Letter, headline promote hysteria, bigotry

To the editor:

I found your publication of Walter E. Gunther’s Saturday letter, “Illegals want income without responsibility,” irresponsible and offensive. It’s one thing for your readers to be irrational and judgmental, but it’s another when you, as a respectable news publication, confound and promote that sentiment by publishing and editing the letter as you did.

First, why are individuals who happen to be identifiably “Hispanic” automatically classified as immigrants, or “illegals” at that? Nearly 15 percent of Americans are of Hispanic origin, so it is inaccurate to assume they are all immigrants or are here unlawfully.

Second, the writer himself termed the man an “immigrant.” Why did the editor feel the need to then label the problem one of “illegals” and their supposed lack of responsibility in the headline? You seem to be contributing to public hysteria instead of fostering charitable policy discussion.

If the Las Vegas Review-Journal wants to debate immigration, immigrants or financial responsibility, you should do it with balance, reason and empirical evidence, not promote hysteria, ignorance and stereotypes that all Hispanics are irresponsible illegal immigrants.

I encourage you to be a responsible news outlet that promotes reasoned policy debate, not hysteria and bigotry.

Chris Stein


No party

To the editor:

As a delegate to the Nevada Republican Convention held Saturday in Reno, it was sad to see the sickening and abrasive behavior exhibited by a large portion of the supporters, including most of the apparent leaders, of the Ron Paul campaign (“GOP convention cut short,” Sunday Review-Journal).

As state Sen. Bob Beers of Las Vegas left the building, apparently due to physical threats to his person, one apparent supporter of Rep. Paul repeatedly shouted “(Expletive) you, John McCain!” as others chanted “Coward, coward.”

As if choosing not to face a mob of hate-filled faces showed a lack of courage. The Ron Paul campaign purports a message of hope and love. This is most definitely not the message I felt at either the Clark County or the Nevada GOP conventions.

Many at the convention, including myself, were duped into believing that the changes to the rules proposed by Ron Paul supporters were to make the process more fair. We were wrong. It was immediately apparent once the delegate selection started that the rule changes would allow the well-organized minority known as the Ron Paul campaign to negate the votes of the majority. The Ron Paul supporters denounced the hand-picked delegate selection from the Nevada GOP Nomination Committee as unfair, then tried to force in their own hand-picked delegates by way of the rule change. They did not care for fairness; they wanted the advantage.

Their own underhanded tactics needlessly delayed the convention, thus forcing the unfortunate recess that they wrongly blame on “the party establishment.” Everyone there knows who is to blame.

My one consolation in all this is that in the end, all of their conniving, their foul words, and their insults to decency won’t amount to a hill of beans. Sen. John McCain already has the delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

Robert Hunter


Nightstick an option?

To the editor:

On Sunday, the Review-Journal published opposing points of view from Henderson Police Chief Richard Perkins and American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada Executive Director Gary Peck regarding the fatal shooting of Deshira Selimaj.

Ironically, on the same day, an op-ed piece was published in The New York Times, written by Kyle K. Murphy, a retired New York City police lieutenant, regarding an incident that he and his partner had been involved in that bore an eerie resemblance to the February shooting in Henderson, in which Mrs. Selimaj was holding a knife.

There was one major difference, however. In this incident, no one was killed. I quote from the op-ed piece:

“It was 1986, and my partner and I had responded to a report of a man waving a knife inside the Port Authority Bus Terminal. When we arrived, I saw the knife in the man’s outstretched arm. I drew my weapon, and I yelled at him to drop the knife. My partner began inching his way toward the man, pleading with him to put the knife down. I made up my mind that I was going to shoot if the man lunged toward us. My partner got close enough to swing his nightstick down on the man’s arm. The knife fell to the ground and we quickly handcuffed him.”

Perhaps the article by the retired Lt. Murphy should be posted on the wall at Henderson police headquarters.

Mark Mikowski


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