YAF'S ON YOU
The Weekly published a letter from Lynda Hernandez of Huntington Beach [May 23] that stated, "Was appalled at the racist comments about Middle East citizens spewed by Young Americans for Freedom when they attacked HB Councilwoman Debbie Cook's vote against using tax dollars to tie yellow ribbons around the city." [Nick Schou's "Jingo Fever," May 9.]Hernandez's entire premise for her letter is a lie. The resolution was to allow volunteers to tie yellow ribbons on HB city property. The ribbons were to be purchased and maintained by volunteers. There is no use of tax dollars. If there were "racist comments about Middle East citizens" made by members of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), why didn't Hernandez state what they were? It is because there weren't any; she simply made up this statement in an attempt to tar YAF, one of the nation's most respected patriotic youth organizations. As an American who happens to be an Asian and former national board member and state chairman of California Young Americans for Freedom, my CAL YAF predecessor happened to be a first-generation immigrant from the Middle East. I can attest that no one in YAF made or makes racist comments about Middle Eastern Americans or racist comments about any ethnic minority. California YAF is by far one of the most ethnically diverse political youth organizations in existence. Far more than, say, the staff of the OC Weekly, whose staff directory reads like the phone book of Kennebunkport, Maine. YAF doesn't strive to be ethnically diverse, and it is almost a non-issue. Our diversity does, however, underscore how obvious liberals are in their attempts to tar our organization when they create stories of YAF members saying racist comments when we speak out against hard-left politicians like Councilwoman Cook.
Re Gustavo Arellano's "Cry of the Lone Wolf" [May 23]: Nativo Lopez's recent strategy of writing columns in the Spanish-language weeklies is just another wrinkle in what he has always done: gain power and wealth by taking advantage of the ignorance and fear of immigrants. His lies, gross exaggerations and homophobia in his recent columns would be laughable if it weren't for the fact that many of the readers of these Spanish weeklies are slurping at the teats of his propaganda machine. In Nativo's world, one isn't allowed to be politically active in one's neighborhood unless one is in a heterosexual marriage and has school-aged children. While we have no problem with people knowing we are gay, Nativo's description of us as a gay couple with no children (not true, we have two children; it happens) was included in one of Nativo's Contacto columns for no other reason than to capitalize on the homophobia that exists in the Spanish-speaking immigrant population. His description of the readership of OC Weekly as "alternative lifestyle" likewise capitalizes on this homophobia. Meanwhile, in the English-speaking community, Nativo feigns being gay-friendly and solicits the endorsement of the Elections Committee of the County of Orange (ECCO), a gay political action committee. And ECCO has eagerly prostituted itself to Nativo and his union connections [Matt Coker's "A Clockwork Orange," Feb. 27]. Ironically, gay-friendly state Senator Joe Dunn and situationally gay-friendly state Assembly member Lou Correa are frequent contributors to Contacto and listed as "colaboradores." Isn't it time for Dunn and Correa to distance themselves from Nativo's homophobia and his political extortions? At least they should tell him to shut the "f" up.
Is Nick Schou a journalist or hit man for hire? The California Nurses Association (CNA), a small Northern California union desperately trying to grow, attacks the nation's largest health-care union and Mr. Schou finds it appropriate to only interview folks from the CNA ["Nursing a Grudge," May 16]? Oh, I forgot! He did quote a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) press release. Mr. Schou must have taken the same journalism courses as Jayson Blair. After all, Mr. Schou's article is pretty much a cut-and-paste job from the CNA's website. Any real journalist would have dug some more for the real story, and asked questions like, "Why is an impotent union (and an impotent politician) attacking the nation's largest, most progressive union of health-care workers?" Since I'm not a journalist, I'll leave the task of uncovering that answer to someone who is.
John L. Simmons
Nick Schou responds:I've written at least a dozen articles about SEIU that have been tremendously supportive—especially regarding SEIU's efforts to organize Orange County janitors—and not once do I get a letter from an SEIU organizer thanking me for my reporting. Then I write one article that criticizes the union and now, all of a sudden, I'm a "hit man for hire." Rather than reveal any factual inaccuracies, plagiarisms or made-up material in my article, Simmons simply prefers to compare me to Jayson Blair because I didn't call—nor did my article imply that I called—SEIU before the story came out. By the way, Mr. Simmons, the next time you write a letter to the editor defending SEIU, you might want to point out that you're a field representative and organizer for SEIU Local 250 in Northern California.
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I spoke at an ACLU Upton Sinclair awards ceremony in San Pedro on May 9, and I want to thank the OC Weekly Calendar for providing me with a crowd-wowing opening line. I simply read from your listing of lectures at UC Irvine: "Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick discusses the important relationship between human rights and democracy with a straight face. . . . Then go and listen to someone who isn't an asshole—David Barsamian." Whoever gets those subversive plugs in deserves kudos.
Director, Alternative Radio
The editor responds:Thank our lovely and clever Calendar editor, Stacy Davies.