Letters to the Editor, April 19-21, 2017
Submissions from Park Record readers
Deportation fears add to mental health stress
The excellent article by Bubba Brown (Amid Fear, Latino youth face uncertain future, 4/15-18/2017) should be required reading for everyone in this community so that we can all feel the fear, anxiety, and insecurity with which too many of our neighbors and their children live. Immigration issues may have their roots in politics; but they have gone beyond politics to become devastating human issues, as Mr. Brown shows. The innocent are swept up with the guilty and they often suffer more. The article spotlights the admirable support given by many locals but it also forces us to take a hard look at the prejudice and intolerance that amplify the problems our Latino residents face. Mr. Brown’s reporting is a wakeup call — we can’t look away and say “such behavior wouldn’t happen here.”
As mental health advocates we have been impressed by Summit County’s willingness to take on the challenge of providing more services for our vulnerable and under-served population of people who live with mental illness. As a community we are bringing the issues of mental illness out of the shadows and combating the stigma and isolation that have hurt so many who must deal with brain disease. Thanks to Mr. Brown for shining a light on the plight of another vulnerable population for whom immigration creates the most widespread and invasive mental health issues. The debilitating anxiety and depression are symptoms we can and must treat to insure the mental wellness of the whole community.
Lynne and Ed Rutan
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Reducing racism will help students learn
The situation with anti-Semitism in our school has become subtle but serious over the past year. It started with discrete comments like friends calling each other “beans” and “chinks.” Later in the year, students would become more vocal about the situations such as kids would tell a Hispanic student that they would have him/her deported or they would say Holocaust jokes in front of a Jewish student. Even though most of it was for their friends to hear, sometimes other students pick up the conversation causing problems like students being offended and resulting in the joker getting in trouble.
The reason the situation got out of hand was mainly because the students thought that the jokes were funny making them very common to the point if a group of Hispanic students were to walk by it probably wouldn’t go unnoticed among the jokers. At this point in the essay, I am making it sound like the school is some kind of a war zone between races and religions when really, it isn’t. Even though students have different backgrounds, most of them get along. Sometimes it is reverse because media has made it seem like all white people are racist even though 99 percent of white people I have met aren’t racist at all. It is the few that affect the majority. Same thing goes for other races where the majority of the people are just getting by with their day so they can go home to their family.
If we made our schools more tolerant of the diverse students, it would encourage a safer and more compassionate environment causing the students to get along with each other better, making learning more efficient. What we can do to help the issue in our district is further educate students on sensitive subjects such as The Holocaust or immigration and encourage the support of diverse students across the district. If we make it so that all students of different classes or races are treated equally across the district, it would further help students learn.
Park City student
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Celebrating Earth Day
As thousands across the U.S. get ready to protest environmental budget cuts, each of us can also help with our driving, our recycling, and our diet. Yes, our diet. A 2010 United Nations report blames animal agriculture for 70 percent of global freshwater use, 38 percent of land use, and 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by fossil fuel combustion to operate farm machinery, trucks, factory farms, and slaughterhouses. The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.
Moreover, meat and dairy production dumps more animal waste, crop debris, fertilizers, pesticides, and other pollutants into our waterways than all other human activities combined. It is the driving force in wildlife habitat destruction.
In an environmentally sustainable world, meat and dairy products in our diet must be replaced by vegetables, fruits, and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar, and other pollution-free energy sources.
On this Earth Day and every day, let’s cherish our environment with eco-friendly plant-based eating. Our next trip to the supermarket is a great starting point.
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Think before making racist assumptions
Racism occurs all over the world and to everyone. People do a lot to try and stop the segregation, but the truth is that it will never fully end. There will always be someone that wants to point out the stereotype of someone’s culture or background, but we can reduce the segregation between the people by ignoring the negativity about someone’s culture.
Everyone makes mistakes, but that doesn’t mean their people need to pay for that person’s mistakes. As a Latina, I feel targeted of racism because the stereotypes we have are about violence and drug dealers and more. This doesn’t help my appearance in school and other public places because these stereotypes have become so big that people believe I’m a person of violence and selling bad things to the community, but that’s all a lie. I’m a hard worker, and I have big dreams. I want to go to college and make my parents proud.
The first time I experienced racism was when I was 10 years old. My family and I were out in the city having fun going to eat and going to the park like always, but this time it was different. I really needed to go to the restroom, so we stopped at a gas station, and I asked the cashier where the bathroom was; he just looked at me with a straight face and said there was none. As a child, I didn’t think anything of it and told my parents that there was no restroom. My dad walked in to the gas station store and looked for the bathroom himself; he said that just as he was about to enter the bathroom, the cashier told him it was out of service. It was obvious to my dad that the cashier didn’t want us to use the restroom, so my dad walked around pretending to look for something.
At some point, there was an American that needed to use the restroom as well. The man walked into the restroom with no problem. The cashier said nothing to him which was strange for me because he had made a big deal with me and my dad using the restroom.
What happened at the gas station was wrong and I believe that you think it was wrong too, but you choose to ignore it. This is still happening in the world and it shouldn’t be happening to anyone, but I believe that we can change this by not judging someone without knowing them. Before you start judge or believing the stereotypes they say about their culture give them a chance to prove the stereotypes wrong. If you don’t agree with how someone dresses, looks like, or talks than that’s your personal opinion, and yes you do have the freedom of speech privilege, but that doesn’t mean you should use it to hurt others. These kids, teens, adults that your probably discriminating are also humans they feel sadness and anger too, so before you say something think about how this could hurt someone.
Argelia Nava Martinez
Park City student
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A reader says a recent City Council decision regarding affordable housing “does not support the fragile ecosystem of our town.”