Letters to the Editor

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BOYCOTT: Ignoring racism anywhere is wrong

Letter by John McCluskey, Tacoma on May 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm with 25 Comments »
May 17, 2010 3:39 pm

Monday’s TNT was weirdly interesting. A picture of smiling Japanese-Americans being shipped off to a prison camp because they weren’t Caucasian, an op-ed piece deploring racism in Arizona and a letter criticizing Tacoma for opposing bigotry, all coming after Sunday’s editorial in support of racism in Arizona.

Unlike their critics, my good friends Ryan Mello and Lauren Walker care about the kind of country we live and are willing to take a stand against bigotry and racism. I don’t know any of those critics and yet they are all familiar. I remember that they were silent about Jim Crow laws in other parts of the country; they contributed to the Holocaust and a terrible war by insisting Europe was none of our business; they stood silently by when loyal Americans were imprisoned in 1942; they opposed the overturning of miscegenation laws in the 1960s; they opposed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts.

If it were not for those who cared enough to fight the majority we would still be living in a country where discrimination was the order of the day. The country has never benefited except when “liberals” have stood up and fought for change.

The Tacoma City Council members work long, hard hours on our behalf and get small thanks for all they do. They deserve respect even from those who disagree. To all of the critics who don’t live in Tacoma, I suggest you take your own advice about Arizona – mind your own business.

Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. JungleBoy says:

    You ignored a few key facts when you were using “history” to support your claims of racism. For starters, Franklin Roosevelt was a progressive Democrat – and he was the one who interned the Japanese. Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, was the one who signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Woodrow Wilson, a progressive Democrat, jailed thousands of innocent Americans using the Alien and Sedition Act. Ronald Reagan, a Republican, freed hundreds of millions by winning the Cold War. Although I could go on, it’s pointless. Just beware of the facts when you’re making tired, old claims about the big, bad conservatives.

  2. PumainTacoma says:

    Heck why not do away with border guards altogether and just forget about passports on airplanes. Why not just live free and wild. Better yet, let everyone in the country so the L’s can take care of all of them. Oh, wait, maybe….the 49% of Americans who do not pay taxes will welcome aliens into their homes and take care of them? I guess not. It is more like the 51% of Americans who pay taxes will foot the bill for the welcome to America campaign.

  3. donjames says:

    Echoing the take by JungleBoy, I would add a few criticisms of the stance taken by Mr. McCluskey.

    “… my good friends Ryan Mello and Lauren Walker care about the kind of country we live (in)… ”

    Uhmm, no, you and your friends are single-issue (read gay rights) activists who are as myopic in your political opinion as the Christian right you so despise – and a lot more narrow-minded. The opportunity to once again parade the racism/ bigotry card – where none exists – in an effort to stir-up emotions from minorities whose support you seek is why you are now wading in on the shallow side.

    “I remember that they were silent about Jim Crow laws in other parts of the country… opposed the overturning of miscegenation laws in the 1960s; they opposed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts.”

    They? You mean the democrats who instilled those laws and fought every effort to oppose them with dogs and fire hoses? And what of you, John, how vocal were you? I mean, you were in your twenties by the end of Jim Crow… maybe you were one of the dreaded silent “They?” Or did you just think Jim Crow was a blended bourbon.

    And “they” who “contributed to the Holocaust and a terrible war by insisting Europe was none of our business… ” were “they” the same ones who still remain silent , like you, about the hundreds of millions killed in the genocidal purges and gulags of Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Pol-Pot, Kin Il Sung, Breshnev, Castro, Saddam Hussein, Mullah Omar,etc?

    “The country has never benefited when “liberals” have stood up for change.”

    Fixed for ‘ya. (Now that’s change we can believe in.)

    And by the way, I live in Tacoma and I suggest you mind your own single-issue business while AZ takes care of our borders.

  4. JungleBoy and dojames, you laid out some irrefutable facts that the letter writer will surely not be able to give a cogent reply to. Like all leftist, all they can do is sling around words like “homophobe, racist, and bigot”. In reality they are a bunch of cowards and castrated sissies. A bunch of “she-men” draft dodging crybabies. Their opinion is meaningless to me because I know they don’t have the guts to stand up for the laws and the Constitution of this country. Thousands of Americans have died to defend our borders, our Constitution and our way of life and these sorry excuses for humanity are willing to give it all up to satisfy their distorted view of liberalism. They are anti-American, leftist dullards and don’t deserve to live in the U.S.A.

  5. Novelist3 says:

    Nicely stated, frosty.

  6. beerBoy says:

    “A bunch of “she-men” draft dodging crybabies.”

    You mean like these guys?

    Elliott Abrams – Sought deferment for bad back.
    Richard Armey – Sought college deferment, too smart to die.
    Bill Bennett – Sought graduate school deferment, too smart to die.
    Pat Buchanan – Sought deferment for bad knee.
    George W. Bush Daddy got him in the National Guard
    Dick Cheney – Sought graduate school deferment, too smart to die.
    Tom DeLay – – Sought college deferment, too smart to die.
    Newt Gingrich – Sought graduate school deferment, too smart to die.
    Phil Gramm – Sought marriage deferment, too loved to die.
    Jack Kemp – Sought medical deferment while in the NFL.
    Rush Limbaugh – Sought deferment for ingrown hair follicle on his ass.
    Trent Lott – Sought deferment, didn’t want to muss his hair.
    P.J. O’Rourke – Sought deferment, too stoned.
    Dan Quayle – Family got him into the Reserves.
    Pat Robertson – Father pulled him out of Korea as soon as the shooting began.
    Kenneth Starr Sought deferment for psoriasis.
    John Wayne – Sought deferment to further acting career.
    Vin Weber – Sought deferment for asthma.
    George Will – Sought deferment, too much of a wussy.

  7. beerboy, you forgot to add; Bill Clinton, Rahm Emanuel; David Axelrod, Joe Biden, Jim Messina, Peter Rouse, Timothy Geithner, Eric Holder, Gary Locke, Shaun Donavan, Steven Chu, Arne Duncan, Jon Stewart, Wolf Blitzer, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann , Dan Rather, Larry King, David Gregory, Ted Kennedy, Jay Leno, Alec Baldwin, and last but not least, Barack Hussein Obama, who never flew a Jet fighter, never wore a uniform, (except perhaps in a Madrasas).

  8. blakeshouse says:

    Trying to use logic or even common sense with these socialist/marxists is impossible. John convieniently forgets the facts of his arguement, although they have nothing to do with the current situation in AZ. Then there is beerboy who spends his time in his parents basement reading the Kos and believing it is the bible of truth. Face it when it comes to a battle of wits and thinking they come to the fight totally uarmed..

  9. simsgirl50 says:

    Stupidity makes me crazy. The Japanese-Americans weren’t shipped off to to the camps because they weren’t Caucasion. They were sent there because they were Japanese. If it had been because they weren’t white, then all the other races would have been sent to camps, also. So, Mr. McCluskey, how about stopping your own ignorant, racist rant. It’s pretty sad when a city will take the side of law-breakers over its own countrymen. Contrary to stupid, lying statements by liberals, the Arizona law has nothing to do with racism, but everything to do with protecting our country from ILLEGALS!!!!!! Illegals who are sapping our resources and breaking our laws. They cost American taxpayers millions upon millions of dollars in free medical care, anchor babies, free education, etc.; they should be back in their own countries trying to reform their governments so their countries aren’t such hellish places to live. But they’re too cowardly for that; they’ll just stick around here and send our country down the financial drain.

  10. If my memory serves me correctly, it was the Japanese military that attacked Pearl Harbor. The anger and hate that resulted from that sneak attack infuriated Americans to the point that they were out for blood, Japanese blood. It was a decision not only for security of our countyr but also for the Japanese American population that they be placed in secure camps. Who wants to take a guess as to what would have happened to them had they been allowed to remain in the cities after Pearl Harbor?

  11. Roncella says:

    frosty, Lets not leave out some other Liberal Hero’s of the left,

    Jane Fonda, Rosie O’Donnell, Barbara Striestrand, Barbara Boxer, Diane Finestien, Pelosi, Reid, Barney Frank, Clinton, John Kerry(served in Nam). These are some very good examples of Liberal/Progressive thinking at its finest.

  12. Are you suggesting that Americans were so raciest, frosty, that they would take out their vengeance on anyone belonging to, or appearing to belong to, the same race as those military personal who attacked Pearl Harbor, therefore justifying the incarceration of innocent civilians, many of whom were Americans by choice or birth?

    I see now how you justify that same type of raciest persecution being employed on those innocent law abiding Mexican Americans who just happen to look like their illegal counterparts.

    I suppose if they were more likely to vote Republican your opinion wouldn’t change.

  13. “I remember that they were silent about Jim Crow laws in other parts of the country; they contributed to the Holocaust and a terrible war by insisting Europe was none of our business; they stood silently by when loyal Americans were imprisoned in 1942; they opposed the overturning of miscegenation laws in the 1960s; they opposed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts.”

    ARE YOU SERIOUSLY comparing this to Jim Crow and the Holocaust?

    And, who are “they” exactly? This kind of generalization is every bit as bigoted as anything you’re going to hear from most of the people supporting the AZ move to gain some measure of control over an insane situation in their state.

    As for tossing around names of people who were deferred from active duty, you boys remind me of boys in a good dirt clod fight in the school yard. I will say though that pointing out how these things ALWAYS defy party lines is a good thing if it gets people back to the point which, in this case is

    …pointing out that racism is NOT the issue here except for those whose knees automatically jerk in that direction after years of social conditioning.

    Let me be the first to use comedy of the absurd to close:

    Let’s just say for fun that a group of mad old white women nearing retirement decided to run guns and drugs in AZ, TX and NM. Identified as a “collective” for decades, they wreaked havoc on the borders states, murdering people holus bolus if they got in the way of their lucrative business.

    The FEDS chose to ignore them because, as it turns out, these old ladies make up a huge part of the voting base for the current administration and besides, the ADMIN had to do something to make sure all the people of the land, INCLUDING THESE OLD LADIES, got good health care and there just wasn’t time to address their violent and illegal shenanigans.

    Would I resent being “profiled” — maybe even pulled over and questioned while visiting my retired friends in AZ?? Well, I would probably be annoyed at first, but given the LOGIC of it all, I would comply knowing I had nothing to hide.

    It’s all quite silly, I know, but I coudn’t resist. I am THAT tired of this nonsense.

  14. And P.S. — were I pulled over and questioned in the situation I described before, I can guarantee you I’d be far angrier at the old women who created the situation than I would be those attempting to end the chaos!

    Now that’s logic I c an believe in.

  15. (Sketch opens with a pan across Bolton. Voice of reporter.)

    Voice Over: This is a frightened city. Over these houses, over these streets hangs a pall of fear. Fear of a new kind of violence which is terrorizing the city. Yes, gangs of old ladies attacking defenseless, fit young men.

    Monty Python “Hell’s Grannies.”

    Couldn’t resist… the danged skit started playing in my mind.

  16. Polago, were you around when brothers, fathers and sons were killed at Pearl Harbor? I ask that question because I just want to illustrate that I know you were not, otherwise you would understand the anger that ALL Americans felt on December 7th 1941. If you were a Japanese American at that time, would you feel safe going downtown? It was the military who had to stand guard and protect them as they were put onto buses. Their homes and property was confiscated by the government. So don’t come around trying to talk about something that you cannot even comprehend. The Japanese Americans were great citizens and didn’t deserve any of what happened to them. I believe however that under the situation at that time, the government had no alternative.

  17. geeterpontiac says:


    You might think a bit about what you are trying to imply and recognize the situation is radically different.

    In 1941, 70 years ago, there was more racial animosity toward non-whites. That much is correct. Unfortunately,an unpleasant reality of war is a certain level of national anger, common cause, or even hatred toward the enemy has to be generated and sustained in order to support the effort.

    Americans were outraged at the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and even reasonable people sometimes do stupid things. Some degree of protection was necessary. The personal danger to Japanese Americans was real and present. (Also Chinese, Korean, etc)

    Even Germans and Italians, especially in the big eastern cities were often viewed with suspicion and watched closely, especially those an accent. The Nazi and Fascist movements had counterparts in this country supported in part by Germany and Italy. Espionage attempts did take place.

    So, even though race and/or ethnicity did play a part in government decisions, mistreatment wasn’t driven as much by race as the historical circumstances and security needs of the moment. We were at war.

    The link you are trying to make between 1941 and Arizona, just isn’t there.

    Were Japanese Americans treated unfairly? Yes, particularly in regard to confiscation of valuable farming property, especially in California. But, that wasn’t because of race it was because they had something of value. And, the government (FDR, the liberal god) let it happen.

  18. And that brings us to the present situation in the Unites States, brought to a boil by the Arizona legislature, frosty and geeterpontiac.

    How are those feelings from the past any different than what’s happening today?

    Clearly, Mexican Americans are being singled out unfairly and harassed in the name of illegal immigration.

    The boycott isn’t about protecting illegals. It’s about protecting the innocent.

  19. geeterpontiac says:

    “Polago says:”

    “How are those feelings from the past any different than what’s happening today?”

    My friend, if you really believe there’s no difference, it’s genuinely sad to have to say you are totally disconnected from reality and the world we live today, as compared to the world of 70 years ago.

    Good luck with it.

  20. The OP is nothing but a racist. I can’t say much more than whats already been said. I think you ought to read your history.
    May 6, 1960
    President Dwight Eisenhower signs Republicans’ Civil Rights Act of 1960, overcoming 125-hour, around-the-clock filibuster by 18 Senate Democrats
    May 2, 1963
    Republicans condemn Democrat sheriff of Birmingham, AL for arresting over 2,000 African-American schoolchildren marching for their civil rights
    June 9, 1964
    Republicans condemn 14-hour filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act by U.S. Senator and former Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd (D-WV), who still serves in the Senate
    June 10, 1964
    Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) criticizes Democrat filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act, calls on Democrats to stop opposing racial equality
    March 7, 1965
    Police under the command of Democrat Governor George Wallace attack African-Americans demonstrating for voting rights in Selma, AL
    Margaret Sanger: the founder of Planned Parenthood, who once said, “”We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population…”

  21. You sidestepped the question, geeterpontiac.

    Don’t you have a real answer?

  22. geeterpontiac says:

    I sidestepped nothing Polago.

    I gave you an answer in my previous 2 posts. You choose not to read or consider it.

    I told you things are completely different today and gave some reasons why.

    You choose to ignore the answer, That’s your choice.

    I am not going to waste time on one-upmanship games or sniping.

    Sorry, not my thing.

    Have a good one.

  23. Frosty’s claim that the Japanese Americans were rounded up and interned for their own protection is absolutely false, as are many of his claims. Their internment was racially motivated. There was widespread anti-Japanese sentiment long before the war because of the influx of Japanese immigration. Very few were interested in protecting them.

    The parallel that exists between those racially motivated events of the 40’s and those happening today in Arizona is very striking. Because there is so much suspicion, anyone who raises “reasonable suspicion” by their race (looks skin color and accent) is suspect until proven innocent.

    Racism by anyone’s definition.

  24. Polago, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “it’s best to be silent and be thought of as a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt”, right? You libs just keep on spouting off about “racism” and discriminaton”. I don’t know wher you hang out but I never see it where I go. Most people don’t go around agitating and looking for fights. You pacifist liberals really need to find a new schtick.

  25. You never see racism or discrimination where you go?

    Of that, I also have no doubt, frosty.

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