October 13, 2000

The Public Forum .... El Foro Publico

Saving Monty Montezuma?

If the Nazis won WWII and, a few hundred years later, named a sports team the Jews, I'm sure folks of that day will say they're celebrating a proud heritage and that they're helping people learn about a long forgotten civilization. I'm also sure a few Jewish descendants, who have assimilated into the dominant culture, would also agree that the symbolism is a majestic honor ("we're proud they haven't forgotten about our people").

For information's sake I am an African American. There is an article in Today's Union-Tribune about the unveiling of a statue of a famous Civil War General in a predominantly black neighborhood in Selma Alabama. He was a founder of the Klu Klux Klan. This is the type of insensitivity that people of color live with, daily, in this country.

The real issue is the insensitivity of the usurper over the usurped. Today some folks are celebrating Columbus Day. Does the pro-Aztec camp feel this holiday is also an honored cultural tradition? Was Columbus a discoverer or just the First European to set foot in the Caribbean? Or can you discover someone who is already there?

If we (The U.S.) are really about inclusion and equality, then we must attack European Cultural Domination of the mind. The descendants of the usurpers cannot forever claim ownership of the cultural icons of the usurped.

Migrant attacks in North County; driving while Black or Brown; racial profiling; white folks locking their car doors when black folks pull alongside them at a stop light; being followed around in KMART and a host of other societal ills will never be disposed of in the ash heap of history as long as people disrespect the wishes of the cultural underclass's in the U.S. - I don't say America because people in South and Central America consider themselves to live in America as well (it's in the name).

Folks in this country need to lose the arrogance ingrained in our cultural heritage of feeling attacked when legitimate criticisms are raised about our sorry past.

Think! It's not illegal yet.

Donny Dailey
San Diego

Is anyone out there listening?

Front page news: "A $500,000 ad campaign targets trustee Zimmerman" (10/10-U-T). Does that mean that we can now look forward to more in-depth reporting on what's really going on in San Diego City public schools-from all the press? How the future of our school children is now up for public bid?

On one side we have Mr. Alan Bersin and his well-paid puppets: Messrs. Ottinger, Lopez, and Ms. Braun and Dubick-all of whom have been given a virtual blank check against the deep pockets of John Moores, John Walton, Irwin Jacobs, and the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. On the other side, we have Fran Zimmerman, Tanja McCoy, Augie Castille, teachers, parents, and well-informed voters of this city-all of whom have only two things going for them: truth and the ballet box.

And all those Bersin fellow-travelers who have been insisting since January that those who oppose the superintendent are "anti-reform" have finally been exposed. Now the undeniable truth is out there for all to see. It's all about the money. It's always been about the money. Hard-headed businessmen like John Moores, John Walton, and Irwin Jacobs do not pony-up checks for $100,000 unless there's a payoff on the back side. Where is it? Check out the real estate and construction deals in the pipeline to be decided by the school board after the November elections. Check out the questionable management of the Prop MM funds-$1.5 billion with interest accruing every day.

My prayer is that all the press of Southern California has the guts to continue exposing the sale of the San Diego City Schools to the highest bidder. This is too important a story to leave in the hands of those who would like to get this story out of the way well before the elections and then work on damage control. Over $500, 000 dollars for a city school board race? Who speaks for the children and their needs?

Mike MacCarthy
San Diego

American Muslims waiting for justice

Hello, My name is Nora Biltagi. I'm 18 and live in Corona Hills, California. There are over seven million American Muslims who more than 1.2 million votes. However, as American Muslims we are quiet concerned citizens who have been waiting for justice in the holy land.

Why has there been little to no reaction and concern to the recent Israeli murder of Palestinian children and adults in Occupied Jerusalem, the West bank and Gaza? The conflicts have left over 82 dead, and more than 2,000 injured many of whom are in critical conditions, which made other countries offer immediate humanitarian medical assistance. While Palestinians can only defend themselves with stones, the Israeli brutal military uses American guns, tear gas, tanks and missiles to terrorize an entire civilian population. The recent Israeli aggression on the Holy site of Al-Haram Al-Sharif and the massive use of force to kill Palestinians demonstrates beyond any doubt that the Israelis intend to maintain their occupation and colonialism over Palestinian's holy sites and people.

What is most shameful is that as a US taxpaying citizen, I am personally forced to contribute to Israel's military and economy. US aid to Israel in the year 2000 was estimated at $5 billion (from US Department of State). Why is the US Congress subsidizing Israel's militant and inhumane campaign against Palestinians' human rights with three billion dollars of military aid?

Please stop and think about the US foreign policy in the Middle East.

I ask you to stop financing Israel's military and economy and shut off the faucet of money dispersed through the Foreign Military Financing and economic financing programs. I ask you to condemn Israel's human rights violations and demand that they comply with UN resolutions to withdraw from the Palestinian occupied territories, including East Jerusalem. I ask that representatives from the White House meet with American Muslims to discuss ways to end the violence of Israel.

I believe the American people won't accept or justify America's blind and unconditional support of Israel as its snipers kill more and more Palestinian children (over 22 children). American media has failed to be objective and show the American public how the Palestinian child Mohammad Jamal Al-Dorrah, 12, was shot by Israeli snipers as he was hiding behind his father who was crying for help. Even the Israeli military has acknowledged it was Israeli snipers who killed the child; the US didn't condemn Israel in any way. Why do we have to allow the pro-Israel lobby to control our foreign policy in the Middle East? American interests are being jeopardized because American refuses to see Palestinian innocents are being gunned down like sheep every day by Israel with America's support.

I call upon your conscious, your humanitarian principles and your respect of justice to do everything in your power to condemn the brutal aggression of the Israeli army and to support international protection of Palestinian civilians. The US should be fair and just in its approach and so far the US has failed to do so by supporting the killer on the expense of the victim. American can be strong when it supports justice and morals only.

Nora Biltagi
Corona Hills, CA

UN money could be better spent at home

I have looked into H.R. 1146 and I find it may be the last opportunity for the US to regain control of its own destiny. Over 19 Billion dollars that the US citizens have donated to the UN have gotten it slap in the face after slap in the face like Kofi Annan, the head of the UN accusing the US citizens as the "one of the least generous nations". In reality the 19 Billion since 1992 that the citizens have paid for peace keeping missions could have bought a lot of school lunches for our poor kids and stopping the drugs that are destroying our inner city kids. Thanks Mr. Annan. Let the American people hear more about this great bill and let them choose. This debate will endure and grow no matter the fate of HR 1146 and as more and more people learn about it, the debate will heat up.If you have the opportunity to travel throughout this great nation as I have you will see great poverty in the USA. Many of our people are too proud to say so but there is hunger in this country that 19 Billion would have gone a long way. That is my view.

Eugene Ellis
El Cajon

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