Marilyn Writes

Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 year banking career, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, and other major industry publications. The American Bankers Association (ABA) published Barnewall’s Profitable Private Banking: the Complete Blueprint, in 1987. She taught private banking at Colorado University for the ABA and trained private bankers in Singapore.

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's about lawlessness, not racism

April 27, 2004 Grand Junction Free Press Page 10

(c) Copyright 2003, Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall, All Rights Reserved Grammy's Axioms, Special to the Free Press

By Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall

Axiom: Until you see all other people as your equal or potential equal, you are not theirs.

     According to former NBA star Charles Barkley, “The only thing liberals have done for blacks, is give them an inferiority complex.” Barkley is black.
     Because my granddaughters are half black, his comments are precisely what worry me as they mature and grow to be productive adults.
     They have had stable childhoods with both mother and father in the home. They attended charter schools in the suburban Denver area. Statewide tests place them among the top ½ of 1 percent of all Colorado students in their grades. I find it insulting that the University of Michigan thinks my granddaughters need 20 points added to their SAT scores to compete effectively with white kids. What arrogance!
      Many of our colleges and universities are taking a leading role in race intolerance. Jeanne McDonnell, a freshman at the College of William and Mary wrote a recent Washington Times editorial. She tried to enroll in a five-week seminar called the Summer Transition Program. It was designed to help develop good study habits and test-taking skills. She was denied admission because she was white. The program was for minorities only.
      Separate graduation ceremonies for blacks are offered at Vanderbilt, Stanford, California University, Michigan University and Pennsylvania University, among others. University administrators also make racially segregated student housing available. What would happen if a white student requested a “white only” dorm room or a segregated graduation ceremony for “whites only.”
     “Racism” (or, sexism and other “isms”) is defined as one person with social, legal or employment power over others who physically or socially abuses a person because of the color or shape of that person’s skin. I read that to mean that when one holds power over others and abuses it because of race, one is a racist. I do not read it to mean that only whites can be guilty of racist attitudes and acts.
     A letter to the Free Press editor in the April 21st issue about my illegal immigration article on April 19th suggests that because I quoted an expert who says human feces “deposited” by illegal immigrants in the Arizona desert is a biohazard, I am biased against Mexican illegals. The writer showed his own bias because I did not mention the word “Mexican.” I said “illegal aliens.” He assumed I meant Mexicans and accused me of making inflammatory statements.
     Truth is truth. Facts are facts. "Dear Reader: The act caused inflammatory reactions, not my reporting of the facts. People sometimes appear to have problems differentiating between the cause of a message and the messenger."
     I do not get upset when people disagree with me. Feel free to write all the letters you want to the editor disagreeing with me. Unless you have an axe to grind, I assume you will quote me accurately. The writer of this letter interpreted what my words meant. His interpretations were biased and he lays his bias at my door. He did not quote me, he interpreted my words. I usually have little trouble saying what I mean.
     As for the writer’s suggestion that I become familiar with Migrant Services in Palisade, I contribute to the organization regularly. I agree that Mexicans employed by our orchards are skilled, hard workers. I strongly support a monitored worker exchange program with Mexico. I do not and will not support a violation of America’s borders, Mexican or Canadian. Either we are a nation of laws or we are not. The word “illegal” is placed before the word “alien” for a reason… a factual reason.
     The writer was correct when he said immigration has a long and complicated history. There is, for example, Aztlan. It is a name given to the area of the United States ceded by Mexico at the conclusion of the Mexican-American War in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. Certain Mexican nationalists believe a separate country called Aztlan will be carved out of the United States and "re-conquered." Mexicans refer to it as "la reconquista." That is a fact, not a bias.
     The writer was incorrect when he says I portrayed “illegal immigrants as bloodthirsty.” I did not use that word. I did, however, quote the fact that warrants have been issued for illegal aliens in 1,200 of 1,500 murders in Los Angeles. I did not suggest the people sought for these crimes were Mexicans. I said “illegal aliens.” It is a fact. I have no idea if the illegals cited are of Mexican origin.
     As it pertains to my illegal immigration article, it is the lawlessness I oppose.
     People who consider others their equals treat them with respect, regardless of skin color. That applies to the attitudes of non-whites toward whites as well as the attitudes of whites toward non-whites.