Discrimination in the U.S.

To my neighbor in Manhattan Beach who wrote about his family history of immigration and success ("Story of a WASP" The Beach Reporter, 6/25/2020): this isn’t about what you or your good immigrant ancestors did when they chose to come to America. This is about Black Americans whose ancestors had no choice in coming to this country, and still cannot walk through daily life without facing barriers. Formally ending slavery did not end entrenched, systemic, legal discrimination.

When you borrow money, the interest rate is based on your FICO score, not the color of your skin. When you go to cash a legitimate check, you aren’t accused of fraud and have the police called because of the color of your skin.

When your teenage son goes to the store for Skittles and ice tea, he isn’t murdered by a vigilante because of the color of his skin. When your son goes for a jog, he isn’t hunted and murdered by racists because of the color of his skin. When your teenage daughter goes to the local pool with friends, she isn’t tackled by the police because of the color of her skin.

Because these things never happen to you, or to your family or to your friends, you may not know that these things do happen to other people. But they do. Every day.

This is not about blaming people for the past, but acknowledging the past is still the present and that needs to change so all people have access, opportunity and equal treatment.

—Alice Neuhauser, Manhattan Beach

Costa graduate Strand walk

For the members of the Mira Costa’s Class of 2020 who proudly marched down the Strand and onto the beach for large group pictures and celebration [on 6/19/20], be assured, you probably will be remembered, but for the wrong reasons.

Starting with your approbation of the BLM cause, your self-centered celebration in the midst of the pandemic and the assistant principal’s excuse that you should be forgiven because you are children (which, in part, is true based on your behavior), it appears you may be ill-prepared for this changed world.

As you marched in unison without masks or distancing, did you consider the possibility of infecting your peers, parents, grandparents or others? If any of those mentioned are hospitalized, is that simply their bad luck, and not your fault? Borrowing from Schrodinger’s Cat analogy, you are both guilty and not guilty at the same time.

If the school’s excuse is that “so much was taken away” from this class, perhaps it’s time to acknowledge the incredible opportunity this class was given in attending Mira Costa versus other less well-off school districts throughout LA County. Whether they took advantage of that educational opportunity is another matter. A quality, free education is an opportunity; your education is the gift of a lifetime.

Those who marched and celebrated, failed both themselves and our larger community. With the sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in MB, was ignoring the LA County directives really worth it?

—Dennis Fitzgerald, Manhattan Beach

Size of Beach Cities Health District campus

Re: "Beach Cities Health District to cut Healthy Living Campus revamp nearly in half," The Beach Reporter, 6/18/20:

I live on Towers Avenue, right behind the proposed development of BCHD. We strongly oppose this, much too large, development in the strongest way. Please see that our community voices are heard.

—Mike Woolsey, Torrance

Spike in COVID-19 cases

A few weeks ago while "safe at home" watching the George Floyd demonstrations on TV, it occurred to me that most of the participants were neither wearing facial coverings nor observing physical distancing requirements. I suppose they figured that since it (the demonstrations) were for a worthy cause, they should be exempt. I still remember years ago, when we were all young and immortal, I would probably have thought the same.

Unfortunately the virus thought otherwise. (I sometimes think of the virus as some kind of alien colony-creature out to destroy humanity.) So now after a suitable incubation period, we are seeing a predictable spike in new COVID-19 cases.

(Fortunately since most of the participants seemed to be younger, new cases may be mild and thus could actually improve "herd immunity.")

—Phil Reimert, Manhattan Beach

Commentary versus advice to graduates

Re: "Dear Class of 2020, we're sorry ...and thank you," The Beach Reporter, 6/18/20: Paul Silva’s columns over the years are usually a treat to read. However, I have major issues with his ode to the Class of 2020.  It was labeled a “commentary,” but read as a series of political statements vs. any meaningful advice to 2020 grads.

I work in the finance industry and am tired of people like Mr. Silva painting a picture of Wall Street greed at the expense of common folk. That may have been true for a few select cases but the vast majority of financial professionals work their tails off to provide for their families and boost our economy. Paul did have one very valid comment.  “Today you graduates are wading into a world awash in news, opinion, rumor and propaganda.” I couldn’t agree more. Mr. Silva’s commentary appeared to be another example of that statement.

—Ed Balazs, Manhattan Beach

The silent majority

Carl Eichstaedt’s letter to the editor ("Story of a WASP" The Beach Reporter, 6/25/2020), which describes his immigrant family’s humble beginnings in America and service in the military during five wars, tells a story familiar to millions of American families. However, by referring to himself (and, by extension, them) as “the silent majority that feels we are being vilified for things we neither did, thought about doing nor ever think about doing” he has inadvertently touched on one of the key reasons progress on achieving justice, equal treatment and equal opportunity for Blacks and other minorities in our country has been so unacceptably, heartbreakingly slow.

It is precisely the silence of the majority that has made it possible for institutional racism to endure in virtually every aspect of American life. Even silent sympathy is no longer acceptable.

We are now in the midst of a painful, historic national reckoning with America’s racist past and present, akin to what we saw in the turbulent 1960s. Some of our elected representatives appear ready to press for changes in our laws and justice system that are long past overdue. It is the responsibility of every American – especially those who have been silent until now – to stop being silent observers. Now it’s time to listen, educate ourselves on the issues, and – most of all – to insist all candidates seeking our votes commit to developing workable plans for achieving justice and equal treatment for all.

—Arlene Pinzler, Redondo Beach

Contact Lisa Jacobs lisa.jacobs@TBRnews.com or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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