To Edwin Decker, regarding your Feb. 19 "Sordid Tales," column, "The killing of Demetrius": Thank you for having the courage and the balls to stand up and write the truth.
Black History Month usually depresses me because we often are reminded of how little has changed. No, there are no lynchings or unchecked brutality, but "The apartment is already rented," "That position has already been filled" or "I'm sorry, we're not excepting any more applications" are statements that are alive and well.
The discrimination you speak of is rampant-it's just slicker, undercover and more sophisticated in order to avoid lawsuits. How ironic it is that? White Americans alternately cringe and tire of hearing about the racism that they themselves perpetrate and sustain. It's been said that the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.
Demetrius DuBose was just one of many. That's why some black people rioted after the Rodney King decision. We thought, now they have proof, now the world has finally seen the nightmare we know and the horror we live. Now the cops will be convicted. That's why we supported O.J. We knew he was guilty, but also we knew the depths of depravity the legal system was capable of. After all, if they make the law, can't they change, modify or massage it whenever they want? Of course they can. O.J. just did what Klaus von Buelow and many before him had done. After all, in America you have as many rights as you have dollars. There is not an adult black person in America that has not been called a nigger. This includes Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
I recently read From Selma to Sorrow by Mary Stanton. It is the story of Viola Liuozzo, an Italian-American wife and mother of five who was murdered by the KKK in the Birmingham voter registration drive of the mid '60s. Although she was the victim, she was vilified, defamed and slandered. She was called a communist, a whore and a dope fiend, and that was just the beginning. Of course, it started with the cops, but it spread to all of the newspapers and media. If you are familiar with her story, of how the cops changed their reports, lied and covered up just to save themselves, then you'll understand why I've said that nothing has changed.
I am not a racist. I have an interracial family and a biracial son. I have white, black, Christian and Muslim in my own family. I pray and work for the day when other fathers won't have to instruct their sons about what to do when pulled over for "driving while black."
Of course, society expects the one who is wronged to cry "foul," but it is more powerful when white people or people in the media such as yourself speak out against the injustice. It is more important when white people tell other white people that these injustices will not be tolerated. Evil will run rampant if good men sit by and do nothing. Please continue to speak out. Thank you for your voice.
Re: your editorial supporting the seals in La Jolla [Feb. 26]. Screw the seals!
Children's Pool was built way back when to establish a safe cove for human use. I didn't grow up in La Jolla and never lived there, but I did work there and enjoyed the "pool" each summer for years. Also enjoyable was watching the seals lounging on the rock outcroppings and swimming nearby. The pool was being used at that time as it was intended-for the human citizens of San Diego.
Also, screw the Marine Mammal Protection Act!
The seals began invading the human space, and some nerds who never swam or dived off Children's Pool or dived off the breakwater with an appropriate tide got all fuzzy watching seals on the beach, and here we are. Let's boot their little fannies out of the pool, and do it now.
For gratification, the nerds can go to our "world-famous" zoo and get their jollies there looking at cutesy animals.
The miles and miles of inaccessible beaches and rock outcroppings around La Jolla would again be inhabited by the seals. Then the thousands of San Diego's citizens for whom Children's Pool was built could again enjoy it.
This does pose a question: does anyone else besides me get just a little-no, very-pissed at everything in our society being changed and altered to appease the 5 percent who don't like what they see, what is being done, or who in most cases don't have a clue?
Recently, I was unlucky enough to see public debates on policy at their worst-the fate of the seal population at the Children's Pool in La Jolla.
The arguments against the seals consisted of a dozen or so septuagenarians waxing on about how things are different than they used to be and should be put back to the way they remember them (they even brought photos to guide the retrofitting). Or avid divers that are actually distressed that they may have to swim a bit to get to the marine landscape in front of the Casa lifeguard station rather than entering directly from that beach (what are fins and snorkels for?). Perhaps I should have been swayed by the children who can't learn to swim now that 200 feet of La Jolla beach is off limits. And I almost forgot the claims that La Jolla will be the next site for Jaws (discredited by a Scripps biologist at the end of the meeting). In other words, all emotional anecdotes!
I learned to swim at the YMCA in Chicago that has since been converted into a strip mall (I don't remember my parents making me picket the mall). At least the La Jolla kids can take the opportunity to learn about nature from the circumstances that displaced them.
On the factual side, it is a public beach and the Marine Mammal Protection Act does just what the name implies-despite the cry for La Jolla secession to solve the matter, the MMPA is federal, my fellow San Diegans. The hoity-toity residents of La Jolla who feel their entire existence has been blocked from further advancement by these seals should take stock in their lives and their ability to enjoy every other foot of beach at their disposal (pun intended).
Perhaps the only valid point raised at this meeting is when does this population of seals exceed its natural carrying capacity? I would suggest a panel of marine biologists to determine this rather than leave it up to the laypersons I witnessed at this meeting.
Finally, noticeably absent were the La Jolla merchants who stand to lose business from the estimated 80,000 visitors that come to view and admire the seals each month. Does the almighty dollar not even have a say in La Jolla?