MOVED TO VERSE
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the timely and informative column regarding the Lincoln High boys [“The Lincoln High boys are our children,” March 30]. As an African-American male I typically stay away from the race issue with my “white” friends because I don’t want to argue and be that black friend that’s so sensitive. I go back to Trayvon Martin, a scared child who was stalked like prey when he found himself in, literally, a life-or-death situation for “not belonging” where he belonged.
A nation would not stand united. Trayvon was not our child. He was painted as a bully and a thug. The whole ordeal was lost in a race war where the point was Trayvon is your child. Recognizing that there is a problem is huge. Thank you for using your platform to bring attention to such an important issue. When we as humans realize that we are all humans and we should treat each other equally then the healing can begin. Hopefully leading to a better world for all our children. Here’s a poem I wrote July 19, 2013, shortly after Trayvon was killed:
Trayvon is your child Wonder when the kids gonna stop dyin’
Walkin around in hoodies not even tryin’
You out at night you must be lyin’
So they watch us hard Prepare for scars
Yes, this is war
Boy shot down in front of your face
No conviction prosecutor doesn’t understand the case
Shoot first questions later so you know your place
The people will let themselves be heard a couple of months
Won’t last longer than a group of four with a couple of blunts
We speak up fast then all forgotten remember our Wall Street wants
Price is getting cheaper just Skittles and tea this time
Are you really listening or just trying to guess the rhyme
Trayvon is your child racial profiling isn’t blind
They want us to come to blows make me swear off my white friends
Want us divided so they’re pushing you as a token friendship it’s just pretend
Forget everything you’ve been through with the people that have stuck with you through day’s end Aren’t you tired of things getting worse by the day
Don’t bury your head pretty soon you won’t even have a say
Staring at a number tattooed on your skin now it’s too late you shouldn’t have looked away.
Alan Washington, Chula Vista
Excellent article [“The Lincoln High boys are our children,” March 30]! I’m incredibly impressed by your take on, and response to, the subliminal undermining of progress and sociological advancement of people of color in the United States. It is a thing of beauty to witness a white person who stands in “truth,” who is intelligent, articulate, well-written and willing to tell it like it is. Aaryn Belfer is a strong and beautiful person and may God make lots more like her.
Gene Vann, North Park
AIDING LINCOLN HIGH BOYS
I wanted to first thank Aaryn Belfer. Thank you!
You write good and insightful pieces [“The Lincoln High boys are our children,” March 30] on parts and persons of the city that people seem to ignore or maybe just don’t have reason to think about.
Secondly, I wanted to know what I could do to help those boys at Lincoln. A mistake as a teenager can leave you with a felony record that no matter what you’ve done with your life; years after the fact, the stigma is there.
I’m not sure what I could do but if they have a defense fund I could donate to it. If there is a petition to sign I could do that If there is a city council person to call or email or visit, could do that. I want to do something that prevents people who cannot legally vote or buy cigarettes even, not have felony records.
Thanks for the great articles. Keep on keeping on.
Omar Wilkins, Kensington
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
You forgot to mention that the name, Chargers, isn’t about charging down the field, nor even about a certain muscle car [“Padres v Chargers: Dawn of Injustice?,” April 6]. At the time, Barron Hilton was also a principal in the Carte Blanche credit card company; although he denies it, the name refers to plastic.
Michael-Leonard Creditor, Clairemont
CALLING FOR PRICE CONTROLS
One theory pro minimum wage increase people tout is that local buying power increases for the minimum wage crowd and thus they have a better quality of life [“Lorena Gonzalez zips into the Sacramento power lane,” March 30].
This is only temporary. I work as a bike messenger downtown, clocking 30-milesplus a day. I need to eat a decent amount, and I am about running a clean engine (no fast junk food). There are three local lunch places that have increased prices on me
recently, a percentage beyond what I used to afford. An Indian buffet I used to eat at ($9.99) went up ($11.99)—a 20 percent increase. A deli’s buffet for $11.07 went to $12.96 (prices with taxes), meaning a 17-percent increase. A market’s ceviche, which was $6.99, went up to $8.99—a 29- percent increase! My $9- to $10-an-hour increase is just 11 percent.
So am I to sacrifice quality of life and eat junk food from now on? Get fired because I do not have enough energy to work? Many will say that I should pack my own lunch and bring it to work, but these price increases are happening across the board. My wife makes $14 an hour, but the wage increase did not affect her. That means our total household spending will be reduced. So the local buying power idea is a fail.
San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria is pushing the minimum wage agenda heavily (and sometimes councilmember David Alvarez), but giving people more money is just causing inflation. We need price controls, such as rent control, tax-free sales exclusive to local citizens for buying from local to San Diego county-only business, et cetera.
Roger Leszczynski, Logan Heights