Response to original letter
Jun 26, 2014 | 2265 views | 14 14 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Editor,

I must respond to an article I authored that was posted in the “Our Voice” section of this paper. My original article was called “Let the Law Do It’s Job,” and I feel I have been wronged in the responses, both online and in the paper.

I have been declared racist and slanderous for my writings from Sergio Cuellar, Edwardo Cuellar and Mary Solorio–Brandt, and have even been mentioned by the Mayor—without my name—to shut up, leave this matter alone and move on.

Let me first begin with the responses to my original letter.

The only mention of race came from Sam Cuellar’s sons—not I.

Though I welcome their responses on their father’s behalf, I do take concern that they proclaim all laws broken are by two races only.

No, gentlemen. Gangs, drugs and crime have NO face, creed, religion or skin color; so please, it’s 2014. Stop hiding behind that sorry cliché.

Furthermore, I never slandered your father. As said in my letter, he was adamant to stopping the practice of police harassment.

I feel it was polices’ judgment to have possible suspicion after witnessing a vehicle circling a parking lot and not parking.

I’ve met Sam and talked to him more than once. He was a good man and is missed.

My letter was about giving back more free movement to our law enforcement, so that if they see something wrong, they should be free to act without restraint.

Today’s law enforcement goes through intense sensitivity training—I found that out after being evicted from my “Cave,” as you proclaimed.

As to Mary Solorio-Brant’s response, I hope that you actually read and comprehended my original article first.

Now I set my attention to Mr. Molina. Your comments in the last Irrigator article were biased for political reasons. I understand you want this whole thing to go away because, yes, it is a political season and no one in office wants dirt dished out, yet, my dear Sir, this is not Magna Carta!

I am a U.S. citizen—I am not only afforded my opinion, I am allowed to speak out any way I civilly wish, whether it be a public forum, letter, council meeting, media, or word of mouth on the street corner, be it through the newspaper or Internet under the Constitution of America, Article 1. “We The People...”

Try reading it before trying to silence me. First fix the crime, drug, gang and homeless problems in this fine City, then I might lend you an ear.

Until then, bear in mind that you, Sir, and this City Council are to serve us, the residents of Patterson. We don’t serve you. We elect you for peace of life and safety. November is around the corner.

Sincerely,

Lawrence Cline,

Patterson Resident

Comments
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DirkMcGirt
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July 09, 2014
And I'm going to pick up one of those new phones tomorrow since I can get one at little or no cost. I'll let know how that works out.
DirkMcGirt
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July 09, 2014
Mr. Cuellar, you are right! Maybe the phone was free and the purse was a gift. Maybe the car is paid off or it might not even be hers. Or maybe little green men in a shiny space ship brought all of these things for her. I really need to keep an open mind. Thanks for the enlightenment.
DirkMcGirt
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July 09, 2014
Mr. Cuellar, I take no offense that you do not agree with my point of view. I actually enjoy the debate. However, I do take offense at the fact that you attempted to butcher my name twice in your posts. There is no need to make it personal.

I was at Savemart the other night and thought of you while I was standing in line. Why you ask? Because the twenty something girl in front of me was talking on her smart phone while checking out. It was the new Samsung model. And when it came time to pay, what did she pull out of her fancy purse? Was it cash? NO. Was it a check? NO. Drum roll please..... It was an EBT card! She didn't drive off in an Escalade but it was a car way too nice for her to have an EBT card. And she didn't even thank me for buying her groceries.

I think this is when I say mic drop....but that would be stupid!!
Cuellar.Sergio
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July 09, 2014
Uncle McGirt, My apologies for offending your name, i figured since you have no problem offending any 20 something on public assistance, who you Assume drives a car to nice or has a new phone, or fancy purse to meet your criteria of what a person on Public assistance should have, I figured you wouldn't mind that i assumed this was not your real name, thus i could use it to poke fun at.

Again your assumptions of what a person on public assistance can have or not have, can own or not own are ridiculous. You are assuming that this young woman spent all of your tax dollars on purchasing a phone, by the way, you can now get phones at little to no cost depending on your upgrade plan.

You assume that the car she is driving is hers, and that its something she is making payments on. It is possible that the car is paid off, was paid off prior to her needing assistance, is she expected to Sell her paid off car and get into a cheaper looking car that is probably in worse shape and make payments on it just so you can feel that she looks worthy of public assistance?

That fancy purse could be a cheap knock off that is still affordable? It could have been a Christmas, birthday, valentines, mothers day, present, but wait can folks on public assistance celebrate that on your tax dime?

And now to put the icing your racial profiling, harass and lock up everyone, you better look poor and not own a damn thing to use an ebt card, rant cake, You have be misogynistic to boot? Dirk Women can work, raise their families,drive a nice car, have fancy purses, a new cell phone and still be humble enough to need assistance without you feeling you have to pay for their groceries or that they must thank you!

That mic drop just turned into a stupid fumble..go to sleep
Cuellar.Sergio
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July 09, 2014
Some more reading to blow your assumptions out of the water

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/07/08/this-is-what-happened-when-i-drove-my-mercedes-to-pick-up-food-stamps/
DirkMcGirt
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July 01, 2014
You have to be kidding me! You are going to use Stockton as your example of a better place? Stockton is ranked #5 in the United States for vehicle theft! And from what I see on the news, a perfect place to raise a family. Here's a tip from Uncle McGirt. Don't put yourself in a position to be incarcerated. And if you are incarcerated, I'm sure that you did something wrong. An important point to remember is that you as a "trouble maker" caused your incarceration by making poor life choices and bad decision making. It wasn't the lack of programs, services, supports, swimming pools and skate parks. Its not your race, hair cut, type of car you drive. And its not racial profiling by the Police. You are in jail because you think the rules don't apply to you and decided to break them. Mr. Cuellar, I know that you are not the first to take up this cause. There were others before you. How many years did they did they devote to it and how many years will you devote only to see no change....its only getting worse. Good Luck.

By the way thank you for the nap....all of your statistics in your last post put me to sleep. I was out by number 4!
Cuellar.Sergio
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July 01, 2014
Dirty McGirty to quote the Wu "the dumb are mostly intrigued by the drum"...so keep skipping to your own beat avoiding the real issues at hand if your not gonna be part of the solution step to the side..

Mic drop!
DirkMcGirt
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June 30, 2014
My point is that we didn't have programs or services and we managed not to destroy our neighborhood and commit drive by shootings. If a society seeks to by civilized, it must be governed by clearly defined law by which ALL must abide by. We live in a country of rules, regardless of race, economic status, or the circumstances into which people are born and under which they live. The same rules apply to all. Do you really think some program or service is going help them figure out right from wrong? Do you have lead a grown adult by the had and explain it to him? We can not continue to blame the system for this nonsense. Your solution will take years and cost the City who knows how many dollars which is fine because it may help in the long run. In the meantime let the Sheriff do their job because the City and citizens that are abiding by the law want results now.
Cuellar.Sergio
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June 30, 2014
"Do you really think some program or service is going help them figure out right from wrong?" Yes i have seen it and continue to see amazing changes in people working to make Stockton a better place..Look up ffsj.org

"Do you have lead a grown adult by the had and explain it to him?" Not sure what this means.

"If a society seeks to by civilized, it must be governed by clearly defined law by which ALL must abide by. We live in a country of rules, regardless of race, economic status, or the circumstances into which people are born and under which they live. The same rules apply to all...We cannot blame the system for this nonsense."

Here are 10 reasons to blame the system and how they dispelled your myth the same rules apply to all.

1. While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.

2. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Individuals of color have a disproportionate number of encounters with law enforcement, indicating that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.

3. Students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated. Black and Hispanic students represent more than 70 percent of those involved in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement. Currently, African Americans make up two-fifths and Hispanics one-fifth of confined youth today.

4. According to recent data by the Department of Education, African American students are arrested far more often than their white classmates. The data showed that 96,000 students were arrested and 242,000 referred to law enforcement by schools during the 2009-10 school year. Of those students, black and Hispanic students made up more than 70 percent of arrested or referred students. Harsh school punishments, from suspensions to arrests, have led to high numbers of youth of color coming into contact with the juvenile-justice system and at an earlier age.

5. African American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentenced to adult prison. According to the Sentencing Project, even though African American juvenile youth are about 16 percent of the youth population, 37 percent of their cases are moved to criminal court and 58 percent of African American youth are sent to adult prisons.

6. As the number of women incarcerated has increased by 800 percent over the last three decades, women of color have been disproportionately represented. While the number of women incarcerated is relatively low, the racial and ethnic disparities are startling. African American women are three times more likely than white women to be incarcerated, while Hispanic women are 69 percent more likely than white women to be incarcerated.

7. The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses. According to the Human Rights Watch, people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but they have higher rate of arrests. African Americans comprise 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those arrested for drug offenses. From 1980 to 2007 about one in three of the 25.4 million adults arrested for drugs was African American.

8. Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes. The Sentencing Project reports that African Americans are 21 percent more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences than white defendants and are 20 percent more like to be sentenced to prison.

9. Voter laws that prohibit people with felony convictions to vote disproportionately impact men of color. An estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote based on a past felony conviction. Felony disenfranchisement is exaggerated by racial disparities in the criminal-justice system, ultimately denying 13 percent of African American men the right to vote. Felony-disenfranchisement policies have led to 11 states denying the right to vote to more than 10 percent of their African American population.

10. Studies have shown that people of color face disparities in wage trajectory following release from prison. Evidence shows that spending time in prison affects wage trajectories with a disproportionate impact on black men and women. The results show no evidence of racial divergence in wages prior to incarceration; however, following release from prison, wages grow at a 21 percent slower rate for black former inmates compared to white ex-convicts. A number of states have bans on people with certain convictions working in domestic health-service industries such as nursing, child care, and home health care—areas in which many poor women and women of color are disproportionately concentrated.

Source: Center for American Progress

http://americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2012/03/13/11351/the-top-10-most-startling-facts-about-people-of-color-and-criminal-justice-in-the-united-states/

So yes its systemic, yes race matters, Yes it takes time to change. Again your idea is archaic, continues the vicious cycles laid out above and simply doesnt work.

Church

DirkMcGirt
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June 29, 2014
Mr. Cuellar, I don't think its a stereotype if its true. While you claim not to make excuses for the "trouble makers", that is all I see from your comments. Excuses. You want Law Enforcement to be held accountable and at the same time, the "trouble makers" should be held accountable as well. I grew up on the poor eastside of a large city. We had no swimming pool, no skate park, no parks, no community centers, nothing. What I did have was the self respect passed on by my parents. I respected my neighbors, my school and my City. I knew right from wrong and so do these "trouble makers". The difference is that they don't care. We are talking about people old enough to know

better. You can't force people to change if they have no desire to change. You may be correct in saying that locking people up will not solve the problems that lead to crime however, if the "trouble maker" is in jail, he can't break into my house while I'm at work!
Cuellar.Sergio
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June 30, 2014
So you make my point very loud and clear..When you grow up in an environment without supports, where the adults are leading by example, continuing to not provide for the gaps (Programs, Services, supports) the "trouble makers" become the teachers!

Your Ideas are a band aide! Harass and lock them up, takes the adults out of the picture completely for the next generation. Your personal problem is solved,but the community's problems continue for generations to come!

Thanks for that great agreement!

Cuellar.Sergio
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June 26, 2014
Mr. Cline and others who have commented on this issue, While you feel that “Gangs, drugs and crime have NO face, creed, religion or skin color”, the descriptions you and others responding to these letters have used, “thugs and gangsters”, paint a picture in this country that is linked predominantly to people of color and low income communities. Further descriptions of people utilizing our SNAP and Welfare programs as people driving “Cadillac Escalades with loud stereos and 22 inch rims also link to a stereotype description used to identify people of color. The solutions you present of allowing Law Enforcement “Free Movement” and “acting without restraint” is dangerous to the community especially for those living in the areas where most of the crime is happening.

In the spirit of the writings of Dr. Cornel West in his book, Race Matters, I am not aiming to provide excuses to the behaviors of people of color, or to dismiss people of color of personal responsibilities but when we blanket the acts and responsibility of people of color in a way that we ignore their cultural and environmental realities we play a deceptive and dangerous intellectual game with the lives of people of color and low income communities. Yes we should criticize and condemn immoral acts of all people including people of color but “we must do so cognizant of the circumstances into which people are born and under which they live”.

So when I ask you who these Thugs and Gangsters are, it’s to put a face and a place to who you are describing. This is done to further highlight that simply locking people up will not change the conditions to which people are born into or live in, which in turn will not solve the problems that lead to the crimes.

Real solutions include law enforcement acting in ways that hold them accountable to the communities that they serve. Real Solutions are also attacking the problem from multiple fronts, meaning looking at more than just eradicating the people doing the crimes, but also working to better the conditions under which these communities are living in.

So yes mister Cline, race does matter. As cliché as you think talking about race is, the mentality of “not all people are racist” is just as cliché and hiding behind our fears to not put a race, face and place to the issue does more to stop real solutions that get to the root causes of the problems and continues to exacerbate the solutions that mask the real needs of a community!

Sergio Cuellar

Justice_Just_us
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June 28, 2014
Impressed by your response Mr. Cuellar. Now that they are thinking of reviving the villages, there will be more of a need, and if those houses sell, a tax base to actually put some things in for our youth who are really being left to fend for themselves.
Patterson2010
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June 29, 2014
If you can believe it, developers began stating and City Hall is now echoing that there is jobs imbalance, more jobs than housing. And these new warehouses are creating the need for mo housing. The latest giant warehouse, Amazon, and the proposed new one, Restoration Warehouse create less than 700 jobs combined. I suspect only a small number of those 700 could afford the cost of a new house in Patterson regardless.


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