April 3, 2009

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Público

Bea Estrada tribute appreciated

What a beautiful tribute to Bea Estrada in your Editorial : Bea Estrada a hero amongst us, dated March 20, 2009.

I grew up in the same neighborhood as Bea’s family in the late 40’s. Her sister Frances and I were good friends... I wish I could have known her in her later years... she sounds to have been a wonderful spirited person....The world needs more people like Bea... What a beautiful legacy she leaves behind... something her family must be very proud of.

Thank you for the beautiful Editorial

Irene Mendez-Tello

Retraction, NCWA has not taken a position on Prop. A

Re: “Chula Vista’s Prop. A means fewer jobs and more local businesses closing”, by Ed Herrera published March 27.

It has come to my attention that you may have inadvertently included NWCA (Northwest Civic Association) as having a position of No on Proposition A.

We as a board have not voted nor taken a formal position (Yes or No) on this ballot measure. In January we the NWCA Board voted against having a General Election for a Sales Tax Increase, but have not voted for or against this Ballot Measure.

As we are having an educational/informational General Meeting on April 13th on Proposition A, we need to convey to our membership that we have not made a decision on this issue and that we are still accepting and providing information on Proposition A.

I would appreciate it if you would send a retraction of your inclusion of NWCA as being against Proposition A.

If you would like to share your any information/opinions/views on Proposition A, I can arrange for you to be one of the panelist at our April 13th Meeting, please let me know.

Ken Wright

American drug consumption, could that be the problem?

Re: “In war on drugs, Mexico success is our misfortune” published March 17.

This is rebuttal to the article. It is not enough that Mexican president Calderon is bending over backwards to fight eh American drug problem in Mexico/U.S. border-towns. Now ungrateful America and its media re claiming border violence may spread into the U.S. Any drug violence in America is America’s own doing and self-contained by white distributors and pushers; the drug traffickers of America. Is this Mexico’s fault? Did Mexico force citizens of this country into demanding trillions of dollars in drugs? Who is the drug magnet of the world attracting drugs from all over the world? Drugs are pouring into the United States from all over the world through Canada, Mexico, the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans; from China, Japan, Russia, Vietnam, Filipines, and yes, even Iraq and Iran vialland, air, water, submarine, and carrier pigeon. Everybody wants a piece of the American drug market pie. Am I imagining things? I don’t think so!

Any U.S. violence is America’s own making irrelevant of Mexico. You might say the ‘American people have created a drug problem for both countries.’ You might also say “the U.S. love affair with drugs is Mexico’s misfortune.”

Edward Castor
Chula Vista

We should be protecting American interest

Re: Stop The Raids! published March 6.

I have read your editorial about immigration problem. Your side is you are against the US law which authorized raids of workplace.

Every nation on earth whether it’s communist, Muslim nations, dictatorial, and democratic forms of government are strictly not allowing illegal aliens enter their nations especially taking away jobs from their citizens. The US is very lenient about this problem and totally mismanaged.

Majority or average Americans that includes Caucasuans, Blacks, Asians, and Middle Eastern people all favor the strict enforcements of immigration laws.

As a responsible newspaper you should protect the interest of the United States and not those law breakers.

Gerry Gonzales
San Diego

Joaquin Murrieta, a Bandit, Emilano Zapata and Pancho Villa, Outlaws?

A recent SD Union editorial (March 31, 2009) entitled “Mexico’s Deadly Homage” stated that, “Mexico has had a long fascination with the rogue, the rebel, the outlaw, and when the United States conquered half of Mexico in the name of Manifest Destiny, Mexicans put their hopes for revenge in scofflaws such as Joaquin Murrieta, a California bandit,” and, “ about 60 years later, during the Mexican Revolution, people rallied around a pair of outlaw insurgents: Emilano Zapata and Pancho Villa.”

After reading the editorial many in the Chicano community were outraged at the insult to the memory of Joaquin Murrieta, Emilano Zapata and Pancho Villa; three revered historical figures of Mexican/Chicano history.

· Joaquin Murrieta: California history is that Murrieta was driven to seek revenge after the theft of his land (Manifest Destiny), after he was horsewhipped, due to his brother being falsely accused of stealing a mule, and after his young wife gang raped and murdered!

· General Emilano Zapata (from the South of Mexico) and General Francisco “Pancho” Villa (from the North), were the great revolutionary of the 1910 revolution that were martyred in their struggle to end the feudal system of Dictator, Porfirio Díaz, who ruled Mexico for thirty-five long years (1876-1911). Zapata’s cry of, “Better to die on your feet, then live on your knees” and, “Tierra o Libertad,” and Villa’s “struggle for the poor, agrarian reform, and military genius” are to this day revered by many in Mexico and the U.S..

Historically, the SD Union’s editorial is not the first time that Mexican revolutionary heroes have been slandered and used for ulterior reasons, nor is it the first time the Chicano community has had to confront this issue.

In 1970 the Elgin Watch Company ran a national ad, showing Zapata over a faded photograph. The ad recounting a story how he threatened to execute any railroad conductor or engineer who thought to keep Zapata’s guerrillas from stealing his regulation Elgin watch by wearing a cheaper variety on his wrist. “It’s a good thing Zapata’s gone,” the ad concluded. “He’d be stealing Elgins as fast as we could make them.” (Time Magazine, 1970)

Thirty-nine years later the SD Union again has raised the issue of slandering and using Mexican heroes for ulterior reasons. The editorial assertion that national historical hero: Murrieta, Zapata and Villa were scofflaws, bandits, and outlaws are a slap in the face to our peoples history and to the historical roles and contributions that Murrieta, Zapata and Villa were martyred for. In accusing Murrieta, Zapata and Villa of being on the same level as drug traffickers, and part of criminal pop culture the SD Union has crossed the line. The editorials is an affront to the national honor, and an insult to the intelligence of persons of Mexican ancestry on both side of the U.S./Mexico border that honor and respect the memory of Murrieta, Zapata and Villa.

In their slanting of history, the SD Union’s editorial professionally got but one historical fact correct, “the United States conquered half of Mexico in the name of Manifest Destiny.”

In my opinion, the SD Union’s total lack of understanding and ignorance of Mexican history appears to be as “deadly” as the drug war that it editorialized about. After reading the editorial, and having witnessed (for four decades) the SD Union’s lack of coverage of issues affecting the Chicano community, I understand why there was rejoicing in the Chicano community when the SD Union announced it had been sold!

There is an old Mexican saying that states, “The reason we are able to stand proud and tall is because we are standing on the shoulders of nuestros antepasados, our ancestors.” Murrieta, Zapata and Villa were martyred so our people could live in justice and dignity. It is now our turn to defend their honor. We urge everyone to protest to the SD Union e-mail letters@uniontrib.com by stating that their editorial is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

In closing, the question is, if we as a people do not care or say nothing about the insult to the memory of Murrieta, Zapata and Villa, who will?

Herman Baca
Committee on Chicano Rights

Editor’s note: It is our policy not to run letters that address other newspaper’s editorial positions. In this instance we received several letters addressing the UT editorial and many phone calls asking what we are going to do about the editorial. Normally we would suggest they write to the newspaper that published the editorial. In this case due to the high level of concern we choose to run Herman Baca’s letter as a reflection of the community’s concern and outrage.

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