Torreon Park should not be renamed
I am disappointed that the City Council disregarded its own guidelines for naming parks (“Park now named for husband of former mayor,” Dec. 13). This action does not conform to the city’s criteria that states that city parks are to be named for persons “of high integrity and good moral character.”
After spending 35 years as a public sector employee, I know that to be fired from a public agency, you have to do something really bad. Perhaps Mike Jaramillo’s dismissal was an exception, but then, to plead guilty to tax evasion and spend six months in a federal prison does not add up to “high integrity and good moral character” in my book. Residents of Santa Fe should be concerned that the council has acted with complete disregard to the city’s guidelines. All citizens need to monitor the actions of our elected officials and speak out when their actions are adverse to our laws, policies and guidelines.
Evidence trumps gut
Dear Mr. President, I firmly believe in our worldwide eminent climate scientists over your gut. Sorry.
Donald Trump is a president who plays to the lowest denominator, the basest instincts of his supporters. Is he a white supremacist? Is he anti-Semitic? Does it matter when he gives aid and comfort to those who hold these views?
Trump has proudly declared himself a “nationalist.” Though we do not know what Trump understands this to mean, the Oxford dictionary definition is: “A person who strongly identifies with their own nation and vigorously supports its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.” It seems that Trump’s definition of “nation” does not include nonwhites, immigrants and certain religious groups.
So, what to do to counter this assault on American values and decency? We must make our voices heard — voting is only the first step. Visiting and demonstrating our positions to our elected representatives at all levels cannot stop with the election. Do not let the sound of the Trump-et blow down the foundation and protective walls of democracy.
Herbert J. Hoffman, Ph.D.
No level playing field
The Milan Simonich column (“Being colorblind has advantages,” Ringside Seat, Dec. 14), should have been titled “Being colorblind allows me to ignore the harm racism in New Mexico causes.” While our state elected people of color to serve as governor and in the House of Representatives, we cannot act as if we have “level[ed] the playing field.”
Research from the New Mexico Department of Health shows that by most indicators, including infant mortality rates to diabetes prevalence, American Indian, Hispanic and African-American populations suffer more than whites. Similar disparities persist in measures of opportunity, such as funding for education and high school graduation rates. Simonich’s choice to ignore race in New Mexico compromises our ability to prevent hateful behavior, like that of the teacher in Albuquerque who used racist language and cut a Native American student’s braided hair.
Hope and promise
Congratulations, Mr. Walema, Walema Kwanza Ntele, (“ ‘This country has done so much for me,’ ” Dec. 14), a teacher at Temple Beth Shalom Preschool. Thank you for all you do for our community and kiddos. You make me proud to be an American.