Sep 16 2016

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Letters to the Editor for 9-15-2016

Special to the PRESS

Dear Editor,

Regardless of who gets elected, Clinton or Trump, we want to be ready to confront the realities in front of us; economic inequality and Racism.

The present model has been very good for the political class. This system has evolved and thanks to the resistance from progressive entities we had slavery, women and labor rights issues changed to more acceptable positions. However, since Ronald Reagan and the increasing of US imperialist adventures of never ending foreign interventions, we find the US more interested in keeping the foreign interventions and telling the public we are being targeted by terrorism, when it is the US who is intervening in other countries, not only militarily but also economic interventions. See the book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by an ex-CIA agent, John Perkins.

The book “Mexican American Heritage” is considered a poorly researched book by academics, it is also a racist narrative describing Mexicans as inferior to Europeans. Add the Trump attack against Mexicans and we have a very clear agenda on how racism has been used to exploit those who are minorities and working class.

The NAFTA project in Mexico which has GMC building trucks, pays a Mexican worker $49 per week. All of us know this is exploitation to the maximum and that is why we have so many workers moving around trying to make a living for their families.

We can see the resistance by Native Americans who have also suffered the same fate and well as African Americans.

Both political entities, Republicans and Democrats have failed to address the white working class and this group has some legitimate concerns and because of the neglect they are easy persuaded to take positions against their interests.

I urge all to go out and vote, get involved and be ready to reject everything that affects our different communities. Reject war and more money for walls and military spending. What we need is to respect all, including our environment. We cannot accept the universities and elected officials to support more wars and pipes and projects that only serve the elites and not our clean water and beaches. We should reject TPP and not vote for those who promote this terrible trade deal.

We can learn from others and remember nothing changes if we do not get involved. Let’s remember to find new models and we do not have to keep models that do not work for all of us. Resistance to oppression is heroic.

Yolanda Garza Birdwell
Laguna Vista


There has been a lot of political activity in the Rio Grande Valley that will directly affect those of us who reside here. Additionally there has been recent resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline crossing the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota that teaches us lessons that can be applied here if necessary.

Recently local newspapers, including this one, have published a letter extolling the virtues of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in our area. The writer is an “entrepreneur” of some kind with a Harlingen address. He concentrates on the supposed financial benefits of LNGs by using phony economic figures supplied by the LNG companies themselves. He completely ignores both the adverse environmental effects of LNG industries from extraction to shipping and devastating effect LNGs will have on our local tourism and commercial fishing economies. There are good reasons why all the local governing bodies in our coastal communities have gone on record as opposing LNGs. They will have a devastating effect on locally owned businesses that employ thousands of residents. The only governing bodies that support LNGs are miles away from the Gulf Coast. LNG plants will create only a fractional number of replacement jobs and most of those will be low paying jobs such as janitors and security guards.

The recent resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline by Native Americans and their supporters show us what we may have to do to stop LNGs from coming here. The Rio Grande Valley is a poor area and Native American reservations are even poorer. Rich outsiders think that they can exploit poor communities any way they want to, but those days are over. When law enforcement agencies intervene on the side of wealthy exploiters and work to preserve oppression they cease to be protectors of the peace and become nothing more than agents of oligarchs. The Civil Rights movement in the 1960s showed us the way to deal with repressive governmental policies. When laws are repressive the best way to get them changed is to make their enforcement impossible by encouraging mass civil disobedience.

There is a hearing for a proposed textbook, “Mexican American History” being adopted. This book is nothing but a collection of racist stereotypes of people with Mexican ancestry that should have been obsolete sixty years ago at the latest. Degrading people and cultures is a tool used to oppress people, such as Latinos and Native Americans, including white working class people. I encourage everyone to do what they can to keep this book out of the school curriculum.

I am encouraged to see a lot more resistance to the status quo and the oligarchy that controls the US last few years. We need to encourage and increase such resistance.

Walter Birdwell

Laguna Vista


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