Letters: Ethnic studies | Oakland’s problems | Fix transit | Dishonoring flag

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Ethnic studies transcend
any particular race

Re: “Schools in crossfire over ethnic studies” (Page A1, June 10).

I was stunned to read in a recent article that the panel developing the ethnic studies curriculum excluded “European-American ethnic groups.”

By focusing solely on the undeniably horrible experiences of people of color, they miss a fundamental point: Prejudice is not exclusively a matter of skin color. People of all ethnicities have shown prejudice. In the 19th century in America storekeepers put up signs with the abbreviation “NINA” — “No Irish Need Apply.” Quotas were set on several “white” ethnicities, including Slavs and Italians (especially southern Italians). Jews were a particular target of bigotry. And the list goes on.

We need to teach children that these attitudes are not just a matter of color, but a result of the “us versus them” wiring built into our brains, and that we must consciously fight this all-too-human tendency no matter who is the victim — or the bigot.

Stephen McLaughlin

Oakland roads adding
to the city’s problems

I recently returned from a trip to Indonesia. Imagine my surprise to discover that their roads were better than Oakland’s.

Apparently, Oakland has dropped out of the competition for best roadways. On Aug. 28, 2023, I used the 311 system to report a series of potholes at the intersection of Chelton and Haverhill. They have not been repaired.

Driving up Chelton is like driving over a half-mile line of giant asphalt muffin tins. The potholes are deep enough to have popped people’s tires.

Repeated calls to supervisors have not been returned or acknowledged.

If money is the problem, making Oakland safer would go a long way to bringing customers back to Oakland businesses, and reducing crimes against retailers would allow them to prosper and pay more taxes.

Maybe then I wouldn’t have to wait nine months to get dangerous potholes repaired.

Gordon Teekell

Fix transit organizations
before taxing Bay Area

Re: “Bay Area’s public transportation bailout bill skids off course, lacking a consensus” (Page A1, June 8).

Why do politicians just throw money at a problem, but never really fix anything?

The latest is to try and impose a $750 million-a-year, 30-year tax on the Bay Area counties. Instead, they should first fix the transit organization problem and cut the money needed by 25%.

• Consolidate the 27 agencies into one or two.

• Fire redundant management.

• Remove all union jobs, including $200,000 a year janitorial jobs.

• Fire all staff and rehire at 20% less pay; they will be able to fill all the positions.

Chris Wood

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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