Letters to the Editor
Week of February 28th, 2005
On Raoul Lowery Contreras’ “A Father Lives Through His Dead Son” http://www.hispanicvista.com/HVC/Columnist/rcontreras/022105contreras.htm
Mr. Contreras is at it again. For years I have read many of his works in various newspapers that publish his opinion pieces. I thought I would finally take a moment to express mine in words as well.
Mr. Contreras has assumed the role of an expert in areas such as immigration and "Latino or Hispanic" issues, yet there is not anything he has done or attained that makes him an expert in these matters. I cannot identify with Mr. Contreras because to me he is not representative of a Latino in anyway, but yet, he seems to blend in with the conservative mainstream white American point of view. Again, Contreras just does not relate to me or my community.
Surprisingly, I have never met Mr. Contreras, only his mother. I attend many Latino events in my community and never have I seen Mr. Contreras there. I believe Mr. Contreras if at all, rarely interacts with the Latino community, especially the immigrant communities. I don't appreciate Mr. Contreras points of view because they have no base for truth and he clearly differentiates himself from Latinos. I know Mr. Contreras is a Republican and the Republican Party has never served the interest of the working class.
As a personal friend to Fernando Suarez del Solar and his family, I know the allegations of Mr. Contreras against Fernando are not true. Mr. Suarez del Solar did in fact move his family from Tijuana to San Diego for Jesus to attend school here, learn English and prepare to join the Marines. This is a fact and Mr. Contreras should try engaging in an actual conversation with Mr. Suarez del Solar to get his facts straight. Fernando is a wonderful person, very educated and one of the most eloquent speakers I have ever heard. I know he has touched the lives of many people around the world and he gives hopes to us here in this country with his genuine testimonials and struggle for peace. Fernando’s words are genuine and no one feeds him propaganda. On the other hand, I wonder where Mr. Contreras gets his information, I know his republican friends are so nervous about Fernando Suarez del Solar's activities, that they probably encouraged him to write against Mr. Suarez, a person who is undoubtedly Latino and understands the Latino community. I applaud Fernando's efforts because I know he is doing positive work to end the Iraq War and bring awareness to communities who are targeted by military recruiters.Consuelo Martinez, Escondido, CA firstname.lastname@example.org
It is journalistic
insanity to start a criticism of a private citizen by noting that he or she
is supported by a particular group financially as if that is a crime and
then proceed to write as if this phenomenon is limited to this private
citizen. However this is what Mr. Contreras did in his op-ed about Fernando
Suarez del Solar activism. It is not only common but it is as much a part of
the anti-war movement as it is the pro-war movement to pay those who travel
around the country spreading their beliefs if it is one shared by the groups
mentioned, thus focusing on Mr. Suarez activism without mentioning or
juxtaposing it with the reality that this happens on both sides of the issue
is intellectually dishonest.
Concerning Raoul Lowery Contreras' attack on Fernando Suarez del Solar, Mr. Contreras shows the same insensitivity and hypocrisy that characterizes the neoconservatives and the party they now control.
He says that, "like Fernando" [they're on a first name basis?], he grieves for Mr. Suarez del Solar's son, Jesus.
Many of us grieve the injuries and deaths of every man and woman in the unnecessary Iraq war. Only a handful, like Mr. Contreras, are so insensitive as to compare that grief to the grief felt by the parents of those children. Mr. Contreras' unfeeling statement is just one more insult in a piece dedicated to attacking the intelligence and sincerity of the parent of a fallen Marine. Michael Suarez (no relation) email@example.com
Dear Msrs. Osio,
I read the article attacking Fernando Suarez del Solar, by Raoul Lowery Contreras, recently distributed by HispanicVista.com. I also read your response to a complaint letter from John Wilmerding, concerning the Contreras article.
You wrote to John Wilmerding that "Mr. Lowery-Contreras exercised his rights by writing his opinion".
While journalism does include principled debate, presenting sharp differences of opinion and conviction, the Contreras article does not qualify as principled debate. It is a heartless and scurrilous hit piece, ridiculing, insulting and smearing a father who has spoken out publicly to denounce the war which robbed him of his child. Contreras' rhetoric is deliberately hateful and contemptuous. It is not editorial opinion -- it is hate literature. Moreover it is not generalized hate literature scapegoating some group under the guise of political analysis -- a category of hate writing which frequently enters public discourse, via very elastic standards of "value-free" political inclusivity. This was a personalized and wounding individual attack on the character of a grieving parent.
I do not consider HispanicVista.com to have exercised responsible or principled editorial judgment in this instance. The arguments you gave Mr. Wilmerding to supposedly justify publishing the Contreras piece ring hollow -- offering facile platitudes while evading compelling ethical questions raised by your decision to re-publish personalized hate literature, thereby expanding its reach, while inaccurately dignifying it as journalism.
Please reconsider your criteria for publication in the future. Please refrain from spreading hateful personal character assassination, thinly camouflaged as editorial commentary.
-- David L. Hoffman, Coordinator, Humanity Check interfaith peace and reconciliation project No. 357, 122 Calistoga Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95409, U.S.A. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web site: http://home.earthlink.net/%7Ehumanitycheck
Mr. Contreras writes: "You people stick to your unreal world and I'll stick to my world, the real world."
The main point that strikes me is the struggle to define "reality".
Everything that happens affects everything else. Bombs dropping "over there" affect people "over here". We are all living in a web of life, and we are all connected.
When the war industry and military elite want to coopt the resources of this planet for the next 40 years, towards war, then people who do not share this vision of "reality" need to make our voices heard. My reality includes living without fear of daily violence. If I was living in several areas of earth, my reality would be in direct conflict with another reality that includes allowing people to come into neighborhoods and cities , and kill people and destroy homes and businesses. People can direct our own thoughts and hearts, but in the struggle to define "reality" in the external sense, people who use violence to resolve conflict do not have a right to dictate that reality to the rest of the planet, against most people's will. People use military power to control "reality", or they try to, and the more people who simply refuse to buy into that principle of being, the sooner a reality that is not based on violence will come into mature manifestation.
From: John Wilmerding
On Tuesday, February
22, 2005, CERJer and 'Padres del Guerrero Azteca' Fernando Suarez del Solar
email@example.com, forwarded the following disgusting article
from the HispanicVista.com web site (written by Raoul Lowery Contreras, a
contributing columnist). I am horrified at the insults these fascistic
types are hurling publicly at him. Should he so wish, he can easily take
recourse against them in a court of law, and sue for slander and damage to
On Counterpoint by Daneen G. Peterson – “A ‘Whiney American’ Speaks Out Against Illegal Aliens - http://www.hispanicvista.com/HVC/Opinion/Guest_Columns/022105peterson.htm
To Dr. Daneen G.
On Patrick Osio’s “Oh yes, Congressman Duncan Hunter is that disingenuous.” http://www.hispanicvista.com/HVC/Columnist/posiojr/022105osio.htm
I am a Naturalized U.S. Citizen born in Mexico but I, unlike my fellow paisanos did use the legal system to immigrate into the U.S. Frankly, I am tired of people name bashing those who want to do something about the illegal alien problem. Labels such as racist, zealot, are always used.
Mr. Osio I wish you would take a trip into Mexico and see what Mexico is doing on their southern border with Guatemala and Belize. They do not have a triple fence (not that they worry about the preservation of biological diversity and watershed integrity) but what they have is very effective. They have the military deploy all along the border with high observation towers and the would be illegal aliens know better that to run away from the mexican soldiers.
I think that there is a lot of people with hidden agendas be it political, financial (something to the tune of 16 billion dollars that Mexico receives from the illegal aliens in the U.S.) or whatever. You sir, are calling a large number of Mexican/Americans naive and gullible because we are in favor of stopping the flow of illegal aliens entering into the U.S. and I find that insulting and intolerable. From: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Editor’s note: Patrick Osio has written on the barbaric conditions and treatment of illegal immigrants entering Mexico through it’s Southern border.)
To accuse legislators, that vote against fixing immigration laws that would stop illegal entry into the United States, of being xenophobes may be the wrong approach. Most of them have voted against laws that would have punished their employers. To point out that they pander to xenophobes is another issue.
Here in California we have had a few examples, ex governor Wilson, being the best known of them.
As long as politicians, from both sides of the isle, can make an issue out of labor or immigration problems they are assured reelection. It is therefore, in their self-serving interest not to fix it.
As long as these blowhards can pontificate and stir the emotions of the electorate they keep their jobs.
Let's say that they were to pass a law that allowed needed unskilled workers to come from countries south of the border with proper documentation and issued at their countries of origin, wouldn't we know who and where they were coming from? Wouldn't their stay be easier to regulate and document as to time and place. They would be allowed entry into areas where they were needed, for a set length of time. They could cross legally, back and forth, during their stay to visit relatives rather than attempting to have their relatives cross illegally to be with them.
Isn't our country's goal to have and build strong family values?
Why do cities like Tijuana have to hire more police to try to keep a wave of people from all over South America and the Mexican interior from temporarily using their already taxed public services. These Mexican police officers could better spend their time fighting drug smugglers and all problems that drug dealing bring to its own citizenry. As long as we are it, how come so many of theses officers have to die so that "Legal Citizens" on this side can enjoy their drug addiction?
How come legal residents of cities like Tijuana have to tax their citizens to provide services and the blood of dead policemen so that" Legal Citizens" in La Jolla and the rest of the U.S. can have access to inexpensive labor -- Bert Acosta, San Diego CA
CJ Miklica email@example.com
What a joke! Liberal opinions just never change. What your illustrious contributing columnist doesn't understand is that we have "criminals" infesting the state of Arizona (and elsewhere). They have absolutely no intention of learning the language of America, which is English in case you also don't get it.
The illegal aliens sneaking in our country come here to pillage, cheat, lie and get in line for free handouts while demoralizing our neighborhoods and public thoroughfares. The crime rate has soared due these people who quite honestly, have been encouraged by the Mexican government to come here because they don't want them. Such a deal?????
This Maceri person should shut his pie hole and be grateful that he even has the courtesy of our press to state his stupid ideas which give fuel to illegals and future terrorists.
You won't succeed. AMERICANS will push them out. Breaking our laws, with the cooperation of the liberal party is soon to be history. Thank you God.