Letter to The McClatchy Company re: Racially offensive commentary in the Merced Sun-Star
Central Valley Safe Environment Network
P.O. Box 64
Merced, CA. 95341
Senior Officers of The McClatchy Company
Gary B. Pruitt - Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer
Heather L. Fagundes - Vice President, Human Resources
Christian A. Hendricks - Vice President, Interactive Media
Karole Morgan-Prager - Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Patrick J. Talamantes - Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Howard Weaver - Vice President, News
Robert J. Weil - Vice President, Operations
Frank Whittaker - Vice President, Operations
Directors of The McClatchy Company
Elizabeth A. Ballantine
Leroy Barnes Jr.
William K. Coblentz
Molly Maloney Evangelisti
Joan F. Lane
Brown McClatchy Maloney
Kevin S. McClatchy
Theodore R. Mitchell
S. Donley Ritchey
Frederick R. Ruiz
2100 Q Street
Sacramento CA 95815
P.O. Box 15779
Tel. (916) 321-1855
Fax (916) 321-1869 Via: Email and Fax
Re: Racially offensive commentary in the Merced Sun-Star
Date: April 25, 2006
McClatchy Officers and Directors:
We write you to protest the publication on Saturday, April 22, 2006 of a column by a regular contributor to the Merced Sun-Star titled “Liberty, opportunity are for Americans only.”
Speaking as citizens of Merced and for citizens of the San Joaquin Valley and of the United States, we will not tolerate racist smears of 18-year-old high school girls in our newspaper; we will not tolerate our newspaper publishing its contempt for an entire ethnic minority; we will not tolerate a vicious attack on a person little more than a child without any means of defending herself, presently in a Border Patrol holding tank in Bakersfield; we will not tolerate our newspaper bullying the weak and defenseless.
We are not asking for or demanding the immediate dismissal of the publisher and the editorial staff of the Merced Sun-Star that published this racial slander and libel against a high school girl. We expect nothing less than their dismissal and an apology from the McClatchy board for publishing material with racial hatred content intended to intimidate and incite.
This newspaper has entirely lost contact with its community and with decency.
Merced Sun-Star, April 22, 2006
Weekend voices: Liberty, opportunity are for Americans only
By David F. Burke
Get out of this valley, Alma Oseguara. Maybe after a few weeks in a Kern County jail you'll finally understand that we don't want you and your kind here in the San Joaquin Valley.
Never mind that you spent the last 12 years attending school here, and were weeks away from graduation at Le Grand High School. You and your bleeding-heart classmates need to understand that we expect you to obey the law of the land.
Even six-year-old illegals have to play by the rules and because you entered our country without permission when you were six, our agents were perfectly within their rights to "target" you and to bang on your door at 3 in the morning, demanding that you pack your bags and go directly to jail.
And don't start that old song about escaping from Mexico to get away from an abusive father, Alma.
Do you think we're the kind of nation that would welcome the wretched refuse of another country? Do you think we want more homeless, tempest-tossed masses of tired and poor people like you? Does our border look to you like some kind of golden door?
Forget that idea. We stopped holding the torch for your kind of immigrants long ago.
Liberty and opportunity are for Americans only. Did you imagine that we were talking about Mexicans when we said, "all are created equal?" Get real, Alma. Say goodbye to Le Grand High, to dreams of college and to friends and relatives you've known for a dozen years.
Bienvenidos a Mexico.
Let me explain how it works, Alma. My son looks a bit like you; he has the same skin tone. But Jesse had the good sense not to be born in Mexico - he was born in New Mexico.
About 300 years ago, his ancestors, named Garcia, came through Texas -- well, it may have been "Tejas" then -- and up into northern New -- I mean Nuevo -- Mexico and southern Colorado.
Then, 150 years later, my ancestors picked a fight with Mexico. We first tried to get what we wanted peacefully, offering our neighbors to the south $25 million for California. But the ignorant Mexicans thought the state was worth more than that.
So, we sent two armies into Mexico and a third to California, by way of New Mexico. The silly Mexicans refused to surrender, so we captured Mexico City and "convinced" our captors to accept just $15 million for the Golden State. The vanquished Mexicans threw in New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Utah - about half of their country, all told - for free.
And that, Alma, should explain why my brown-skinned son -- who was born in New Mexico -- gets to stay while you -- who were born in Old Mexico -- must leave.
It's not personal. It's the law. If you like, you can think of it as manifest destiny.
Now, get out of my country. And don't come back until you are legal.
The Central Valley Safe Environment Network is confident McClatchy officers and directors will do the right thing in a timely manner, removing the “leadership” of this newspaper, which increasingly over the last decade become a source of unjust speech and propaganda.
Central Valley Safe Environment Network
Hank Vander Veen
Publisher, Merced Sun-Star
Editor, Merced Sun-Star
CENTRAL VALLEY SAFE ENVIRONMENT NETWORK
Central Valley Safe Environment Network is a coalition of organizations and individuals throughout the San Joaquin Valley that is committed to the concept of "Eco-Justice" -- the ecological defense of the natural resources and the people. To that end it is committed to the stewardship, and protection of the resources of the greater San Joaquin Valley, including air and water quality, the preservation of agricultural land, and the protection of wildlife and its habitat. In serving as a community resource and being action-oriented, CVSEN desires to continue to assure there will be a safe food chain, efficient use of natural resources and a healthy environment. CVSEN is also committed to public education regarding these various issues and it is committed to ensuring governmental compliance with federal and state law. CVSEN is composed of farmers, ranchers, city dwellers, environmentalists, ethnic, political, and religious groups, and other stakeholders