LETTERS: What have they done?; Criteria questioned; COVID clashes; Don’t blame Gov. Abbott; Take off blinders;

What have they done?

In the next 60 some days we are going to experience a tsunami of things Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are going to do to fix America’s problems. Let us not forget that they have both been in Washington in a variety of prominent posts for decades. The question is not, “What are they going to do?” The question is, “What have they done”?

José C. Coronado


Criteria questioned

Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris to be his vice presidential running mate, after being threatened with the loss of support from several national black leaders if he chose a white female. So now a candidate must choose a running mate based on the color of their skin and not the content of their character; the irony of it all.

Jake Longoria


COVID clashes

The previous three years of shock and awe turned out to be just a warmup for what COVID-19 has done to us in turning our entire lives upside down — our relationships, lifestyles and daily movements. But also, even in our definitions and structures of being governed.

For example, property owners thought we understood the basics of zoning ordinances, alert to the encroachments of business owners coveting the conveniences of working at home, trying to operate a business in a residential zone.

But one of these, whose downtown business was closed during the quarantines, told neighbors that she and her husband were “working from home,” by which she meant that a steady stream of her downtown customers were arriving at her home via vehicle traffic, parking at neighbors’ curbs, often with children, and none of them wearing masks, including the owners.

Such “working from home” is different from using the phone and whatever Zoom one has inside the home. It doesn’t mean bringing the business and its customers to the home in the residential zone.

So there’s an overlap of jurisdictions; the plain old city zoning, or now the health authority; or is it law enforcement? And the age-old principle of “working it out with the neighbor” has seldom calmed waters, but even less now that brawls erupt publicly over masks. Disputes that used to be over pruning branches over property lines now are about reporting and chiding one another.

Above all we’ve learned how thin the veneer of civil norms has always been in dealing with one another.

John Garza


Don’t blame Gov. Abbott

In response to U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez’s commentary on Aug. 9, I’m amazed at how people accept no personal responsibility for their own actions.

Gonzalez wants to blame our governor for “our way of life.” Gonzalez says, “Hispanics, known for multi-generational, social households, were found to be three times as likely to contract COVID-19 and twice as likely to die from the virus.” … “Hidalgo County suffers higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and obesity, compounding the chances of complications ….” And how is this the governor’s fault?

What exactly is Gonzalez doing to educate the people about the dangers of these afflictions? Does he encourage or promote schools to teach better eating habits? Better lifestyles during this pandemic?

He talks about Samaritan’s Purse. Were they capable of enduring a category 1+ hurricane in south Texas? I don’t know! But what I do know is that blaming everyone else for the problems is not the answer.

Exactly whose responsibility is it to wear a mask? I believe that no matter what decision Gov. Abbott makes there will always be people who think they know the best solution to the problem. If they are so smart, then why aren’t they the governor? Why don’t they step up and put their reputation on the line and make those decisions that impact so many lives?

I’m tired of the blame game! Take personal responsibility for yourself and family. We can make it through this, but we all must participate and stop blaming everyone else except ourselves!

Scott Matthews


Take off blinders

Editor: Blinders were placed on a horse’s harness to prevent it from seeing what was going on around it. Blinders prevent the awareness of the truth existing around us; one can only see where one is directed. Take the blinders off.

Systemic racism, implicit or overt, is real. White privilege is not a new concept; it is real. Both are denied because they are allegedly unseen, like carbon monoxide. Take off your blinders, look around and breathe in some fresh air.

Both systemic racism and white privilege are part of the culture based on the lie that only white people deserve preference because they are a superior example of human beings. Such nonsense justified slavery, Jim Crow laws and all cultural norms that allowed white folks to live blithely as they adjusted their blinders, oblivious of the truth and cruelty around them. Take off your blinders to these moral failures.

As we struggle in this time of COVID-19, we need to unite and protect each other. Just like caging children, separating families and denying folks health care are moral failures, so is refusing to wear a face mask. It is not a violation of a right or freedom. We all have the constitutional right to be as foolish as we want. It is a simple and obvious act of safety and respect for oneself and others to wear a face covering to prevent the spread of the virus.

Just like systemic racism and white privilege are real and corrosive to our country, so is the COVID-19 virus that is killing so many of us. Take your blinders off to this and other threats to our country.

Ricardo Flores


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