Marek Warszawski

Think racism isn’t an issue in Fresno? This reader’s email might change your mind

Watch as new Americans take the U.S. Oath of Allegiance

Immigrants from 54 different countries are naturalized during a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony at the Fresno Convention Center. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla gives the keynote address.
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Immigrants from 54 different countries are naturalized during a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony at the Fresno Convention Center. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla gives the keynote address.

When you write opinions for a living, you can expect all manner of responses.

This one, from an older female reader, landed with a thud in my email inbox the day my column appeared saying the next mayor of Fresno will be a Democrat and probably a Latino who represents neighborhoods south of Shaw Avenue.

So delightful I thought I’d share.

“Well here we go with another sick, so-called Journalist,” it begins. “You are so Non-American you should go back to Poland.”

Go back to Poland? Never been. I was born at Stanford Hospital. Which is in California last I checked. Which is in America last I checked.

“So you think it should only be brown skinned Latinos (Mexican) call it by the real name. And gee their (sic) all White and associated with the affluent northern half of Fresno.”

Not really sure what you’re getting at. Do I think the entire Fresno City Council should be Latino? If the seven districts vote that way, yes. Right now it’s four.

“By the way Mr. Warszawski, what affluent part of the city do you live in? The Mexicans in office right now, what affluent neighborhood do they live in?”

I live in Clovis. Moved there four years ago, following 17 years in northwest Fresno, mostly because of bike trails. Really. Even wrote about it. As far as the “Mexicans” on the City Council, I presume they live in the districts they represent. It’s kind of a rule.

“Voting people into office has nothing to do with the color of their skin.”

Hey, we agree.

“Why don’t you do some research and find out how much all these Illegals are sucking the blood out of our city. the money we have to give to support them takes away from having our city cleaned up.”

Are you implying the four Latinos on City Council are “illegals” or all Latinos in general?

But if you’re talking about undocumented immigrants, here’s some research for you: Find out how much of Fresno’s wealth is created by the agriculture industry and how much of that industry is built on the backs of “illegal” (read: cheap) farm labor.

If not for them, all that wealth withers on the vine.

Six hundred eighty people became U.S. citizens during the monthly naturalization ceremony at the Fresno Convention Center in August 2016. Nestor Amaya of El Salvador stands up during the ceremony. He lives in Bakersfield. JUAN ESPARZA LOERA

“I’ve lived in this City for 70 years and have never witnessed such trash in our city. Weeds and streets are deplorable. We have killings and shootings. Every Day and they are not White people doing it. Why don’t you do some research on where our money is going to support these non respective people.”

So white people don’t litter and don’t commit violent crimes? You must be living in a different community than me.

“I’ve never seen any article where illegals have said thank you America. only see where they are demanding their rights and wanting us to enlist their culture.”

There have been several, including recent coverage about a naturalization ceremony. Those who took part expressed deep pride in becoming Americans. Furthermore, the undocumented folks I’ve met are thankful to be here and tend to keep their heads down for fear of unwanted attention.

“Stop this self pity crap and act like an Adult. All your article doe’s (sic) is incite hatred among the races. You didn’t write anything that was truly worthwhile.”

All I wrote was Democrats greatly outnumber Republicans among Fresno’s registered voters and those choosing No Party Preference have nearly caught up. And that we have four Latino council members who are Democrats.

Those are facts, whether you like them or not.

“Seems like all the so called Journalist for the Bee have the same mentality, that is to attack the White race. All of you need a lesson on what the White American race consists of. Your putting your on race down. Unbelievable.”

Yes, the white race that has been for so long persecuted and discriminated against in this country. Poor Caucasians.

“The American people are sick of this infighting. Our leaders need to start doing their job of taking care of America and stop these frivolous lawsuits.”

Hey, we’re in agreement again. Our leaders need to stop these frivolous lawsuits. Let’s start with Devin Nunes.

“You are free to challenge this letter if you want, but I have to tell you I’m a White American that worked all my life and I’m now enjoying my later years in a beautiful Clovis home.”

I’m not challenging your letter at all. Just printing it, interspersed with my own comments, so everyone can see your words and prejudices. Guessing you’re not the only one around here who harbors them.

Congratulations on your skin tone and the move to Clovis. Hope you realize there are brown-skinned people there, too.

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Marek Warszawski writes opinion columns on news, politics, sports and quality of life issues for The Fresno Bee, where he has worked since 1998. He is a Bay Area native, a UC Davis graduate and lifelong Sierra frolicker. He welcomes discourse with readers but does not suffer fools nor trolls.