Letters for September 30, 2010

Letter of the week
Covering of the body

Re “My hijab” by Zahida Mehirdel (SN&R Essay, September 23):

First of all, a great thank you to [SN&R] for publishing this wonderful article. Hopefully this will shed some light on the misconception of why Muslim women wear hijab. I personally have been touched by this fantastic article. I think the writer has done a superb job covering all aspects of hijab stipulations.

One of the major misconceptions about the hijab (covering of the body except the face and hands) is that women are forced by their parents or by male family members, which is not true. I think she has described the secondary reasons very well, which is: Women must cover, so they will be evaluated for their intelligence and skills instead of looks and sexuality.

Riga Dawood

Not convinced

Re “My hijab” by Zahida Mehirdel (SN&R Essay, September 23):

Wearing woven materials on particular body parts to become closer to God seems pretty easy. I’m not convinced.

Gayle Kelly
via e-mail

Failure all around

Re “State of emergency” by Amy Yannello (SN&R Frontlines, September 16):

Yet another example of a failed state, a failed system and a failed general population here in Sacramento that allows it own homeless domestic refugees to suffer without medical care. All of us must share the blame.

We need to put pressure on medical institutions and professionals to help meet medical needs of poor people. Plus, actively participate in general elections so we get good compassionate representatives on governing bodies to address these core social issues.

Naturally, medical care is a human right. The Amerikan Empire is spending billions on foreign wars, and we neglect our own people here now inside the United States. This is not an irrelevant issue; all core social issues are interconnected with each other. As always, the Almighty Dollar is the bottom line.

Peter S. Lopez

Change the premise on homelessness

Re “State of emergency” by Amy Yannello (SN&R Frontlines, September 16):

It appears to me that the underlying suppositions that drive our philosophy of how we handle the homeless haven’t changed in over 50 years. We still insist that these guys could go out and get a job and make something of themselves if they really wanted to.

I live out here in Arden Arcade, and I give to the homeless out here near Howe and El Camino [avenues]. These guys, in their 40s and 50s, will never work again. There is not enough work for even able-bodied 20-year-old kids anymore in the casual labor market.

Let’s be honest here. Nobody wants to hire these guys, period. They are worse off than the Hindu “untouchable” caste. Therefore, since they have been tossed unto the trash heap of humanity, let us not pretend and continue to hold the long-since proven invalid supposition that they could go out and get a job if they wanted to.

Thomas E. Nicolette

Co-op has boycott process

Re “No matzo, no peace” by Lien Hoang (SN&R Frontlines, September 16):

Last June, several Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op owners filed a request with the board’s policy committee to boycott products made in Israel. The Co-op’s boycott policy requires that the policy committee launch a three-month investigation of the boycott request.

As part of this procedure, the policy also requires that we provide materials on the proposed boycott to owners. To that end, a binder with information on the proposal will soon be available at the customer-service desk in the store. Additionally, information will be made available on the Co-op’s website and our Facebook page.

At the end of the 90-day period, the policy committee will review the materials gathered during the investigation and bring the findings to the board of directors for action.

To comment on this issue, please visit the Co-op’s Facebook page (http://tinyurl.com/snfc-proposed-boycott) or fill out a comment card in the store (1900 Alhambra Boulevard, Sacramento).

Michelle Reynolds
Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op

board member

Quips and charged language

Re “No matzo, no peace” by Lien Hoang (SN&R Frontlines, September 16):

[SN&R contributor] Lien Hoang has mastered quips and emotionally charged language, but needs improvement in providing complete and accurate information.

Example one: Hoang cites a letter from state Sen. Darrell Steinberg opposing the boycott because it would “delegitimize and demonize Israel.” She failed to mention Steinberg’s double standard about boycotts. He supports a California employee pension fund boycott of made-in-Arizona [products] because of Arizona’s recent passage of racist, anti-immigrant laws. Yet he doesn’t support the Co-op boycott of made-in-Israel [products], despite Israel’s decades-long systematic and comprehensive violation of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

Example two: [The sub-headline] states that “Sacramento Natural Food Co-op debates Palestine politics.” No one is debating Palestinian politics; the issue is Israel’s well-documented violations of international law and human rights.

Example three: Hoang writes about a “war of symbols” and about “matzo.” The proposed boycott is about neither of these things. It is about the Co-op adhering to its own principles and standards of providing products that promote “the environmental health of the planet” and “maintain the long-range health of the global community.” Importing products from an apartheid state halfway around the world is antithetical to both these goals.

Paulette Cuilla

More monthly activities!

Re “Before the murder” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, September 16) and“Last Saturday” (SN&R Editorial, September 16):

Put the art back in Second Saturday Art Walk!

The problem is that the powers that be allowed this monthly event to get away from its essence: art. While art encompasses many media, at one time local galleries opened their doors for Second Saturday. Now boutiques, restaurants, salons and other venues are open to “show art” and boost business.

Perhaps the city should focus on First Saturdays for restaurant and pub crawls; Third Saturdays for boutiques and local fashion designers, Fourth Friday for the music scene. This little city needs more monthly activities besides Second Saturday.

Amber King-Betancourt

Description, not disrespect

Re “Before the murder” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, September 16):

I’m writing to express my frustration with SN&R. Specifically, in the article about the shooting at Second Saturday, the writer refers to an African-American young lady as a “black girl,” and other young people as “black” rather than African-American. Conversely, when referring to a Caucasian person, he is referred to as a “tall blond kid from Wilton.”

Clearly, there’s an issue of appropriate regard, identification, and/or sensitivity towards one ethnic group in contrast to another. Simply put, this article is written in a very offensive manner. The last thing readers of this article need to feel is disrespected or neglected in terms of race.

I would be able to digest it better if the “tall blond kid” was mentioned as the “tall white kid,” or if the “black girl” was described as an “African-American” or “brown-haired” or “curly-headed” kid. Do you understand my point?

I’m very displeased with the lack of oversight and professionalism given to this article. Please take note and insure that, moving forward, tact is used.

Eric Estep
Elk Grove

Doesn’t make sense for Cal Expo

Re “Keep your eye on the ball” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Feature, September 9):

Why would Cal Expo sell or lease their existing property and develop it for future income, only to give away most of the proceeds? Why would Natomas want a fairgrounds that brings livestock odor and flies to their neighborhood? (They should spend some time in the vicinity of Cal Expo after the fair!) Why would Cal Expo want an arena that will never meet the needs of the exposition buildings? Would Cal Expo give up $2 million a year in racing proceeds?

Cal Expo would be far ahead to use all of the proceeds to build a new facility to meet their future needs.

Robert Lewis