Letters for July 28, 2016

Lest we forget

Re “The long road ahead,” Cover story, by Fania Davis, July 21:

In response to Fania Davis’ thoughtful and engaging piece on the need for Restorative Justice through a Peace and Reconciliation process, let us not believe that a uniquely insidious form of American racism does not exist in Chico. Sadly, it is alive, well, and exemplified by my 19-year-old African-American niece’s most recent experience: being called the “N” word by someone driving by as she walked her dog on The Esplanade last week. I use the term “recent” because this slur has been directed at her on several other occasions, again shouted by individuals who do not know her, who somehow feel free to speak what once was considered unspeakable. But legitimizing offensive, vile, and hurtful rhetoric by the Republican candidate for president has taken such language to a new level of unacceptability and has, in part, been the impetus for much of the unrest now spreading across this country.

My niece is intelligent, thoughtful, funny, and kind. She is one of the sweetest individuals I know … even if I am her aunt! But the pain she suffers when accosted by strangers hurling such invectives is deeply saddening and disturbing. I would like to have thought that Chico was better than this, but such examples in our community—one that, on the surface, appears to be welcoming and inclusive—should give us pause. Until we openly and thoughtfully address issues of race and economic disparity through community awareness, we will continue to be part of the problem, a problem not reflected as a pretty picture. Rather, the picture is fraught with ugliness, ill-will, and potential violence.

Marianne Werner


Mutual respect

Re “About guns and the Constitution,” Guest comment, by Dean Carrier, July 21):

I support both the Constitution and the NRA, and see no conflict. The court has ruled several times that the Second Amendment gives individual citizens the right to bear arms. I don’t believe that modern-day weapon owners are concerned about government tyranny and expect to battle our military forces with rifles and shotguns. But, it’s nice to know that we have the right to protect ourselves and loved ones in the event of our homes being invaded by an intruder.

Some in our government, President Obama and Hillary Clinton to name a couple, would like to take away that right if they could. The majority of weapon owners, I believe, would stay in their homes and let law enforcement and/or military forces cope with the situation. Many responsible citizens these days own weapons for target practice and hunting purposes, rather than the expectation of taking arms against authorities. I support the right of the guest commenter to not own any weapons, but ask him to respect my right to own weapons in accordance with our Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Maurice Picard


Which clunker?

Why do I get the feeling that I’m at the Mulholland Auto Mart, with a salesman named “Bob”?

There are only two cars on the lot: A Trumpywagon, with loose steering, no brakes, bull horns bolted to the hood, a nice aftermarket “coal roller,” a built-in slot machine and wicked-ish flame graphics dancing down the quarter panels.

Then there’s a Hillarymobile: the Liberal Limousine model, with a nasty pull to the right—especially when Palestinians are on the sidewalk. Seems the Hillary is a salvage car with a bent frame, an old stained dress in the backseat and a sociopath named Henry Kissinger in the trunk. It’s a “steamer,” burning bales of Wall Street cash—and it gets terrible mileage. But, screw all that, it’s got a nice pink paint job and some sweet rainbow upholstery.

Bob tells me the Hillary is a sweet ride—what a deal.

I think I’d rather walk.

Patrick Newman


Bad track record

A brief history of walls: There was a wall at Jericho, sure stopped the Hebrew invasion. Hadrian put up a wall to keep Britain in the Roman Empire—good job of that! Chinese built a wall against Northern barbarian types, Genghis Khan said, “Nice try!” and then slaughtered his opposition. The communists built a wall to keep freedom out of Berlin and it’s doing just swell, right? Donald Trump and his gang want walls on the U.S. borders so we will stay white, pure and Christian forever and ever, Amen. To that I say “Hah-hah-hah!” Pink Floyd had the best advice: “Tear Down the Wall” (but Trumpsters do need education, won’t take it).

James Mielke


Not amused

Re “Important questions” (Letters, by Patrick Newman, July 21):

As a twice-now survivor of melanoma, I was disgusted but not surprised by Patrick Newman’s referring to Melania Trump as “Melanoma Rump”: A tolerant and accepting liberal striving to be humorous will always start in the gutter and strive no higher. Cancer is not a funny subject, Mr. Newman, and neither are you. It is a disease not to be wished even upon a snarky bitch such as yourself. Have a nice day.

P.S.: Get thee to a dermatologist.

John Henry Lyons


Not cruel and unusual

Re “More cop talk,” Letters, by Nathan Esplanade, July 14

Nathan Esplanade writes “… unless police are put in a situation of ‘kill or be killed,’ they’re arguably bound to capture even known murderers alive.” Is anyone that naive? A military-trained active shooter has killed five officers and plans to kill more, and you want to read him his Miranda rights? The police officers did what they are trained to do: Protect your butt!

To suggest tasers or tranquilizer darts via robot is nonsense. And to even suggest that it was “cruel and unusual punishment” is completely ignoring and demeaning the cruelty of Micah Johnson butchering five husbands and fathers while they were just doing their job. He was the criminal. How would you feel if you were shopping in downtown Chico and some nutcase walked up and shot your wife dead and then aimed at your kids?

Would you want to take him alive or advise him of his rights?

Frank Dodini

Butte County

Review busted

Re “Booooooo,” Film review, by Bob Grimm, July 21:

I am glad that my teenage daughter dragged me to see the new Ghostbusters movie before reading your review, because it might have prevented me from seeing it. I was thoroughly entertained and was laughing from beginning to end. Maybe it is my simple sense of humor that found Kate McKinnon’s performance so hilarious. Maybe it is because I am a woman that I found a movie with strong, educated female characters saving the day so appealing.

Sharon Kaplan


I take serious issue with Bob Grimm’s review of the new Ghostbusters film now playing in theaters. I think his review exhibits the same patriarchal values the new Ghostbusters are up against in this reboot. His main issue seems to be that the film was unfunny to him as he must have expected it to be a laugh-out-loud comedy. (For the record, I thought it was plenty smart and funny.)

The new Ghostbusters have to contend with gaslighting and discreditation within their academic community (hmm, sounds like an all-too-familiar feminist theme is emerging…) and then the political system and entire populace of their city at large. They forge together and follow their hearts and minds to work toward their common goal despite all the naysayers and machinations of the city and national government to shut them down (sisterhood is powerful, y’all) and … I won’t go on so no need for a spoiler alert.

Perhaps Mr. Grimm was viewing Ghostbusters with too narrow a patriarchal lens.

Megan Thomas Melly