Sept. 11 2013 09:11 AM

Our readers tell us what they think

Regarding Edwin Decker's July 24 "Sordid Tales" column about the George Zimmerman trial: You're right. Especially about "The system presses charges based on evidence and facts, and there simply was not enough, no matter how much you want there to be."

This is such a sad, sad thing. I wore a hoodie and carried Skittles for a week after this happened. You know what I found out? Many people look at you differently when you wear a hoodie—really.

So, let's blame the right thing here. The form of prejudice here is clothing prejudice. The clothing you choose to put on matters.

It's what people use to prejudge you. Put a nice suit on that gang member over there, and when I pass him on the street, I won't be thinking twice—well, maybe if he has tattoos on his face, I might wonder about his past and assume that he's doing better now than he used to.

Should we stop wearing hoodies? When you take it that far, you have to get realistic and move back into our normal land of denial. I was just reading Dan Brown (paraphrased): We live in denial so we can function. There are so many things to be afraid of—that can actually kill us— that if we didn't ignore them, we would freak out.

So, no, we should not stop wearing hoodies. But what about a hoodie handshake? We shake hands to show we aren't carrying a club. When approaching others, let's pull that hood back a bit and smile to show we are nice. Teach that to our kids—not to scare the old man trying to protect the neighborhood. Give him a sign.

Karen Orgovan, Chula Vista

Laura's Bad medicine

County supervisors wisely have not made Laura's Law the law of the county ["News," Aug. 7]. They should not.

We do have neighbors who aren't internally organized well enough to manage their affairs. They need help, and we should help them. Supervisors Dave Roberts' and Dianne Jacob's proposal to adopt Laura's Law, now moribund for a variety of reasons, is the wrong approach. It's cheap and easy for the county, damaging, even dangerous, for the target population.

It would have been helpful for CityBeat and its reporter to have included background about forcing people into treatment, to say why we stopped doing it. Our history with forced treatment is grotesque, which is why we stopped it, and there's little prospect it will be less grotesque now than it was in the past.

Some of our neighbors need help to live. We can and should help. That help, however, should be genuine help and not forced psychiatric treatment, whether disguised as the "black-robe effect" or Laura's Law or any other euphemism. Bad medicine is wrong, and forced psychiatric treatment is bad medicine.

Jim Varnadore, City Heights

Oh, the possibilities

Thank you for your Aug. 14 editorial on CicloSDias. Yes, no matter the dirty laundry, Bob Filner successfully put new issues on the table for debate among future candidates—including border issues, better biking and walking infrastructure and strong neighborhoods. And still one of my favorite accomplishments—in addition to CicloSDias—is the transformation of Plaza de Panama with some simple paint, tables and chairs. It shows us what is possible.

Kathleen Ferrier, North Park

Enlighten us, Fran

I got a good laugh from former San Diego Unified School District Board of Education member Frances O'Neill Zimmerman's Aug. 14 letter to the editor regarding the Filner scandal.

She indicates that this "witch hunt" and its "trumped-up furor" has been "clearly boughtand-paid-for by San Diego's establishment elites" but fails to provide any details.

Frances, if it's so clear, why don't you enlighten the rest of San Diego so we can all understand who is orchestrating this witch hunt? Is it former Filner ally Donna Frye? Perhaps it's the San Diego Republican Party? Could it be Doug Manchester and U-T? Have the 16-plus women who have come forward with allegations, whose ranks include a highly respected retired Navy rear admiral and university dean, been bribed by the elites? Are you suggesting all of these women are lying?

Was Filner being blackmailed by the elites into admitting that he "needs help" and that he requires "intensive and ongoing therapy" in order to correct his bad behavior? Perhaps the mayor has an evil twin who has been paid off by the elites to run amok in City Hall?

Please tell us, Frances. We're all dying to know the truth!

Richard Walker, La Jolla

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