Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019: Racial purity, residential segregation, homeless and Trump

No such thing as pure race

According to the August National Geographic, humans constantly migrate through time and space. New genetic DNA testing of European skeletons from 3,000 to 5,000 years ago demonstrates that the concept of racial purity is hogwash.

Europe was a melting pot for African hunter-gatherers, Middle Eastern farmers, and the Yamnaya from the Russian Steppes. The concept of some type of pure Aryan race existing in Europe is debunked. Inside, you’re a mix of many races and cultures. Your ancestors were all migrants continually moving to improve their lives.

Time for the latest revival of hate-mongers to man up and get their DNA tested. Time to eliminate the concept of native v. migrant. Time to embrace the reality of our ethnic mix and embrace the oneness of humanity. Time to move to a high level of civility, as we migrate through every second of every day.

Robert LeFevre, Modesto

Housing covenants expose racism

Re “Shining a light on area’s racially restrictive housing policies of past” (Page 1B, Sept. 8): Kudos to Garth Stapley for his excellent, revealing column regarding past Modesto-area restrictive home-purchasing covenants. Perhaps most important is the fact that effects of this discrimination continue today in Modesto and America. People of color, for generations, have not been able to gradually build up financial security through the important growth of home equity. This resultant loss of upward mobility then ripples through education quality, job opportunity and qualification, and even personal motivation. It strongly influences, as Stapley wrote, the fact that “black median wealth, across the United States, (is) only 5% that of whites.”

My white grandparents, parents, and now I have been able to increase our family financial well-being through generations of unrestricted home purchases. Throughout America, this opportunity has been significantly denied to people of color.

Bill Mensing, Modesto

Suggestion for homeless project

Re “Modesto commits to convert motel into housing for homeless” (Page 3A, Sept. 13): I’m in favor of this project and like the fact that it is providing transitional housing and services for the homeless. Although, I wonder if it might be a better use of public money to have one or two laundry rooms, as opposed to putting a washer-dryer in every unit.

Nannette McKay, Modesto

Beware Social Security robocalls

During the past week I have received three robocalls regarding my Social Security number. The voice says that suspicious activity has been detected and that my number is going to be suspended unless I press 1 at the end of this call. I can only imagine that a call like that would terrify any number of elderly souls reliant on the benefits of Social Security.

I have called the Social Security Administration and verified that the call is a fraud and that I should not respond to their requests.

It would seem to me that any number of state and federal laws are being broken when these calls are placed. I would really like to know why more is not being done to stop these predatory schemes. Several years of employment with the phone company convinces me if there was a real desire to stop this pirating, the calls would stop. Do fines need to be bigger or sentences longer to provide the incentive? Can phone companies be held responsible?

David Ablett, Modesto

School suspension bill is bogus

Senate Bill 419 (Skinner) is based on false assumptions and invalid research, subtracts funds from other programs, and is racist in spirit.

Forgotten is the original justification, that suspension causes future incarceration because students are put on the streets. Obviously, this is a false correlation overwhelmed by family dynamics and a multitude of other factors. While a few parents lack influence over their own children and it does no good to send them home to be corrected, this bill does not fund the additional teachers needed for in-school suspension. These costs will be abated through increased class sizes and reduction of programs for the majority of students who have manners.

References to children of color as a factor of suspensions is based on a false correlation. When corrected for family conditions, there is no difference in suspension rates based on the color of a child’s skin.

We see a bill voted on by people who have no clue what happens in a classroom. Skinner calls for teacher creativity to deal with this issue. Teachers already have to be infinitely creative to deal with the Legislature’s ignorance.

Larry Hoyt, Turlock

But we do have a choice

Re “Trump and Biden: Don’t like me? Vote for me anyway” (Page 8A, Sept. 3): This pathetically sad column concerns our desperate, demanding president. He states, “vote for me or your 401k goes down the tubes. You have no choice.”

I am not sure if that is a threat or a bribe. Is that all he can promise Americans who count on our president to protect us from mass killings, keep our environment safe, protect our National Park wilderness areas and monuments, protect our endangered species, and deal diplomatically with other countries?

I suppose if you do not have a 401k or do not have power to make decisions in Washington that affect those who have one, you are no buddy to him. Many Americans will continue to struggle each day to make ends meet because of the president’s poor decisions.

We are so screwed if we do not elect a new president who cares for the American people and not just the dollar. Think twice in this election where you want America to go in the future.

Ken Westervelt, Modesto

Please cover youth arts

The Bee does an appreciable job of including local school sports updates alongside professional sports news. Could The Bee similarly publish news about local public school performing arts programs?

The Scene keeps us informed on events at the Gallo center and local professional performing arts; my family attends several of these yearly. However, there are many extremely dedicated and talented performing arts students and teachers in Stanislaus County public schools who put on amazing shows. My family also attends several of these school performances yearly, and we are usually blown away by the quality of the shows. These performances are offered to the public at a relatively low ticket price, yet they deliver all the joy and energy of more costly events. Teachers spend countless hours after school, directing and producing performances on a tight budget. Students rehearse many hours on school nights, some of them while keeping up with AP or IB classes. All of this sacrifice and dedication leads to truly spectacular performances.

This is a segment of our community that shines so very brightly, but one which The Bee doesn’t seem to know about. Please consider acknowledging them.

Kristi Mazuelos, Turlock

Progressive legislators are clueless

Our senators and representatives are back to work now. Could someone tell me what the Democrats are working on for Americans after their vacation? Obviously, their primary concern is to impeach, investigate and give away working Americans’ hard-earned money by free everything. They don’t seem to have had any time to come up with solutions to things most actual citizens would like, i.e. homelessness, infrastructure, regulations, incoming fentanyl and crime in our cities. How much money has all this nonsense cost?

Ernie Seppi, Modesto

Hughson, Waterford safe too

Re “Safest city in Stanislaus? Newman by a far sight, new crime report says” (Page 3A, Sept. 10): A company used FBI crime statistics from 2016 and 2017 for much of this analysis. The company ignored the fact that the same statistics show Hughson and Waterford to be equally safe. For 2016 and 2017, Hughson had a total of 257 incidents of crime, while Waterford had 273 and Newman had 337. These statistics are available on the FBI’s website.

To be fair, Newman has a larger population than the other two cities. When you average the numbers over two years, incidents per 1,000 people for all three cities are pretty much a tie.

In the future, The Bee should be careful about believing press releases from private companies.

Gina Oltman, Hughson

Helping hurricane victims

The U.S. fought a war in the Pacific without a port. Supplying and rescuing in the Bahamas or Puerto Rico only needs a beach. Doesn’t anyone in this administration know about these assets?

Vincent Garcia, Merced