Readers comments 12-2-16
Threats against our neighbors
We were stricken to learn of the vicious letter attacking congregants of our local mosque, but not surprised. Given the level of vitriol aimed at our Muslim brethren since the election of Donald Trump, this is the predictable outcome of a campaign that demonstrated unrelenting bigotry toward members of this religious group.
We have now entered a very dangerous era in American history. Some call it fascism, others call it a kleptocracy. Whatever the name, its chief characteristic is hate.
Many of us are still in a state of grief over the soon-to-come perceived loss of liberties. We feel overwhelmed and worry over what an individual can do, given the current onslaught of aggression and violence toward targeted minorities.
We believe the only way out of this morass is through action. The best way to fight hate is to call it out when you see it happening, to stand next to the victim and provide shelter with your presence, and to videotape the incident and send it to the local police and the Los Angeles Commission on Human Relations.
Contact the local mosque and tell them of your support. Urge your local city officials to go on record decrying acts of hate, and to dedicate themselves to protecting the constitutional rights of all individuals within their community.
Glenn A. Goodwin
A plea for higher ground
In the last few weeks our community has witnessed a number of hateful actions and words directed to our Muslim sisters and brothers. We in the Christian community wish to go on record as utterly rejecting such hate. It is antithetical to all we proclaim as followers of Jesus. It is antithetical to what we ascribe to as Americans.
Civility and tolerance have been the gold standard of our nation, though to our shame we have often denied such to various minorities. Even in their denial this is what we as Americans are and will be judged by before the bar of history. It is critically important that we of all faiths and of none accord to others the standards by which we wish to be treated. I would urge that, further, we go beyond mere tolerance to generosity, for that is who we are at our best.
To the extent we see each as “other,” we run the risk of demonizing those who are different. To the degree that we acknowledge the humanity of especially those we disagree with, we build livable communities—communities that safeguard what we hold most precious. To demonize is to be seduced onto a path of darkness that holds no hope.
In the scriptures of most faiths there is an expressed preference for the marginalized. As Americans we have always acknowledged a responsibility to give a hand up to those less fortunate. We in the Christian community acknowledge that the largest portion of the gospels contain wisdom concerning our duty to the “least of these.” We refuse to stand silent while there are those who would grind them into the dust.
Finally, the Christian community, at its best, has been a place of sanctuary for the oppressed and the set upon. We make the promise to those assaulted by hate mongers that we will stand between you and your despisers. It is not only our duty, but our privilege.
It would be superb if we could love one another, but if not that, might we at least acknowledge one another’s humanity and honor what we have in common. Listening could also help.
On behalf of those who care,
The Rev. T. Mark Hallahan
The Pomona Valley Chapter,
Progressive Christians Uniting
Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Pomona
With thoughts of home
A product of your environment they always say
But who made me who I am today?
Family, friends, and teachers for sure…
Perhaps maybe something a tad more obscure
From miles away I wish to give praise
To the city where I did spend most of my days
Picturesque mountains and tree-lined streets
Lest I forget the bountiful So Cal eats
A community I love and always miss
One cannot help but reminiscence
No matter the places I may roam,
Claremont will always be my home.
Claremont resident currently freezing
in New Haven, Connecticut
Thank you from the birds
We just want to thank the people and the city of Claremont for the new bird watering oasis on the upper Thompson Creek Trail, installed this morning. Come have a look!
And thank you, COURIER, for sending your staff to cover our groundbreaking. With so many good folks in this town, I have complete faith that, as the plants grow in and the birds start coming, everyone will be able to enjoy this improvement to the Thompson Creek Trail. Thank you especially, Pomona Valley Audubon.
Anne and George Stoll
CHS cross country
Congratulations to Claremont High School’s girls and boys cross country teams on their victories in the CIF state championships last Saturday in Fresno.
The race results are measured in minutes and seconds, but months of dedicated training and teamwork, directed by an equally committed coaching staff, laid the foundation for these championships.
One of the Wolfpack’s assistant coaches, John Thalman, deserves special recognition. Coach Thalman has helped guide CHS cross country teams since the early 1980s. Across four decades, Claremont runners have benefitted from his abiding encouragement, sparkling humor and inimitable wisdom. To me, Coach Thalman epitomizes what distance running at CHS is all about.
Well run, Claremont Cross Country People!
CHS cross country, 1982-1985
CHS Class of 1986
Last week Matthew Magilke, PhD, wrote eloquently about the “stunning” hypocrisy of the Democratic elites over their call to end the Electoral College. He of course mentioned how the “deck was stacked” against Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries with Hillary Clinton given an automatic 700 superdelegate lead, and, depending on the state, a seemingly unfair distribution of regular delegates.
As a Bernie supporter, I didn’t like any of that either, and complained about it quite a bit, but last time I looked, Hillary won the most raw votes in the primaries. So when Sanders lost, I licked my wounds for a week, had some long, passionate discussions with Clinton supporters, and then pitched my tent in “Her” camp.
Professor Magilke can cite all the statistics from the primary and general elections he wants, but they don’t change the fact that the Electoral College is a constitutional relic from a time when we were a slave nation. It was meant in part to assuage the fears of the Southern states that they would be dominated by the tyrannical and more populous North.
The Electoral College is elitist, in this elitist’s opinion, and must go. I’m very confident that significant changes are being and will be made in the DNC, but Mr. Maglike’s argument that those changes are somehow necessary before Democrats can advocate for abolishing the Electoral College is specious. That is like saying because I drive a four-cylinder gas vehicle now, I am disqualified from advocating for, or wanting to own, a hybrid or electric.
Two times in a generation the Electoral College has awarded the presidency to someone who did not win the popular vote. I realize that with Republicans being on the winning end each time, and in complete control of our government, there is no incentive for them to support its abolition.
The electors themselves can do something on December 19 that I believe would insure the college’s expeditious demise: vote for the candidate who won over two million more popular votes than her opponent. Win-win!
Mike Boos, DMA