Back in 2016 when Donald J. Trump was running for the presidency, he said that after he was elected, "We're gonna win so much you may even get tired of winning and you'll say please, please Mr. president, it's too much winning!"
At the time I thought, "That's crazy talk!" I have to admit, however, if "winning" has been happening in our country, yes, I'm tired of it. Really tired.
Two weeks ago, New Times reporter Karen Garcia wrote a news brief about a Spanish-language magazine coming to the area ("An all-Spanish magazine is coming to SLO County," Dec. 26, 2019). Titled Somos!: La Revista que Educa, Inspira, y te Conecta, the magazine name translates to "We are: The Magazine that Educates, Inspires, and Connects You." The general interest magazine for Spanish speakers will be available throughout the county and Santa Maria, and it's meant to make Spanish speakers feel like they're more connected to the community.
Seems harmless enough, right? Well not to "Mike" from Paso Robles, who left this message on Garcia's answering machine:
"I'm calling about last week's opinion (sic) article—an all-Spanish magazine coming to SLO County—and the fact that you have the last name Garcia. It sounds like you may be Hispanic yourself. I'm curious about that. ... I've been shopping at Walmart ever since it opened in Paso Robles, and I've seen a drastic increase of Hispanic people in the area, and when I'm in the store—Walmart, Big-5—and see 'em, they're always speaking Spanish, 99 percent of 'em. They're not trying to assimilate. They're trying to re-Conquistador! It's disgusting in my opinion. They take advantage of our subsidies, our services, our welfare, our handouts, our roads, and they need to assimilate properly and start speaking the American language. I'd like to know your thoughts on that."
"Re-Conquistador?" Huh? Ms. Garcia is too classy to wrestle with a pig because she knows she'll get dirty and the pig will like it, but I'm not. Mike, you're a sad, scared, pathetic racist. These Spanish-speaking shoppers are putting money into your local economy and paying sales tax just like you. I bet if you said, "Good morning," in the "American language," they would smile at you and say, "Good morning!" right back, just like normal human beings do. Sure, some of them may not speak perfect English, but the vast majority—including Ms. Garcia—are bilingual! And some (here's a real shocker for you, Mike) might even be American citizens! What's your second language, Mike, American?
According to the libertarian Cato Institute, "Overall, immigrants are less likely to consume welfare benefits, and when they do, they generally consume a lower dollar value than native-born Americans."
Instead of scapegoating Spanish speakers, maybe you should learn a second language, which leads to better decision-making skills, improved memory, increased attention span, the ability to multitask, an increase of perceptual sensitivity, better cognitive abilities, a bigger brain, improved first language abilities, and overall less assholishness (OK, I made up the last one, but the rest is true).
Speaking of assholishness, thanks for resigning your SLO County Planning Commission post after public outcry for your ugly, bigoted Facebook posts, Jim Harrison! You did the right thing. As for the person who appointed you—4th District SLO County Supervisor Lynn Compton—do you have any comment on Harrison's now-deleted posts? Your complete silence about his Islamophobia and petty partisan attacks on liberals seems to suggest you were fine with them ... or indifferent. Too bad you're not up for re-election this cycle!
Speaking of social media and incivility, Jesus H. Christ, what's wrong with you people?!? New Times posted on its Facebook page about VAXXED II: The People's Truth, an anti-vaccination film screening Jan. 11, in Morro Bay's Bay Theatre, and people are losing their freaking minds!
"Hard to believe this idiocy is being encouraged by SLO NT and the Bay Theater (sic). Blood on all your hands," Lee W Collins commented—one of many attacks on New Times because of the informational post.
Dear reactionary Facebook commenters, as entertaining as your histrionics are, New Times did not make the "documentary," nor have we endorsed it, but we do believe in free speech, even speech we think is wrong. We've given anti-vaxxers space to voice their views, and we've given proponents of vaccinations—like me!—room to counter anti-vax views. It's called a discussion. What seems to be happening in the comment section of this post is a word brawl.
It's the online equivalent of the actual brawl that occurred on Jan. 6 at SLO City Hall. After Mayor Heidi Harmon posted on Facebook about the sort of ongoing harassment she receives as a female mayor—"The amount of cruelty, rudeness, threats, sexism, stalking, body shaming, rude/threatening comments towards my children, etc., I receive are unbelievable"—Lannen Bowers, a 58-year-old SLO man (reportedly a transient) with a weird romantic fixation on Harmon, charged past the front desk demanding to see her and had to be taken to the ground by SLO City Manager Derek "The Other Rock" Johnson.
Good grief! Can we Make America Civil Again? Δ
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