump’s transition team. Mercer is also part owner of far-right Breitbart News, which former Breitbart Executive Chair Steve Bannon, Trump’s White House chief strategist, referred to as “the platform for the alt-right.” In other words, the foundation is not an unbiased source.

Truly progressive, please

Re “Know your enemy” (Editorial, Aug. 10):

“If progressives keep misplacing aggression,” repeal and replace LaMalfa won’t happen. This reminds me of the SF Chronicle article quoting California Democratic Party strategist Bob Mulholland. Regarding the 2020 presidential election, in reference to the Democratic Party, he stated, “We don’t need bed wetters. We’ve only got room for people who believe in the party.”

I hope Bernie Sanders progressives are searching for a truly bold progressive to run against LaMalfa, someone with a bold progressive domestic and antiwar foreign policy agenda.

Democratic establishment foreign policy is exemplified by a statement by Madeleine Albright, a close adviser to Hillary Clinton, and Bill’s secretary of state. Asked by CBS reporter Leslie Stahl about the 500,000 children who died due to Iraq sanctions, Albright responded, “We think the price is worth it.”

I’d rather be called a bed wetter than be a child killer.

Democrat killer foreign policy has added $6 trillion to U.S. debt while killing millions, destroying countries and making the world less safe.

Lucy Cooke

Butte Valley

Commentary continued

Re “Confessions of a reluctant racist” (Guest comment, by Jaime O’Neill, Aug. 3):

Thank Sweet Mama Gaia for Jamie O’Neill and his public shame for being white. To his detractors, all I read in your cries against him is white male fragility. He is admitting the thing that any halfway decent white person should be feeling right now.

After the events in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend, all white people should be feeling extreme disgrace as white nationalists “sieg heil” Trump and incite and perpetrate violence in the name of their hatred and sickness, racism by no other name.

Meanwhile, our president won’t even explicitly condemn the white nationalists and neo-Nazis who are responsible for the violence. If we as white people care to redeem ourselves, we have to evaluate and own up to our privilege, confront the deep histories of oppression and violence we have carried out toward other races, and figure out how the hell to be better allies to our brothers and sisters of color now.

If you can’t admit that, if you can’t take a moment to self-reflect in the face of Jamie O’Neill’s tongue-in-cheek character assassination of white folks, perhaps you are suffering from the same sickness as the white nationalists in Charlottesville.

Megan Thomas Melly


“Nothing really shocks me anymore,” or at least that’s what I thought after the first six months of the Trump presidency. Then came Charlottesville and the violence followed by the immediate reaction by so many of the Trump supporters and the president that the anti-protesters were as much to blame for the violence as the white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Obviously they believe those supporting racial equality should have cowered and given submission to the heavily body-armored and weaponized thugs who carried banners with swastikas and wore “Make America Great Again” ball caps.

Such a short time from the elation of Obama’s first election, when crowds stood world-wide in tearful joy that America had apparently breached its racial biases, now to the darkness of a racist and militaristic regime, society and country. Like the mystery of where the malaria protozoans hide in the body before they attack again, the racists disguised themselves until they found a president who sided with them.

As a recent post on Facebook said, “Rather than a wall, America needs to build a giant mirror to reflect what we’ve become.”

I have to side with Jaime O’Neill in my shame when I observe those carrying the Nazi flags to have the same racial characteristics as me.

Dean Carrier


I was astonished to see the reaction to an editorial in which a man honestly admitted that his reaction to what he perceived as negative actions of others of his ethnic group might make him a racist. It seems to me that people had a conditioned knee-jerk-type reaction to that term and simply hated him for it instead of paying attention to what he was trying to say.

It appears to be human nature that any group has its extremists, and we should not be so PC as to make it taboo to even examine the situation, or bravely share a little self doubt. Granted, the author himself may have been somewhat extreme, but can’t we allow him that to try to see his point? We cannot learn about things by hiding from them.

Robert Andersen


Stranger than fiction

The sci-fi story about a guy who goes to sleep with a levelheaded leader in office and wakes up with a narcissistic nut case who has somehow taken his place and is plotting to blow up the world, or at least parts of his own country, all the time his ratings continuing to improve. That is the only explanation for our present situation and yet there it is. What is going on with the people of the United States? Hope I wake up soon! (Or the country does.)

Gregory Hughbanks


Isn’t it ironic?

The irony associated with the recently presented stringent immigration bill, authored by Sens. David Perdue (Georgia-R) and Tom Cotton (Arkansas-R) was not lost on me.

Perhaps Sen. Cotton is not aware that in 2014 a study by the Partnership for a New American Economy in Arkansas suggested labor shortages were increasing the reliance on imported produce and slowing economic growth in his state. The leader of national affairs for the Arkansas Farm Bureau often stated Arkansas growers can’t find enough people willing to do the back-breaking labor needed to get produce to market.

Meanwhile, evidently, Sen. Perdue has forgotten that in 2012 Georgia’s HB87, aka the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011, resulted in an agriculture labor shortage, leading to a loss of $140 million in agriculture as crops rotted in the fields. In their rush to curry favor with the president and their own closed-minded base, apparently neither of these Republican politicians has taken time to look at the history of their own state’s previous legislative proposals related to immigration and their unintended consequences.

I’m not surprised, though, based on the many misguided policies being proposed by Trump and his narrow-minded cabinet.

Roger S. Beadle


You like them apples?

Re “Letters feedback” (Letters, by Bob Evans, July 13):

Let’s see if I can help one of Trump’s “poorly educated supporters” who wrote a letter admonishing my assumption that “first-time hick voters” helped to tip the scales in the Rust Belt states to enable comrade Trump to take the White House hostage.

Twenty-year-old Ohio Trump voter James Alex Fields Jr. appears to be the epitome of the hate-mongering, Nazi-loving, white nationalist, Vanguard America, low-life scumbags that I alluded to as “first-time hick voters.” I was trying to be kind to the white racist terrorist. Was I clairvoyant or was Hillary’s warning that “Trump took hate groups to the mainstream” even more appropriate?

How does the snarky letter writer like me now?

Ray Estes



In the Aug. 3 cover story (“In plain sight,” by Evan Tuchinsky), the charge to which Alexis Franklin pleaded no contest was listed inaccurately due to incorrect wording in a press release from the District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Franklin pleaded no contest to felony pimping. The error has been corrected online. —ed.

Oaks good, crepes bad

Re “Trees and Ranger Bob” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, Aug. 3):

Please do not encourage our city to replace oak trees with crepe myrtle trees. The oaks provide much better shade, are native to the area and are longer lived. We are losing too many of our good shade trees and many of the parking lots around town are way too hot due to lack of shade.

Mark Lance


NFL fumble

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots was suspended four games—or 25 percent of the 16-game regular season schedule—for cheating. Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys is sidelined a whopping six games—or 37.5 percent of the season—for cowardly punching his former girlfriend.

So National Football League officials have now deduced that splattering a women’s beautiful face is only 12.5 percent more vile and indecent than deflating footballs. Fair enough?

Kenneth B. Keith

Los Molinos