Letters for May 31, 2018
Why Tom McClintock Needs to Go
At a town hall in Mariposa, I asked Tom McClintock if the current president had the emotional and intellectual ability to lead our nation. He replied that the president was doing a “superlative job.” A few weeks later, I watched as McClintock denied human-caused climate change, denied a tearful DREAMer a pathway to citizenship, and denied a young cancer victim certainty regarding medical care. Like others, I vowed that McClintock must also be denied, and that I would spend the next year and a half making certain that in 2018 he and his fellow Republicans would lose both their seats and the majority in Congress.
How do we balance economic well-being with environmental sustainability? How do we solve conflicts over water and timber and food production—not to mention freedom of speech, international relations and the marginalization and persecution of various subcultures? And how do we continue to welcome the diverse population that has grown and improved our country for hundreds of years, while assuring we can provide the basic rights of healthcare, education, adequate employment and affordable housing to all? I believe the only way to protect human rights and achieve environmental sustainability, and reverse the path of the current administration, is to change the balance of power in Congress. This can only be achieved by educating and engaging voters, and working alongside other progressive activists to get out the vote, and out-vote Republicans. Through November 6, my time and energy will be focused on this singular goal.
Who owns culture?
Re “About that Hobo Johnson protest” by Ngaio Bealum (Essay, May 24):
It is spectacular that people committed time to protest Hobo Johnson for rapping. The cause is confounding. Is there a handbook for this concept of “Cultural Appropriation”? We all need to know what else is prohibited. I’ve started a list: 1) Oak Park residency for certain people; 2) rap for certain people…what else is out of bounds? Someone in-the-know needs to get busy penning the “California Official Manual of Appropriate and Inappropriate Cultural Appropriation.” Or perhaps there is only inappropriate “cultural appropriation?” Should Hawaiians immediately toss out their appropriated ancient-Egyptian flip-flops—someone among the protesters must know the answer. If I correctly interpret the protesters’ intent, only Europeans should play Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria” on cello. Did these people pin on a fascinator and protest Sheku’s “cultural appropriation” of 1800’s European culture at Prince Harry’s wedding? Were they up at 1 a.m. shouting at the telly? Art is freedom of expression so why not let Hobo be Hobo and Sheku be Sheku? And if a person wants to live in Oak Park, shouldn’t the option be open to them? At least while it’s still a free country, and before the manual is published?
Welcome to Capitalism
Re “The rent control elections” by Scott Thomas Anderson (News, May 24):
If rent control discourages building, it only discourages building unaffordable housing. Isn’t this a form of builders’ blackmail? We won’t build for this community unless we get the money we dictate. Unfortunately the building boom going on with our infrastructure, including the arena, is seen by the real estate market as a cash cow.