9-12-13 Waconia Patriot Letters to the Editor

Citizen responds to recent ‘Black America’ letter

To the editor:

Dear Concerned Citizen, while you may have felt it time to bring up the issue of the “breakdown within Black America” I’m fairly certain no one asked you to take up the “white man’s burden.” I’m fairly certain you aren’t qualified to carry it; none of us are who live in rural Minnesota. I’m fairly certain that any discomfort is yours and comes from misguided and distorted observations. Reading articles and reasoning, from within the confines of your unique cultural experience, does not give you the right to evaluate a person, a people, or a culture.
You believe in the “inherent desire by humans to be productive.” I do, too. God gives “potential talent” but what happens when your environment provides few opportunities to grow? What happens when nutritious food is financially out of reach and you go to school or work hungry? What happens when you are sick and can’t afford care and you miss work or school? What happens when your schools are under-funded? Or when tuition is sky-rocketing? What happens when you have an education but there aren’t jobs? What happens when you have a job (or jobs) and work hard but pay is low and rent, food, child-care, fuel, and utilities are high? To whom then is your repugnant statement directed that “they aspire to nothing but a government handout”?
You claim that the “presence of God and a functional family has been substituted with a culture of rap/gangs and a government official.” You cite statistics to back up your assertion and then state that “black youths have been taught to rely on the surrogate government for their economic well-being and the gang/rap culture for their socialization.” God hasn’t prevented “white flight” from the cities. God hasn’t prevented economic stagnation. God hasn’t prevented factories and businesses from relocating to find the cheapest labor. And God hasn’t prevented “God-fearing” people from passing disapproving judgment on others as to their situation or behavior.
By the way, you keep talking about rap; do you know what rap is? Have you listened to it or do you just take offense so you can be offended? Rap to them is like polka is to you. It is a culture and it is used for socialization. It is their voice. You will it find all over the world. It is not all what you perceive it to be.
“Poorly educated with no guidance has resulted in a cultural subset of moral depravity and barbarism.” How much more depraved are they than others? Who of us would welcome close inspection of our lives and minds? Is their barbarism worse because we see it? Is it worse than the barbarism that goes unseen and unpunished in board-rooms and back-rooms that doesn’t damage a few lives but thousands or millions? Barbarism that ultimately serves to create the environment you condemn?
Have you spent time with the people you judge? Spent time in their communities? Shopped with them? Eaten with them? Seen how they live? Worked with them? Have you ever even talked to them? If someone worked hard, succeeded, decided to move to Carver County, and perhaps buy the home next to you would you welcome them with open arms?
The recent rising tide has lifted the yachts of the top earners very, very high while too many in rowboats are still bailing and trying to stop the leaks. They won’t be lifted and generational dependence on aid eliminated until they have opportunities. Will you extend a hand to them? We don’t want equal distribution of wealth. That is the nightmare you folks create for yourselves. The rest of us believe in an equal opportunity to create wealth. That’s it. But you have to live in fear of something.
You play doctor and talk about the patient but all you do is jab your fingers in the wounds. To be correct, it is insanity when you do the same thing that constantly fails. To constantly submit diatribe with no real solutions is, on the other hand …

Kelly Amott

Writer says it’s not a
racial thing, it’s politics

To the editor:

Last week, a letter writer attempted to shut down debate of an important issue for our time, using the popular false specter of racism technique.
My own understanding of this issue has been informed partly by genealogy research.
In 1892, my grandfather lived in his home at 35th and Green Street in Chicago. My future grandmother lived a few blocks away with her parents and siblings. My grandfather, and other relatives, helped establish a church nearby. I would like to be able to visit this old neighborhood, but I am continually warned against it. Those who are familiar with the area today tell me it is not safe to go there.
My grandfather’s house on Green Street no longer stands, as the Gresham Elementary School now occupies the entire block. Some months ago there was much news about Gresham student fears of being shot while walking to school. The student population is 100 percent African American (www.greatschools.org/illinois/chicago/1117-Gresham-Elementary-School).
Another unsafe neighborhood, which I have been discouraged from visiting, is located in Minneapolis. For a time, during WW II, I lived on Pleasant Ave., just south of Lake Street. I’ve recently learned that the house next door was bought and torn down by the city after the owner complained he could not walk from his front door to his car without fear of being caught in the crossfire. This precinct voted 89.3 percent for President Obama in 2012 (MN Secretary of State website).
I recall reading and hearing about Democrat politicians and community organizers, over the years, who actively promoted the influx of primarily black immigrants from other parts of the country and world, with promises of government welfare bribes, knowing this would enslave these neighborhoods to the Democrat payola, destroy families, breed crime, and ensure the seats of the Democrat Party overseers.
It is not skin color that causes unsafe neighborhoods. The primary culprits appear to be the Democrat party politicians who target people of color as their prey. If these same politicians would target only blue-eyed people, we would soon be wondering why blue-eyed neighborhoods are unsafe.

VJ Larson

To move forward, we must face reality of issue

To the editor:

I appreciate the comments by Rev. Dale Peterson in the Sept. 5 edition of The Waconia Patriot. A healthy discussion can be constructive. But I must respectfully object.
My cited research and remarks were planned for the week of MLK’s 50th anniversary speech. The purpose was not to denigrate, but to present a series of data and to ask the readers if there couldn’t be a better pathway forward. I believe that in order to be constructive, one must face the reality of an issue. If someone wants to call that “destructive,” I cannot control that. Only accentuating the positive is a disservice to real solutions.
I am pleased Rev. Peterson has had positive “black youth” encounters. So have I. It is resourceful for him to use the white hip hop rapper, Dave Scherer, to instill Biblical theology. If his joint mission trips to Minneaoplis are a success, wonderful. But to cite his limited exposure and project that as a benchmark against my “destructive letter,” leaves me with a case of writer’s block.
I suggest folks read the editorial by Dr. Ben Carson in the Aug. 28 issue of the Washington Times. You will find many parallel thoughts and sentiments of which I wrote.
I am grateful that Rev. Peterson acknowledges I have a right to my opinion.
However I am troubled that he issued a veiled threat to this publication to censor me. Refusing to address the important societal issues will not solve them in a constructive manner. Are we to assume that weighty issues such as GLBT, immigration, abortion, race and others could no longer be discussed? My letter did present a framework of constructive measures that could be considered. Is it wrong for a taxpayer to demand a better outcome from their government? I believe that in order for a community to grow in a positive manner we must address the destructive forces around us.
apable of handling community news and serious topics from bird sightings and an urban chicken controversy to important societal issues. It is a balance that is informative and challenges the reader. It is the very essence of a valued community service. Let’s not lose sight of that.

Joe Polunc

PCC event serves 575 people ‘living on little’

To the editor:

On behalf of the 2013 Scott-Carver Project Community Connect (PCC) Steering Committee, we would like to thank all of the individuals and organizations that made this year’s event on Aug. 8 so successful. Through this one-day event, we were able to help an estimated 575 people who are “living on little.”
In particular we want to thank the Chaska Community Center for hosting the 2013 Scott-Carver PCC. We appreciate the generous amount of space made available to PCC service providers and all of the support from the CCC staff to plan, publicize and set up PCC and all of the help the day of the event. We could not have asked for a better site for the 2013 PCC.
Our committee was able to organize this event and provide direct services at PCC because of the financial support we received from the following sponsors: St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Shakopee Catholic Community, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Walmart, Chaska Rotary, Shakopee Sam’s Club, and GE Fleet. We thank them for their generosity, and we thank all of the individuals who donated and provided products and professional services to support this year’s PCC.
Those who came to Scott-Carver PCC identified themselves as people who are “living on little,” individuals and families who are homeless or need assistance to prevent them from becoming homeless and those who need specific services.
The intake process found 46 homeless men, women, and children who are living in tents or in their vehicles, staying in motels, or doubling up with friends and families because they have lost their housing. More than 100 PCC guests requested medical services, and more than 50 guests requested dental services. Loaves and Fishes served 650 lunches at PCC, local hairdressers gave out 142 free haircuts, and 65 children received free child care during the event.
This year’s PCC involved more than 100 volunteers and 80 service providers who made it possible for our neighbors in need to discover what is available for them in our community and connect with those resources. It also showed them that there are people in the community who care about them and are willing to lend a helping hand.
It is this type of community involvement and service that makes it possible to move Heading Home Scott-Carver’s Plan to End Homelessness forward. Our thanks go out to everyone who contributed to Project Community Connect for being part of the solution!

Coleen Speer
Allison Streich
PCC Steering Committee