Words and their effect
Re “Councilman’s ‘proud racist’ comment splits Santa Clarita,” Jan. 28
When Santa Clarita City Councilman Bob Kellar was accused of being a racist after expressing his support of Teddy Roosevelt's statement that we have one flag and one language, he had two choices.
He could have used the outburst to promote the unifying idea that his position had nothing to do with race, but had to do with his belief in assimilation and American values and our nation's identity.
Instead, he made the divisive choice of proudly accepting the charged appellation in a conveniently narrow way.
I don't know if he's a racist in conventional terms, but he sure has courted racists' approval by trying to legitimize the term.
I wish all councilmen in every city in the country would stand up for the law, as Kellar has.
I am white, and my two sons are married to Mexican and Colombian ladies who are in this country legally. This political correctness has gone over the cliff.
It never ceases to amaze me that whenever a person speaks intelligently to the subject of illegal immigration, he is branded a racist. It seems to me that when the left runs out of any intelligent arguments on the subject, it always falls back on that old canard.
Give it a rest, already! Kellar has no need to apologize to anyone.
The Times' article about Kellar's shout-out at a recent anti-illegal-immigration rally that he is a "proud racist" is interesting to me as a African American who moved to Santa Clarita and built a home here for my family over 20 years ago.
Actually, I had never even heard of a group called the Santa Clarita Valley Independent Minutemen. I find them quite amusing. Their rantings about the "rule of law" would be laughable if they weren't so pathetic. If these people want to go stand at the border and block illegal entry, so be it -- but Santa Clarita is not Tecate.
Kellar may or may not be a racist. But he certainly is stupid, as exemplified by his unthinking remark. Does he not know of the inflammatory nature of the word "racist"?
L.A.'s layoff choices
Re “Can the city afford layoffs?” Opinion, Jan. 27
Tim Rutten loses his argument against public-sector layoffs when he mentions the infuriating fact that Los Angeles' six leading employers now are government entities. This city's bloated bureaucracy should be trimmed with a very large ax.
Rutten fails to mention a valuable resource that charities have tapped with great cost savings: volunteers.
I'm a retired aerospace engineer who has done his share of volunteering for various museums in the city. I tried for three months to volunteer in the local office of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation that deals with traffic light control, but I ran into a stone wall. Even without layoffs this office is already in trouble with the commuters, considering the fouled-up synchronization of our traffic signals. Volunteers wouldn't completely replace all the work done by displaced employees, but they could easily ease the loss.
A road map for South Whittier
Re “Putting a city on the map,” Column, Jan. 26
I was one of the Whittier Union High School District's board members who had to make the hard decision in 1979 to close two high schools in one year because of an enormous drop in enrollment.
The reason for that drop? Hector Tobar is a good example. He went to college and never returned to the area. He did not choose to stay to try to help form South Whittier into an incorporated town nor to have a voice in its future. My children were no different, nor those of most of my friends. They left the area for many reasons. Bigger cities were calling, and more interesting lives.
Our decision as to which schools to close was not coldhearted nor easily reached. We agonized for months. We knew we would be breaking hearts -- not only of students but of the teachers and administrators who had invested countless hours working to create not just good, but very good, schools.
But we as a board never gave up our major goal, which was (and remains, under different board members) to give all students as good an education as possible, whether in auto mechanics, wood shop, foreign languages or engineering prep.
I agree with Tobar that South Whittier needs to incorporate, but the residents there have to do it. No school board can do it for them. I wish them luck.
Joan M. Nay
Animals and exploitation
Re “Elephant skull a big headache,” Column One, Jan. 26