illustration by J. Acosta

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR — April 2019

The Conscience of “Hate Radio”?

We’ve met self-styled “hate radio” personalities on mainstream news.

These are the people who sometimes call themselves actors. They don’t shy away from the term “hate radio” because, they say, “It’s what sells.” They know they’re “over the top,” and they take their brand of “humor” with a grain of salt.

They believe that they’re not angry or troubled, but they believe their audience is and they want to speak to their hearts.

Here is the problem with this disingenuous reasoning: The FBI reports that hate crimes are escalating. They’ve been growing for three years while hate media proliferated and our own President has been yelling with fury at packed stadiums.

The “right-wing media,” along with their leaders, have gleefully raised a monster. They enjoy unleashing its fury. Their brand of public relations is designed to trigger emotions—not just cater to them. And they are paid big money by experts in the field to create reactions.

Attention media producers with fire and fury: You’re not just helping to elect leaders who hate large segments of their own population; New Zealand’s disaster had better be on your conscience. The perpetrators are honoring you and the leaders you support. They named our President as inspiration.

Hate radio in our town has told us to “look for Muslims in our own backyards” and turn them in to authorities if they see them bent over a carpet (while praying).

Some producers have openly stated to us that they want to air the most angry/belligerent, nationally syndicated media personalities that no one else will air. They call themselves “right of right.”

Why do they do what they do? For ratings? Really?

Here’s hoping that these greedy hate radio producers have a talk with their god, families and friends today. Because if they don’t feel a sense of remorse they aren’t looking deeply enough. Someone they love is quietly judging them and waiting for them to learn how what they do matters. It impacts their world; it does not just mimic it.

Halima Aquino

Clovis

Does “Progressive” Mean Anything?

In the recent Democratic Party Assembly District election, there were progressive slates in both Assembly Districts 23 and 31.

In AD23, the progressive slate was apparently endorsed by organizations including Our Revolution, Courage Campaign, Roots Action and Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). Many of the candidates on this slate appear to have legitimate progressive credentials although at least one of the candidates has worked aggressively to discredit local progressives.

The progressive slate for AD31, however, is a different story. Endorsed by the same organizations, except Roots Action, one of the endorsed candidates (who actually won!) publicly endorsed two Republicans in the 2018 election. How is that progressive? A couple of the other candidates have dubious progressive credentials, and some who are legitimately progressive were not included on the slate.

Do these endorsing organizations know who they are endorsing? What is the criteria? Do you have to be progressive to be on the “progressive” slate or just a savvy political operative?

Saul Ross

Selma

Demagoguery from the White House

Recently, it has been reported on the Internet that the President of the United States said, “Abortion is murder.” At the same time, the Vice President of the United States said, “All homosexuals should be eliminated.”

The harshness of these pronouncements allows for no debate on these social issues; they allow for no balance or equilibrium to exist in human societies. They are demagoguery statements and have no place in a democratic system of government.

One is reminded of a question asked by Nobel Laureate George Seferis in 1945 at the end of World War II, when people sacrificed so much to defeat Nazi fascism: “What should an intellectual do in face of the religious fanaticism unleashed by the political orthodoxies of the time?”

To save freedom, justice and human dignity, part of the answer to Seferis’ question must be that we must emphasize the “We” (the communal mind) and not the “I” (a politician’s opinion).

Dr. Alex Vavoulis

Fresno

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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