DO WHAT YOU WILL

I am Muslim, register me.

I am Mexican, deport me.

I am African American, imprison me.

I am LGBT, refuse to serve me.

I am poor, blame me.

I am elderly, privatize me.

I am woman, defund me.

I am homeless, ignore me.

I am disabled, bully me.

I am sick, uninsure me.

I am indigenous, pollute me.

I am a veteran, voucher me.

I am an American, lie to me.

~  AUTHOR UNKNOWN

(COURTESY ARLEAN TESSLER)

MAKE ROOM

Two points about the protests (“A Nation Divided,” Jan. 26).

Washington had destructive protests on Jan. 20, mostly by males who enjoy violent protest. Numbers were tiny and arrests significant. Saturday’s marches were different — huge numbers ,all over the country, not a single arrest. That’s astonishing, but that’s what we saw: a female-led, cheerful and civilized group.

I have seen both kinds of marches. After my discharge in 1967, I joined many East Coast anti-war marches. We marchers were mostly white, male and angry. A small minority often broke windows and damaged property; this was prevented in the biggest marches. Many of us would shout “stop that violence, it hurts our cause.” There was also an undertone of hostility to police. Quite a few marchers shouted” “pigs, off the pigs” and similar things. Fewer of us objected to that, maybe thinking that nasty words won’t hurt.

The tone was different on the 21st. This is important. It is possible that a civilized woman-led coalition can sustain the fight for human rights and influence the 2018 elections. Words matter and identity politics can get out of hand.

Finally, this great march was an urban march. Few rural whites saw it. FOX News broadcast a distorted report, stressing a destructive and selfish protest. Rural American votes control Congress. The popular front for human rights must have space for rural whites and anti-abortion people who want to join.

~  BOB SNODGRASS, PASADENA

NO ‘OTHERS,’ JUST ‘US’

A MESSAGE TO THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION:

Responding to the first five days of the Trump administration, the Rev. Mike Kinman issued the following statement:

“Tragically, in the opening days of his administration, President Trump has been utterly consistent, ruling as he campaigned — by stoking fear and hatred, targeting the most vulnerable among us and lying to the nation in the most transparent of ways. As followers of Jesus, our call has never been clearer. If you are an immigrant, we stand together. If you are a woman, we stand together. If you are an LGBTQ image of God, we stand together. If you are a Muslim, we stand together. If you are a person of color, we stand together. If you are a scientist, we stand together.

“Our message to this president and his administration is clear and simple: Who you see as a ‘them’ or an ‘other’ is a part of ‘us.’  Who you tell us to fear and hate, we will love and embrace. And we stand together. Come for any of us and you come for all of us. The power of God’s love is stronger than the power of your hate. The power of our hope is stronger than your fear.

“Our message to President Trump is this: Mr. President, we pray that you will change your heart and embrace the sacred trust of your office, but if you continue to betray it, we will take that trust upon ourselves and preserve, protect and defend not only the Constitution of the United States but the rights of all God’s children, everywhere.”

~  THE REV.MIKE KINMAN

ALL SAINTS CHURCH, PASADENA

TOM PAINE LIVES!

Interesting article (“Who was Thomas Paine?” Jan. 26). Thanks!

What really got most people to hate Thomas Paine was his Deism. Paine believed in God, but not in religion. He wrote “The Age of Reason,” which promoted the belief in The Supreme Intelligence/God, but attacked the nonsense in the Bible and in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

I’m very thankful to Thomas Paine for writing “The Age of Reason” as it allowed me to free myself from Christianity and the Bible.

Progress!

~  BOB JOHNSON

VIA EMAIL

WHICH ONE ARE YOU?

I recently received a letter from Nancy Pelosi requesting me, as a registered Democrat, to complete a “Democratic Priorities Survey,” basically nothing more than a thinly disguised pretext to solicit donations. Here is my response:

Dear Democratic Leadership Team,

Unfortunately your survey failed to include the following question: Do you 1) Favor retaining the current leadership of corporate Democrats — the cozy with Wall Street, pro corporate, friendly free trade agreement, not serious about getting big money out of politics, give the military-industrial complex everything they want Democrats who are largely responsible for the electoral disasters of 2014 and 2016? Or do you 2)  Support turning the leadership of the DNC over to the Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren wing of the party, which, although it may not please our corporate friends, will result in the advocacy of policies with much more public support and the likelihood of creating the type of enthusiasm so notably absent from the recent Clinton campaign?

~  ALLAN CATE, LA CRESCENTA