Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Against bigotry

    I teach in the math department at Laney, among other schools. I write to this mailing list on the duty of people in positions of authority, the “grown ups”, if you will. We have a responsibility to speak out against the bigotry which is now presented as the basis for policy in the Republican Party. I am sure there are Republicans reading this. I will not apologize for singling out one party. My father is a lifelong Republican who voted for Goldwater and he despises what the party has become.
    Of course, the worst of the rhetoric is coming from Donald Trump, currently the frontrunner. As a person who has studied the polls closely in the last four elections, I cannot say with any certainty if his position is sustainable or not. I would also add that though he is the loudest, he is by no means alone in what he says.
    When he talks about rounding up immigrants, I think about the woman across the hall from my apartment who provides daycare to local families and who speaks not a word of English. When he scapegoats all Muslims, I think about the women in my classes who wear the hijab and how vulnerable they are as the “easy target” for the hatred that is being fanned day and night on the Internet, TV and radio.
    We all saw the news about a man so incensed by the lies told about Planned Parenthood that he went on a rampage that killed three, none of whom worked for Planned Parenthood. The people who spread the lies washed their hands of responsibility.
    They may be old enough to buy liquor and vote, but they are not “grown ups”. Being an adult means taking responsibility.
    It is my fondest hope that the vast majority of my colleagues are grown-ups. We aren’t on TV, but if we do our jobs correctly, our students will listen to us. Speak up about our nation’s true message of being a place where people may practice their religion in peace, with no religion put above the others by our government. Tell them the story of George Washington’s letter to Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island. Tell them the story of the immigrants and children of immigrants who made this country great, like Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Graham Bell, Rita Moreno, Irving Berlin, Emmy Noether, Bob Hope, Harry Belafonte, Joe DiMaggio and so many others. 
    Let our students know they are welcome here. Let them know we are not afraid and that they will not have to live in fear if people of good will speak up during these dark times. It is now our responsibility to stand for the highest ideals of the United States of America, not to crawl back into the horrible policies like the internment of Japanese or Operation Wetback in the 1950s.
    On a personal note, don’t compare what is happening to the Nazis. It’s lazy and inaccurate. Compare it to the worst we have done, with promises that we have learned out lesson and always strive to improve.

    Matthew Hubbard is a guest columnist. Email him at Mhubbard(at)peralta.edu

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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