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Perspectives on a Controversial Artwork

June 30, 2005

In the June 25 article "A Monumental War of Words," Joseph Turner, founder of Save Our State, makes it clear that "inflicting economic damage to the city of Baldwin Park" is his goal. He hopes to cost Baldwin Park so much money protecting his hate group from enraged counter-protesters that the city will tear down the monument to stay solvent.

Why do police allow Save Our State's "protests," knowing that economic damage and blackmail are its stated goals?

If they were spray-painting on the monument, they'd be arrested. And spray-painting would cost less to clean up.

Lee R. Tracy

West Covina


The words inscribed on artist Judy Baca's monument, "Danza Indigenas," proved to be prophetic. "It was better before they came." This can surely be said of the beautiful city of Baldwin Park prior to the arrival of a Ventura County-based group of xenophobes. California does need to be rescued -- from the dangers posed by militias and groups like Save Our State.

Kristen L. Merrell



The words on the Baldwin Park monument, "It was better before they came," seem ambiguous to me, as they should be. Are "they" the Mexicans who came first, the whites who came next or the Latinos who returned? The artist intended one meaning, and Save Our State reads another.

The statement really reminds us of our intolerance of any "they" who come along. It also points out the responsibility of all of us who come later to make things better. Don't remove the words, but perhaps add " ... or was it?"

Jerry Treiman

Woodland Hills


Re "A Street-Fighter Mentality on Illegal Immigration," June 27: I am appalled that racist Chicanos and anti-American supporters of illegal immigration and open borders continue to spew their outrageous lies about Joe Turner.

I am a native Hispanic of Spanish colonization and a supporter of Save Our State, and I think Joe Turner is one of the nicest guys around. I am proud to call him a friend.

Priscilla Espinoza


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