On Urban Journal's "The State of the Union in the Age of Trump": I know things are unacceptably dark right now. But I'm disgusted at the ultra-negative tone your latest Urban Journal took. According to that editorial, we might as well all commit suicide, because there's no hope. Trump might as well be dictator, our world is officially now a living hell, and there is nothing we can do to change it.
I thought the media were supposed to inspire us to fight back against Trump. To inspire us to make a difference and change things. This is what the media should do, not tell us to sit down and take it because everything we will do is in vain. No hope? It's the media's job to find hope. Not shove hopelessness so far down our throats that we're not motivated to do anything.
Are you really going to let the Trump regime kill your fighting spirit? Are you going to let them win for eternity? Because I'm not. I don't have the resources to move to another country and run away from the problems we face. I have no choice but to stay and fight. And you have a responsibility to your readers to do the same.
Our Hispanic farmworkers
Our white innocence and ignorance allows certain members of our population to be excluded, denied, and vilified. When our government codifies adverse language to describe a population, carte blanche is offered to the rest of us to use those terms of law – illegal aliens and the other common epithets – to demonize, segregate, and imprison.
My Hispanic students run into the dehumanizing efforts of our government whenever they have forms to complete, because they are always asked about their race. Their race is excluded on the forms; to complete the forms, they must declare themselves "white." And yet not only are racial slurs hurled at them, not only are they excluded from our "white" society, but they are also racially profiled by law enforcement officers who are ready to remove brown-skinned "white people" from the society of real white people.
President Obama performed what can only be described as a racial pogrom against the Hispanic population in a failed attempt to gain favor with the Republican white majority. He continued to be revered by the Hispanic community as he begged for social justice, all the while deporting on average 1000 Hispanics every day for six years. It was not until the deportation machine was lead by the Trump administration that the Hispanic community feared for their lives.
And the result? The federal government says that half of all 2.6 million farmworkers are undocumented, unskilled, and of little value to our country. Forty percent of the 12 million undocumented people overstayed their visas. Most of them are not Hispanic; they are considered "white" and are therefore not generally hunted down by federal agents and local police.
Whose children are depressed, repressed, and oppressed? Who is afraid to go to Walmart or the laundromat or to school events? Whose children are taught to look over their shoulder as they get off the school bus to be sure they are not being followed? Who are socially isolated, fearful, and living in darkened homes with the shades pulled so no one knows they are there?
A regional leader of the New York State Police once said to me, "If we see a brown-skinned person driving in Wayne County, we assume he is a farmworker and therefore is an illegal." A teacher said to one of my Hispanic students, "It is too bad you were born in that family." A farmworker whose brand new chain saw was leaking gas down his leg was told by the store owner, "That's what it is supposed to do." As my godson was being detained, the ICE agents told me quite indignantly, "We don't need to show him a warrant for his arrest."
JOHN L. GHERTNER
Supporting the police
On the issue of community-police relations, I believe that we should support the police and their very difficult job they do every day. Each of us pays 8 cents on the dollar to pay for the services they offer. And they put their lives on the line, as has been demonstrated within the past several weeks.
To those who have been trying to brand our news organizations as "Fake News": Fake news is saying Ted Cruz's father played a part in the JFK assassination. Fake news is saying Barack Obama was not born in the US on the grounds of zero evidence (even still questioning it after a birth certificate was released.) Fake news is saying the murder rate in the US is the highest it has been in 47 years.
Fake news is stating that over three million people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election on the grounds of zero evidence. Fake news is saying climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese in an effort to diminish US manufacturing. Fake news is saying that Donald Trump was wiretapped by Barack Obama during the presidential campaign. Fake news is saying that this president is the worst treated politician in history.
These are examples of "fake news," and they were not said by the media, they were said by the current president of the United States. Please stop trying to silence or discredit voices who do disagree with you, and that goes for you as well, Mr. President.