MAN’S BEST FRIEND
I read about the disaster that was created by the privatization of electrical power supply, the road system, and the Accenture debacle, also the underfunding of state parks, and so many other stupidities of the Texas Lege, and it seems that these people are irrefutable proof that there is no intelligent designer. Please tell me something optimistic that makes it worthwhile getting up in the morning.
Daniel K. Miller Laredo
Editor’s note: Dogs, Daniel. Dogs make it worthwhile to get up in the morning.
BREACH OF FAITH
The article “Don’t Stop Believing,” (July 13) sounds like a very accurate description of the Southern Baptist Convention, including the history of the conservative takeover. That takeover and all the things that have happened since then explain why I left the Baptist church about 10 years ago. When they decided they had all the answers to theological questions, they lost me. They have taken over the seminaries and even Baylor University, from which I graduated in 1964. When a seminary president has to have a bodyguard, there is something drastically wrong. The whole mess doesn’t sound very Christian to me. I now attend an Interfaith church.
Sylvia Ashley Via e-mail
I must admit I had never read the Texas Observer, nor even heard of it, until last night. You see, this past year I began being part of a ministry that goes in and simply fellowships with inmates, and we listen to them and love them, right where they are. My first time inside a maximum security prison was in April of this year. Undoubtedly I was the most uncomfortable person there, but a young man was seated next to me. I soon found out his name, Kristopher Mewes. We spoke, visited, began to share stories, and before I left that three-day event he and I had prayed together, thanking God for our mothers and praying for a hope and a future. This article (“I Know Why the Caged Bird Screams,” May 4) only scratches the surface of how incredible this young man (whom I consider to be one of my best friends) really is. I applaud the author for a job well done, and I commend you for printing such a story. There is an entire group of people behind razor wire that most of us know nothing about. There are some behind those gates that I am thankful are there, but there are also some behind those gates that have much to offer, and much to teach us in the free world. My prayer is that one day they will have their voice. You also have a new reader in central Texas.
Chris Roberson Via e-mail
THE NEXT GENERATION
I believe Plyler vs. Doe is the most important case ever issued in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. (“A Lesson in Equal Protection,” July 13) Among other things, it recognized there was a shadow community in the U.S. and asked Congress to address that issue. No surprise, Congress is still deliberating the matter and cannot get up enough courage to vote for the Dream Act.
Reading your article, I remembered my own upbringing in the ’50s in rural Colorado. I attended public school as an Irish-German Catholic, daughter of a lawyer and nurse. I sat next to Esperanza for 8 years. She was from Mexico. Her house was near the river and had no plumbing or running water. One day she came to school with a big sore on her face. A rat had bitten her. She quit school at the end of her 8th year and went to work as a laborer in the canning factory.
Today, she is a Carmelite nun. During my high school years, the English teacher married the Mexican butcher who worked for the Safeway grocery store. She was fired.
Recently, I represented a “Mexican” who had been deported 3 times. He was in jail and wrote me to ask if I would represent him. His mother was born in Texas in 1921. She clearly was a U.S. citizen but she never attended school. “Mexican” women were not supposed to go to school then. I was able to prove her physical presence in the U.S. and my client was released from detention because he was “not an alien” — he too was a U.S. citizen but never knew it.
Mexicans (Hispanics) have been the object of our prejudice for a long time. It is so difficult for Americans to see how prejudiced we are. We hated South Africa for not educating its blacks, but we do the same here. We send billions of dollars to Africa to save their children, while “illegals” receive no aid here. Now “illegals” are the scapegoat of the middle class.
What an irony it is that “illegals” just want the opportunity to have the basic living rights of our middle class. And our middle class is so unhappy they want to blame the “illegals” for their inability to accept the new global world.
Ann Allott Via e-mail