Suffer the children
I am so very grateful for your July 9 editorial, which spoke truthfully and, given today's absurd political climate, courageously. Score one for kindness, compassion and human dignity. Thank you, CityBeat. Your voice cheered me during these moments of despair about the mean-spiritedness of some elements of our society.
And would someone please draw a cartoon showing the parallel between the St. Louis, the ship that was turned away from our shores and consequently delivered Jewish children into the hands of Nazis during World War II, and the turning away of these buses?
I have interviewed many asylum seekers and, in my experience, no one comes here leaving their loved ones unless it's truly a last resort. (And I've only spoken with adults.)
Those speaking against the process itself seem to have the idea that papers permitting residency are handed out like candy. It's an arduous and grueling legal path that's very difficult to get through. The government does due diligence, and then some, in turning away those whose cases are not rock-solid. I'd like to ask the protesters: Would your ancestors have passed this criteria for getting in?
And if any of those protesters consider themselves Christians, have they heard the words "Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me"?
I'd appreciate it if the paper and other media outlets could let the public know where and how to express support for these children seeking safety in our land.
Nicola Ranson, Leucadia
Sad time for Murrieta
Regarding your July 9 editorial about the immigration protests: I never thought I'd be ashamed to live someplace. As a five-year resident of Murrieta, I am now. I'm not only ashamed but embarrassed.
This town is filled with big churches, and I suspect that many of the protesters consider themselves good Christians. But I have to wonder what Jesus would have done. Somehow I don't see him out there with a hateful face, screaming at the top of his lungs, waving a flag. In my mind, if he'd been there, he'd have had open arms. He may not have solved the problem long-term, but for the short term, he'd have been the paragon of hope, love, compassion and acceptance. Why can't you Christians walk the walk? Shame on you. You can't do it anymore than the other religions of the world can do it, so don't feel too bad. Politics first, beliefs last. Hipocracy most of all.
I am neither a minority, young nor religious. My roots are small-town Midwestern. My dad and three uncles were World War II veterans, and my husband is a retired Vietnam veteran. For those who would, don't challenge my loyalty to this country or call me names, left or right.
I always believed that what we did to the Native Americans, Japanese Americans, Chinese workers and other ethnic minorities was born of ignorance, fear and greed. It was a time in our history when people lived off rumor rather than facts, were more isolated and, for the most part, uneducated. It's all a shameful part of our history, in spite of the fact that we have one of the most well-written Constitutions with amendments in the world.
Where are we now? Did we learn anything? No. Nothing at all has changed, if one takes the actions of a few people in Murrieta. We still see the ignorant, fearful and greedy. But now they hide behind the American flag. Rumor thrives and feeds rumors. The uneducated still rule?
How disappointing that some humans haven't moved up the ladder of understanding and compassion, including our mayor and City Council. They were supposed to be our leaders—I guess they led. They had the power to calm and diffuse and are paid to handle "situations," not create them. Forget the shouldas and couldas; they just didn't.
So, it's not just the protesters I'm ashamed of. It is also city officials. They have put a black mark on this community and sent us forth to the nation as racists, fearful, ignorant, small-minded, without compassion and right-winged.
And the really sad thing is that no matter what good things happen here from now on, it's very unlikely that national media will ever pick up on it.
We will forever be known as the California town that chased away two busloads of immigrant women and children. How very shameful. Or am I the only one?
Connie Hannah, Murrieta Mesa
Treat people right
Thank you for your July 9 editorial on the Murrieta spectacle!
This piece certainly provokes the mind and will generate a conversation that needs to happen. It's awful to know that I live in a country that protests against immigrants when we are a country of immigrants.
You're right that most of these immigrants are escaping poverty and other things that our country doesn't stand for (or does it?). I hope that our country will come to a decision that will resemble our country's moral and ethics to treat our neighbors and strangers justly and respectfully.
Adrian Calderon, Normal Heights
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