Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor | Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018

This is the image UC Merced’s Republican student group used to advertise its meeting in November. Making fun of children being gassed is heartless.
This is the image UC Merced’s Republican student group used to advertise its meeting in November. Making fun of children being gassed is heartless. Submitted

Republicans club used hateful image

I am a strong advocate for free speech. However, recent actions on the part of the UC Merced College Republicans border on hate speech. On Nov. 27, the College Republicans posted an image advertising their meeting on Facebook. Ordinarily, I would take no issue with this. Supporting free speech means supporting the right of those with all opinions to speak their minds.

My issue is with the image. The College Republicans used was one of people, including children, fleeing from tear gas at the southern border.

UC Merced has been designated an “Hispanic Serving Institution” by the U.S. Department of Education, meaning UC Merced has an enrollment of at least 25 percent Hispanic students. My fellow students have expressed that the images used by the College Republicans have not only made them uncomfortable, but made them feel unsafe. This is unacceptable.

The spectrum of hate begins with bullying and ends with genocide. In the middle is dehumanization, which is what is being done to the people in the photo by through the teargassing children and now through the actions of the College Republicans. I implore Merced Sun-Star readers to speak up about the hate within the community and stand up for fellow Merced residents.

Alyssa Conroy, Atwater

We’re not living up to our ideals

Does the United States have compassion? The answer may vary depending on whom you ask, but I am starting to see that the U.S. only has compassion for those who may benefit them in return.

Since elementary school, I have learned about how great the U.S. is and the great things this country has done for other countries. Of course, this is only partially true as the U.S. is not as compassionate as I was taught. If it was, then families seeking asylum would not be treated the way they have been. Families have been separated and treated poorly for a long time. Research on family separation has shown that separating children from families has major behavioral and emotional impacts. My own mother has experienced a separation at the border when she was a child. Even two decades later she can recall everything from that day, which haunts her still.

Aileen Castellanos, Merced

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