Letters to the Editor

Nunes Resignation

I just read that our lying, deceitful, racist, simply evil man Devin Nunes is planning to resign, to go work for Trump media. 

What more evidence do we need to support the adjectives?! 

I will sip a glass of sparkling wine to toast him leaving. 

I hope we can all work together to find a benevolent replacement. Looking forward to whom the Fresno Community Alliance endorses for the by-election. 

Rosario Fernandes

Vancouver BC

(Editor’s note: The Community Alliance does not independently endorse in political elections or on ballot measures, but we will continue to bring you in-depth coverage of these races and initiatives and share the endorsements of other organizations.)

Thoughts on General Colin Powell

General Colin Powell: A Black man who made American history and will be remembered as one of the greatest generals and statesmen America has ever produced. He is also a personification of what America can achieve if racism and White supremacy did not get in the way of many Blacks who want to make America a more Perfect Union.

I am looking forward to his name replacing the name of a military base that was named after a Confederate general who was in reality a traitor. Looking forward to seeing his name on government buildings and on educational institutions.

The United States was involved in three wars in the Middle East. Two of them the United States lost: the Afghanistan war and the Iraq war. The war that the United States won was the Kuwait/Gulf war.

General Colin Powell was an integral part of this victory as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was the architect of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Both operations defeated the Iraqi army and reversed their invasion of Kuwait.

General Powell was also a supporter of affirmative action. He once said in a speech: “We must understand the cynicism that exists in the Black community, the kind of cynicism that is created when, for example, some in our party miss no opportunity to roundly and loudly condemn affirmative action that helped a few thousand Black kids get an education.

“But hardly a whimper is heard over affirmative action for lobbyists who load our federal tax codes with preferences for special interests,” he added.

General Colin Powell was an American patriot, an African American and an American who endeavored through public service to make America a more inclusive and diverse nation.

Homer Gee Greene Jr.

Fresno

James Polk and Other Names in Dispute

The idea of changing the name of James K. Polk School because he owned slaves is pretty silly when you consider that every president before him owned slaves—every one of them but for John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are said to have owned 600 each. Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison and Taylor owned human beings. Polk owned and traded slaves for profit. That’s what Southern men of means did.

Despite his misdeeds, I am an admirer of President Polk because he accomplished much and is little recognized. He was the strongest of the eight presidents between Jackson and Lincoln. Kudos to the Central Unified School District for its awareness of what Polk brought about.

Texas was admitted to the Union. It wasn’t easy. Northern resistance to another slave state was fierce. It enraged Mexico and led eventually to war. With generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott in military control of Mexico, the United States might have claimed the entire country. Instead, in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, it settled for all parts of California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico, and paid Mexico $15 million.

Meanwhile, the United States was nearly at war with Britain over the Oregon Territory, far larger than the state of Oregon itself. Polk compromised and settled on the 49th parallel, acquiring Oregon and settling the northern boundaries of Washington, Idaho and Montana.

By the end of his four years in office, “manifest destiny” was achieved, the goal of extending tha nation from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Polk served seven terms in the House of Representative and was speaker before becoming governor of Tennessee. He was president from 1845 to 1849. He had four goals: lowering tariffs, acquiring California, establishing an independent treasury and settling the Oregon dispute—and accomplished them all.

California was admitted to the Union as a free state on Sept. 9, 1850.

It was a quickie process because, among other reasons, gold had been discovered in 1848. There were no contiguous states; the nearest was Texas. In my childhood that date was a legal holiday. It was observed at school, there were parades and pageants. In time, the fuss faded and in 1984 the state legislature eliminated it as a legal holiday.

A dozen years ago in Tennessee, I visited Polk’s grave on the grounds of the state capitol in Nashville. It’s a modest tomb that could fit in most living rooms. It is fitting that Central Unified named a school for him, despite having been a slave owner.

So if Polk’s name on a school goes, where does it end? All but two of his predecessors were bondsmen. Do we start with the name of the nation’s capital itself? I thought eliminating Fresno High’s symbol of an Indian warrior was unnecessary. It depicted a noble warrior, the school’s nickname.

Cleveland’s baseball team was obligated to drop its Indian nickname, while Atlanta’s high-flying Braves chop on with their tomahawk, a deadly weapon.

If something must be changed, let it be Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish. I can no longer tolerate calling Irishmen hooligans and brawlers.

Donald R. Slinkard

Retired managing editor of the Fresno Bee

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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Gabriel Suarez
9 months ago

This letter goes is racist and condescending. This goes against Community Alliance’s purpose.

Gabriel Suarez
8 months ago

The letter about James Polk goes is racist and condescending. This goes against Community Alliance’s purpose. It is not silly to want to change the name of the school because Polk owned slaves. Polk also committed genocide and used the idea of white supremacy to steal land and enslave Native Americans. This letter is in response to a 5th grader trying to change the name of his school because the name and mascot make him feel unwelcome and discouraged. Slinkard’s whitewashed view of history is disgusting and outdated. This is the opposite of progressive.

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