Letters for June 21, 2018

Note to a hero

Re “A welcome home?” (Newslines, by Ashiah Scharaga, June 14):

I know and admire Ron Reed. He is one of my heroes. But I believe he and others made two mistakes. The first is that he presents this as “transitional housing,” not housing. It implies that there will be transients, and assumes there will be housing to transition to. In Butte County, the state and the nation, there is a shortage of affordable housing; by design, we lack housing and mental health care. We built it that way.

The second is staff providing “crowd control.” Imagine a courtroom where the jurors got the first hour to present their ideas on how they will dispense justice, then have the victims and defendants submit their questions and objections on cards that one of the jurors will then read to the judge and witnesses for their responses. The process is insulting, makes clear that no one is there to truly listen, and the public be damned by the experts. There is no room for heart-to-heart discussion on how we all want our neighborhoods to grow and develop and our fellow humans to be cared for. Much like what I experienced at the forum on Chapmantown’s annexation.

So, if you care, make yourself comfortable. This will take a while.

Richard Roth


Take care with labels

Re “Over the rainbow” (Healthlines, by Evan Tuchinsky, June 14):

I was identified in the article as a “lesbian.” As a culture we have had significant growth, awareness and a shift in the paradigm. When I was 40 (I am close to 51 now), I overheard my roommates who were in college talking about gender issues. I approached them: “That! That! is what I would like to know about”—the word was Trans*.

Since that time I have identified as trans* or Two Spirit, as I am Native American, Cherokee, and in that part of my culture understanding both genders is valued and revered. My gender is somewhere in the middle; I have never felt female and I have no idea what it feels like to be male. I have wanted to be a “boy” as far back in my memory as I can remember, yet I have chosen not to transition, yet. I prefer the use of the pronouns they/them/their, but mostly I say just use my name, Kris; I have always said I am just Kris, and I am just a human.

Kris E. Kidd


Editor’s note: The story has been adjusted online to respect the letter writer’s identity.

Bon appétit!

Re “Touché” (Letters, by Joe Hlebica, June 14):

Joe Hlebica declared I couldn’t have been a member of his group, while knowing nothing of my life experiences; the very definition of prejudice. He promised to “eat [his] credential” if I spent “even an hour in a teacher education class.” Well, I studied for two semesters in the teacher credential program and assisted at a school for troubled teens. Care for salt?

I experienced “extreme anti-American” liberalism and common liberalism in college. Maybe Hlebica’s experience was different from mine. Maybe we perceived similar experiences differently.

Apparently, Joe McCarthy’s “He’s Communist Party” has been replaced with new Joe’s “He’s NRA!” Old tactics repackaged. “To the Central Committee. I’m am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the NRA.”

His question, “Explain the non-difference of that cause and effect,” is labored syntax, but I’ll try.

To “let” white males commit school shootings indicates a predisposition. To “make” them suggests a proactive influence. When the education system blames whites, Americans and males for the world’s woes, as it certainly does, teens so embodied may personalize the blame. Some may vent violently.

Create meaning that students can relate to in their own lives, and they will learn … even self-negatives: Educational Psychology 101.

Peter Bridge

Ord Bend

Where’s the apology?

Chico Vice Mayor Reanette Fillmer did grab me during recess at the June 5 City Council meeting. As a queer black Christian woman living in Chico, I refuse to allow my voice suppressed or my truth jaded by white privilege or discriminate journaling.

After a member of the Justice4Desmond team presented documented quotes of hate speech from members of Chico First, a verbal confrontation broke out between several Chico First members and David Phillips, father of Desmond Phillips, a 25-year-old black man murdered by Chico PD on March 17, 2017. It was during this time I was confronted by Vice Mayor Fillmer and was advised to withhold my comments and protests so that the City Council meeting could end at a reasonable hour.

After I showed Fillmer clear disgust and disregard for her advisement, I turned to walk away from her and she grabbed me on my right forearm. I deserve an apology for her blatant disregard of my rights, lack of professionalism and disrespect for boundaries. I deserve compassion for my life and my personal space to not be threatened by a white elitist in power, especially in my own community. And as a black woman, I deserve to be trusted by society.

Kat Lee


Pick a side

Two quotes:

“The FAKE NEWS media…. @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN … is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People.” Donald Trump, February 2018.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;” First Amendment, U.S. Constitution, December 1791.

Republicans! I’m curious to know, which side are you on?

Dean Carrier


Caged children

Looking back at the arc of Nazi Germany’s decline into the Holocaust, people who know the many positive characteristics of the German people (or individuals among them) have sought to identify the point at which Hitler’s administration crossed the line into abject evil. The question then becomes how and why did a seemingly good and decent citizenry not recognize that juncture.

The modern equivalent is before us now in the U.S. Any decent human should recognize it. Regardless of the answer history provides as to Nazi Germany, it is clear that 50 years hence, historians will identify the new Justice Department policy separating immigrant children from their parents in order to “gain leverage” over the battered, beaten and hopeless humans who cross our borders seeking simply protection, as this administration’s Rubicon, if the line has not already been crossed.

The fact that Trump unabashedly and without the slightest justification turns and blames his opponents, in this case “the Democrats,” for his own action just affirms the unmitigated Satanic quality of his actions. This is the point at which even his most ardent supporters, if they have any claim at morality or conscience at all, must step back and denounce him.

Norman Beecher


If you have been surprised by the daily reports of inhumane actions implemented by Mr. Trump, you have not been paying attention. He signaled the nation early as to which way the winds would be blowing in his administration, when he installed a portrait of his favorite president, Andrew Jackson. Jackson can be remembered for his heartless policies toward Native Americans, including the Trail of Tears.

Our current administration is now warehousing innocent immigrant children along our borders and unashamedly citing scripture to support its actions! Their policies toward historical friends can be characterized as illogical, condescending and insulting, while they simultaneously embrace despots.

You might ask how our policies have gone so wrong, so fast. In terms of providing insight, Mr. Trump may be a blessing in disguise. As his words and policies worsen, his appeal among Republicans continues to rise; in that sense his policies may be logical. Is his support indicative of a nation suddenly changed or is this who we really are and have always been? Perhaps Mr. Trump has shown us what kind of people we are? Maybe this is what being great again means or perhaps today is the day to decide what kind of people we want to become?

Roland Lamarine


Following the money

Emolument clause: prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives.

President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law raked in at least $82 million in outside income while serving as senior advisers to the president during 2017. A glaring highlight in Ivanka Trump’s financial disclosures is the $3.9 million she received from her stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington. One wonders what daddy made. We may never know because Trump believes the “King’s business” is nobody’s business but his own.

Ivanka has been awarded 13 trademarks in China, with another eight pending approval in the next three months. The trademarks allow her brand to market a lifetime’s worth of her company’s products in China. Meanwhile, Jared continues to use his position of power to influence foreign investments with his real estate companies. Don Jr. and Eric are cavorting around the globe selling condos and opening golf courses. Of course, daddy doesn’t know about any of this: he ignores laws, and he’s too busy counting his money.

This is criminal behavior, but is anyone surprised the Republican Congress doesn’t care? Question is, do the American people?

Roger S. Beadle


More on immigrant kids

Oh, little darling of mine

I can’t for the life of me

Remember a sadder day

I know they say let it be

Just don’t work out that way

In the course of a lifetime runs

Over and over again

No, I would not give you false hope

On this strange and mournful day

But the mother and child reunion

Is only a motion away

Oh, little darling of mine

I just can’t believe it’s so

Though it seems strange to say

I’ve never been laid so low

Such a mysterious way

And the course of a lifetime runs

Over and over again …

Oh, the mother and child reunion

Is only a motion away …

—Paul Simon “Mother and Child Reunion”

Kenneth B. Keith

Los Molinos

When reporters in Brownsville, Texas, visited 1,500 children sheltered in an old Walmart, the guard told them to smile at the kids because: “they feel like animals locked up in cages being looked at.” One reporter noted that “effectively, these kids are incarcerated.”

What a horror show. The visceral pain they must feel reminds me of the movie Sophie’s Choice. Which child lives, which dies? Or today—where are you taking my child? Today, a Latina migrant woman (Sofia?) has no choice but to flee her country because of gangs, persecution or domestic abuse, then her children are taken away indefinitely? One father committed suicide in his cell after being separated from his son. Many women search for their children for months.

Incarcerated migrant children will have a lifetime of trauma. The United Nations recently stated that “separating children from migrant families entering the United States violates their rights and international law.” This U.S. president and his Republican enablers rip apart families, break international law, and shred the very definition of what it means to be an American. Keep migrant families together. Otherwise, there is no “America.”

Ed Schilling