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07.02.08

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dehumanizing

Thank you for your recent article that put a human face on the impact of the ICE raids in our communities ("ICE Storm," June 18). I was saddened to see people who are undocumented referred to as "illegal immigrants" though. People aren't illegal. Such wording dehumanizes.

It also carries with it a perverse sense of moral authority, as though we who aren't undocumented are justified in our presence here, while the undocumented are not. These people whom we refer to as "illegal" were here first. Their ancestors were migrating over the Rio Grande while my ancestors were still in Europe.  

"Illegal" also carries a sense that there is a disrupting of an otherwise orderly system. Our system relies on people who are undocumented. These people build our homes, harvest our agriculture, bake our bread and care for our elderly. We couldn't function without them.

The article ends with an unfortunate quote from an ICE spokesperson: "[We] are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. And those laws have to be enforced." It's a tragedy that we violate the Geneva Convention, ignore the Bill of Rights, ignore SEC violations, but go full tilt after some of the most vulnerable, defenseless members of our society.

Kevin O'Connor

Sebastopol


from the Passive-Aggressive Files

We very much appreciated Lois Pearlman's June 25 feature article on the current (and deteriorating) state of mental healthcare in Sonoma County ("Insane Situation"), but were appalled at your paper's stigma-perpetuating use of the words "insane" and "crazy-making." Such words tend to undo too much of the good that your fairly complete article might have done.

It is regrettable that the "Clip 'n' Go Guide" did not mention the organization which for 25 years has been providing helpful services to those in our county who have a mental illness and to their families: NAMI-Sonoma County, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Liz and John Maxwell

Bloomfield

Hi: Thanks for taking the time to respond to our publication. Please know that the author did include notice of NAMI for the "Clip 'n' Go" but that we deleted it regretfully at the end due to space constrictions. This is to confirm receipt of your letter.

Best regards,

Gretchen Giles

Gretchen,

Thanks for your reply. We would certainly like to have the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the whole subject of mental healthcare in greater detail.

Two things. First, you totally ignored the main topic of my letter—the completely inappropriate use of the pejorative words in the article's titles.

Second, as someone very familiar with publishing software and for years having edited and published periodicals, I will not accept your glib reason of "space considerations" for the censorship of NAMI-SC from your "Clip 'n' Go" sidebar.  Judicious use of either leading or font sizes would have permitted the inclusion of NAMI-SC and its free services along with the other nine groups under the Non-Emergency category (two-thirds of which charge for their services!).

Call us if you are able to work us into your schedule. Thanks again for your attention.

Um, I don't think so.

Here's the info we had to cut because we have an actual style book and template.

NAMI (National Association on Mental Illness) National organization offering education for people with mental illness and family members, support groups, a mental health library, a hotline during business hours, referrals, political advocacy and other resources. 1717 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa. 707.527.6655.

Buckelew An affordable independent housing project in Petaluma for people with serious mental illness. For information, call Gary Pierce at the Sonoma County Mental Health Department. 707.565.4943.

• Also, Chrysalis Counseling Services for Women would like to add that they use both interns and licensed clinicians in treating all ages and gender.


Dept. of Corrections

"Surely you can tell that's a wasp," said the exasperated woman on the phone. We peered more closely at the image accompanying a story about the glassy-winged sharpshooter ("Trouble That Never Came," June 18). "Sharpshooters are leaf-hoppers," the woman patiently stressed, as if that were an explanation. "Well, the University of California at Riverside doesn't think it's a sharpshooter, does it?" she asked, referring to the photo credit. No. We asked permission to reprint and they gave it. A leaf-hopper, huh? 

The Ed.

stung


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