Two letters go over the line
In the course of two days, I read two letters to the editor that have left me in shock. The writers opined of their disappointment regarding the presidential election. This, of course, is to be expected in an opinion section – and the disappointment is shared by many. However, both authors have used the election as a vehicle to lament about the destruction of society in extraordinary demonstrations of prejudice and racially-tinged anger.
Raymond Krasko's letter “Who will pay for socialist lifestyle?” (Dec. 12) begins, “To the single females, all young voters, African-Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Asians and others – congratulations on your victorious election.”
He wags his finger at African Americans telling them Dr. King “died to get your father's equality and you voted it away.” He then tells Latino voters that their parents “went through hell sneaking in the country” (under the assumption that all immigration is illegal I suppose) and scolds Asians Americans for getting “free education” and wanting the country to become China (you know, because all Asians are Chinese).
Throughout his letter, Krasko shows his contempt for these uppity groups who dared to exercise their right to vote. The purpose of his letter is clear – to express his opinion that minorities are destroying this country.
The next day, Gene Lemon's “Good reason for concern for nation” states that in the last 50 years “our values have changed, and not for the better” (despite the fact that 1950s were not very kind to many ethnic and culture groups, of course).
Who does Lemon blame? Hispanics and blacks. Pointing out their preference for Obama obtained in exit polls, he accuses African Americans and Hispanics of “just trying to protect their ‘freebies' at the expense of those who work hard every day.”
He then accuses blacks of reverse discrimination because they didn't vote for Romney and Hispanics of being “more concerned about the plight of illegals than they are about the country.” Lastly, he accuses his favorite racial targets of lacking values and morality, noting babies born to unwed women have gone up “over 70 percent among blacks and over 50 percent among Hispanics.” Where did he get these statistics? Over what amount of time? Was he more concerned with his message than substance?
It certainly is not fair to stereotype blacks and Hispanics as lazy and immoral. While Lemon's letter begins like many previous letters, it shifts course midway to turn into a prejudicial rant against Hispanics and blacks. If letters and viewpoints like this were acceptable 50 years ago, then America has certainly changed for the better.
Yuma County is a wonderful place of diversity and harmony. It is a community of hard working and humble people white, black, Hispanic, or otherwise. I think most of my fellow citizens would condemn both of these outrageous letters and agree such vitriol does not deserve a place in our community.