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Archive 2
December 1996-- November 1997
Scoll down: emails in reverse chronological order

Some hiring practices are counter-productive

Consider this situation. I am a 50 year old white female. During my years in public education, I always tested at least in the upper 10%. My strengths were in math and science. My parents were raised during the Depression and have a strong "work ethic" and consider financial debt a thing to be avoided except when investing in a home or land. I was the oldest of 5 children. I knew what it meant to work for everything I had, including my good grades.My family did not have the money to pay cash for my education. The school did not offer any counseling to help me know what I could do with my knowledge and aptitudes, nor did they counsel me or my parents on student loans to help me achieve my potential. Consequently, we settled for sending me to one year of secretarial school.I supported my first husband while he finished his college education. I attended college part-time at night, with the idea (and the promise) that when he finished his education, he would return the favor and I would be able to get mine. This didn't happen. Twenty-three years later (after that marriage ended because of his unfaithfulness and empty commitments and following another marriage that ended after 15 years for similar reasons) I am now a full-time student. single parent of a 17 year old son, and part-time employee. That's the good news.My frustration deals with that fact that as an intelligent, hard working, self-educated individual, I have to return to college to get a degree to be able to apply for jobs that I am already over-qualified for because in this day and age of standards that are designed to open the doors for minorities and women because they are supposed to eliminate discrimiation, one must have a college degree to apply for many secretarial and customer service type positions as well as higher level positions for which one has years of, in my opinion, qualifying experience. Professional experience is not valued as highly as a formal education.

As a "non-traditional" student, I make consistently higher grades, participate more in classroom discussions, and work harder to learn the information--not just to get a grade.What's more, the chair of the department I am in values my experience much more than my employers. He understands the value of experience. He has allowed me to skip some lower division classes in my major, which puts me in classes with graduate students.I'm not saying that I think my education is a waste of time. I'm loving every minute. What I am saying is that I cannot make a comfortable living using the knowledge, experience, and certifications that I have obtained through diligent and deliberate effort--I have to have this piece of paper--this very costly (in terms of time and money) piece of paper.Getting an education at this late date in my life is in my opinion the only way to avoid poverty in my old age. Getting an education will allow me to apply for positions that I am already very capable of and experienced at doing, which pay much more than what I am currently earning. My goal is not simply to be able to apply for what I am already over-qualified to do, but to pursue other career goals. I stated this simply to make the point that some hiring practices are counter-productive for me as well as employers and are designed to exclude.

It's a gamble and a risk that I felt that I had to take because I am going to have to work as long as I am physically able. I helped my first husband get an education, which enabled him to make a fabulous income and have a secure retirement. I helped my second husband build a business by supporting us and our child (sometimes with two jobs) while he built his clientelle. Both of these situations I participated in willingly, not just out of love, but as part of a joint economic effort to provide for us as a family.I tried to be the best I could be at every position I held. I studied on my own. I read books, attended seminars, and participated in company-sponsored programs.I believe it is time for us to look for other criteria when determining if someone is "qualified" to apply for a position; a formal education should not be the only criteria. Also, the "any degree will do" mentality seems to me to invalidate the whole basis of standards. And GPA does not seem to be a standard either. If someone skims through school on minimal effort with C's, isn't that some kind of an indicator of the approach they will bring to their work? Today, our society seems to degrade the individual who strives to achieve.

I believe the application of these types of standards are actually lowering the standard of quality of American output and causing workplace apathy and depression.I was angry about this situation for a very long time and I am still not happy about it, but I finally decided that being angry was helping me or the situation I was in. So now, I'm doing what I need to do to change it. I know I will be facing age discrimination when I do graduate, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.Just some off the cuff comments from an interested reader.


I have seen the negative aspects ...

In response to your article about how Affirmative Action works, I have seen the negative aspects of the policy. Currently I am a student enrolled at a branch campus of Penn State, which is an Affirmative Action institution. I applied for admission to the more competitve main campus, but was denied because of discrimination.I applied to Penn State with a friend, who happens to be a "minority." Since middle school, we were placed in the same level classes, with the same teachers. We both graduated from high school with honors. However, I scored almost 100 points better on the SAT test than he, but he is now enrolled at the main campus, whereas I am now studying at the lower ranked branch campus.My argument is if he can be accepted to this, more competitive campus, why can't I? The both of us worked hard through high school. I don't see how he is any more deserving than I am.In a country where "All men are created equal", I don't see how "minorites" can be given a racial advantage. The Equal Rights act was meant to stop discrimination in all forms. Why can't this country stop looking at color, and start looking at merit?

Alurista's poem for Jose Antonio Burciaga

I was delighted to find this site and then to find this poem. As a young Chicana growning up in rural Idaho it was by pure miracle that I encountered Chicano poetry at all. But it did happen and I have never been the same, I continue to seek works created by mi gente. Both of these authors are pioneers in writing about the Chicano experience. Having my reality validated thru their writing has encouraged me to embrace my ethnicity and to contribute to the dream of Aztlan. It exists in my mind and heart via these writers words!!! Viva la Raza! Viva Aztlan!!!!!!!

preschool is serious business!

Hi!I chance upon your sight and couldn't agree with you more!

Anyway, I currently train preschool teachers in Singapore and also run my own childcare cum preschool centre.P.S. I have kids from 14 different countries in my preschool right now.Dr. Jane Ching-Kwan.

If I were the minority ...

As a young white male, I agree that discrimination is wrong but I deffinitely dont think Affirmative Action is the answer. I dont see how anyone could agree with it. Affirmative Action is not allowing minorities to accomplish goals themselves. It's also penilizing whites because of something their ancestors did. In a few years I will be appling for collages and I think it's extremly unfair that if my application and accomplishments are better than someone else's. I still may not be accepted because the collage must meet the governments quota system. If I were the minority in that case I wouldn't feel to welcomed either because I would know that I am not as well prepared than the rest of the students. Please allow my opion to be heard on your web page, I think that the American people have a right to see someone else's opinon. Thanks a lotMark Simone

tell me why

tell me how denying a cambodian refugee -- who has fled communist persecution and survived the hellish journey by small boat to America and then racism in America -- admission to a program even though he has superior grades to a third generation mexican american is fair or just or anything less than reverse discrimination against asians . this is not some rare example. it happens all the time. the third gen woman in this case is 1/2 mexican and used her mexican name for the first time in her life just for admissions to University of California. she is a wonderful, bright, lovely, sincere person. but her test scores and all other relevant criteria were far below that of the asian applicant. this is unfair and unjust and rascist toward the asain. this asian persons's life is changed forever due to reverse discrimination. i resigned from a board where i make these decisions because i could no longer participate in a system that fosters reverse discrimination. you can call it anything you want....affirmative action etc....but the aforementioned example is not some abstract example. tell the asain applicant they are an isolated example. tell them you are sorry. that they have to suffer their whole life to make up for some injustice done to the third gen mexian woman who is this case by the way came from a family with much greater financial resourses than the asian family. but wait.....the UC school had many asian and not many latinos and the latinos had inferior and I stress inferior grades/social activities etc...than the asain applicant. it is wrong.two wrongs don't make a righttell me why people of middle eastern background are not minorities according to most affirmative action programs. tell me why.i am tired of affirmative action proponents calling me racist for raising these questions.

... a morally correct choice

I am a first year student at Miami University and I am just writing a quick message to say that because of your website you guys have helped me to change my beliefs and opinion about Affirmative Action. I used to be against it but now I am a strong believer that Affirmative Action is a morally correct choice. This next week I will be writing a paper for my English class supporting Affirmative Action.Thanks again.

... children need headstart or preschool

I just read this article. I'm a current Early Childhood Major at La Guardia Community College, my dream is to one day teach preschoolers. I'm learning more each day about how children need headstart or preschool. It is the foundation of their academic future. I get upset of some, not some of , a lot of parents that don't involve their children in headstart. Their children miss out on so much. During the age of three to five is when I think children can begin to develop their learning skills, maybe earlier. Right now I'm looking for a job, dealing with my career. Now I work in a bookstore. I really desire working with children. I'm hoping soon to get a job, hopefully. I looked up articles about preschool because I have a paper due for my psychology class on Social Development, and I think preschool is where it all begins.Thank you.

Response to an earlier letter about the possible
health benefits of uranium

There are no known benefits to health from mining uranium. Of course use of radiation has been effective in treating some diseases, such as cancer, but this is under strict medical controls, not mining conditions and today does not involve any of the contamiants in uranium ore. (And even radiation therapy causes long term risk of new cancers.) In fact some components of uranium ore, such as uranium, radium and thorium, were thought to be beneficial early in this century and were given to thousands of people.These people, in turn, have been studied by scientists and found to have increased risks of all sorts of cancers and other diseases including kidney disese, bone cancer, liver cancer and leukemia. I have written a review of the health effects of uranium and I am in the final stages of putting out a review of the health effects of radium.

You could order a copy from me by sending a check made out to the Environmental Diversity Forum for $10 (to cover printing and postage and handling) for each article to: Doug Brugge, Dept. of Community Health, Tufts School of Medicine, 136 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02111

I am a US citizen and I will not be "incorporated"

This is a reply to the following letter and I have not even figured out why I am wasting my time to justify this type of ignorance (editor: original letter is further down this column)
  "the speaking of spanish
My opinion wich will be deleted as quickly as you are able, is that the speaking of spanish is for Mexico and Mexican's not American' in America.In your mag-rag you aid in the disharmony we already encounter by not helping legal immagrant to our country learn our custom's and language.They left there country for our's,for a reason,and we already have our own culture we do not need there help, they need our's. They need to be incorporated as quickly and painlessly as possible. "
In the first place, if this individual is so HOT to push so called US culture down the throats of new immigrants, legal or illegal, I suggest that this person learns to spell or at least use the "spell check" that is provided with most browsers."Our Customs"... Just exactly what are our customs?? As far as I have been able to ascertain, the culture and customs of this country are a hodge-podge of traditions borrowed or stolen from other countries.And as to the statement that "They need us. We do not need them." I wonder exactly who this person thinks is growing his food. Please, whoever you are... wake up and smell the flowers! They were probably propagated in a nursery maintained by the capable work worn hands of illegal aliens.This type of thinking is what has caused me to write "Mexican Man" Please read it at: Macias ,BTW: What is this.. "They need to be incorporated as quickly and painlessly as possible." Are we actually living in a society that "incorporates" humanity?? This smacks of Third Reich type thinking. I am a US citizen and I will not be "incorporated"I really like your site :}

Humboldt County, Iowa hog factory ordinances

Humboldt County, Iowa has enacted 4 ordinances that have controlled the hog factories. You can find them on the internet at: . If this doesnt work, type in the word "manyhogs", go to Prairie action alert, go to bottom of page and "click" on Back to Confinement page, that will take you to the Iowa Confinement Page and the Illinois page. Any questions, write back

... this happens to be discrimination

I sending you this E-Mail to express my views on affirmative action. Please, give then a chance, read the whole article, and think about the opinions I'm expressing. You may not agree with all of them but, you may with some of them. So, please give it a chance.Affirmative action(AA) was a great idea. It just didn't work out the way that it was planned. The way that it was put into action was very poor and it just didn't work the way that it was supposed to. Instead of complimenting the Equal Rights Amendment(ERA) it actually aposed the ERA. The way that AA should have worked is that only your qualifications and not your skin color or sex would have determined whether you got the job or not. Instead of working that way though it gave preference to some people just because of their skin color or sex and not their qualifications. Such as some people might have gotten the job because they were black men or women, hispanic men or women, or even white women. You notice the group that was left out, yes white males.

Well, alot of them didn't get the positions they were trying for, not because someone else was better qualified but, because of that other persons skin color or sex. Yes, if you look at real carefully you will see that this happens to be discrimination. Yes, maybe it's just discriminating against white males but, if it right to do to them it is right to do to everyone else. Don't get me wrong something needs to be done but, it has to be fair all the way around. Maybe it needs to start in the family environment making the minority applicant so much better that only an idiot wouldn't hire him or her. That would require that parents become active in their children schooling. In the process of doing this we would also raise the intelligence level of the average american. And make this a better nation.

absolute charity

I've wanted to write something on this topic for some time. Finally I have found a forum in which to speak. As a single white immigrant parent of two minor children, I am appalled at the willingness for Americans to line up with out stretched hands looking for some sort of assistance, just because they consider themselves in a "minority"! I've got news for you. If any one is in a "minority" it is me, yet through the grace of God, hard work and persistence, I've managed to carve out a niche in life for myself and my family, with absolutely no government intervention.Hurray for me, you might think.....I'm definitely not against some sort of assistance for anyone in genuine need. But what constitutes a genuine need? This is what needs to be resolved. Need is not a racial or social thing. Let me illustrate by way of a true real life exampleMy son, was having a difficult time learning to read. A years worth of tutoring and a ton of support helped him overcome his difficulties. He definitely had a need, which was well served by tutoring. Just as I'm sure that quite a few people have needs that need to be served, but just as my son was to learn, he had to struggle with the difficulties he was having until he over came them and he came to realize that nobody but himself was going to actually accomplish this task.

Over simplified, perhaps.........the bottom line is, let's support those who truly need something, not create programs where by all one has to do is cry "I'm in a minority" and end up with an unfair advantage. I know what I'm talking about, for 4 years I worked for a so called minority owned engineering firm. Owned by a black man, he won pieces of contracts just because his firm was considered minority owned, not that it was actually of any benefit to minorities. 95% of the engineering staff was white, while 90% of the clerical staff was black. The pie was not equally divided. Hell, if I wanted to, I could get my lawyer to form a company, install her as the head, and bid on federal contracts as a minority owned firm. This benefits women? I doubt it!In closing, I'd like to thank you for the forum in which to air my views.I wish everyone, peace and prosperity and I would like to extend absolute charity to those in need!Paul Krahulec

Abolish Affirmative Action

" ... an end to white racial preferences that go beyond jobs and social organizations."

I am an African American female and I want to see an end to affirmative action "the exclusive, preferential treatment extending by white men to white men. I,m not just talking about the "good ole boy network. I want to see an end to white racial preferences that go beyond jobs and social organizations. There is a subtle, effective acceptance extended among white males who don,t even know each other, a kind of kindred connection that causes them to stick together, excluding those who don,t look like them. As a person who is least like a white male, I,ve clearly seen the back side of this affirmative action.Current opposition to affirmative action for blacks and others comes from the same white men who have practiced affirmative action among themselves for centuries. From the inception of this country, the most privileged group has been white men, and they passed the legacy on so strongly that they are effective in defeating the slightest attempts by others seeking to gain opportunity.

People with true historical perspective understand the nefarious nature of white affirmative action"from slavery to Jim Crow to social and economic injustices of today. When I hear arguments against opportunity for the disenfranchised, I wonder at the audacity of heirs of slave owners who refuse to recognize the historical effects on our present conditions. White men will deny the ramifications of slavery on African Americans, but they won,t deny claim to any property, money, status or legacy inherited as a result of their ancestry.In the discussion on affirmative action, everyone should have a clear understanding of slavery, segregation and the socio-economic system that moved the majority of African Americans from plantations to ghettos while keeping white men in power and on top.Renea Fisher
Austin, TX

An Open Letter

to illustrate the confusion within the arts community
during this current crisis of economic uncertainty

We as a nation of artists and arts professionals face some tough times and tougher questions. We have numerous enemies and adversaries. More important, we also lack the support of the general public who just don't know or care. But the most profound threat to the arts is our lack of cohesion and a lack of community.Over the past few years 1 have personally experienced the unfriendly, unfair and unprofessional side of the arts community. I'm not talking here about intolerant, bible toting, censorship loving, right wing republican types. No. I'm talking about folks who ~sked for the support of the nation to save the arts. Please indulge me if you will. I'd like to give you a chance to understand my personal experience. Please hear me out.A few weeks ago I sent a proposal and videotape from my installation Can't Trust A Big Butt And A Smile: Rethinking The Legend Of Mami Wota to you at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts (SECCA) for review. Just a few days ago, you sent me back my videotape, which serves as an integral element of the proposed installation. Accompanying the tape is a letter that states..."...I was unable to see the video, because either my VCR or the video was not working properly. Please send me the slides of the installation in Miami per your letter."

So, it really surprised me to pop the tape into my VCR and..there it is, sound and image. lts even more amazing to hear that there is only one VCR at an institution like SECCA, or in the entire state of North Carolina. As a curator for a performance festival~ I'm not even going into basic video trouble shooting.Next is the incident involving the slides of the fore mentioned installation from Miami. At the South Florida Arts Center (SFAC) I presented my installation, Can't Trust A Big Butt And A Smile: Rethinking The Legend Of Mami Wota in March 1997. SFAC decided not to shoot slides of the installation, not to inform me of that decision, nor to ask me if I'd wished to pay for the cost of slides myself. (A video was supposedly shot. I have not received it as of yet) In addition, they did not ship (UPS Ground) all my work back to me. Their reasons: We supposedly went over budget. Yet, there was never any dialogue determining what that budget figure really was. SFAC also stated that they would not be shipping back to me any elements of the installation that were purchased in Miami with funds raised by SFAC. Which leads me to believe that SFAC assumes that they own the work. This is just ludicrous and unprofessional. As I informed them, basically anything that we used in the installation is a work of art and belongs to us. This of course is not unusual. For the artist to ask for these items is not unreasonable, nor out of character. These are fundamental practices in the arts.Moving on, in 1995 I participated in a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation visual artists residency at Art In General in New York City. To make a long story short, if I didn't spend my entire artist's fee on the project, there would not have been a project. But most important, during that two month stretch not once were myself or my colleague invited to lunch or dinner by staff or board members. It may sound strange to some, but I think I know what a residency is. I used to work at the Fabric Workshop Inc. I remember scrubbing toilets and going to the supermarket to fill the refrigerator in preparation for resident artists. Breaking bread with people is a fundamental. Residencies are nothing if they are not about fellowship, interaction and of course, work.

In 1994, My colleague and I wrote a proposal to the SURFF program of the National Performance Network (NPN). Our proposal asked for support for a series of artists workshops on performance art as well as a performance festival. NPN doesn't take proposals from non-member organizations. Our premise was that over 70% of their support went to artists from New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In addition, most member organizations don't produce works by artists in the own communities, but simply serve as presenters of out of town shows. Hence out of about 100 or so artists supported by the program, only two were from the state of Pennsylvania. We asked for support for our artist community. The response to our proposal was unusual. It was as if NPN staff felt we were attacking the local organization. My colleague was invited to the NPN conference in New Orleans, where she presented our case. She was asked if she would attend a future board meeting. I was also asked if I would attend a board meeting. We said yes. We never heard from them again. Our proposal was neither rejected nor accepted. Essentially our proposal just disappeared. There is no documentation to state that we even sent it to them.At first, I thought that these were just isolated incidents. Now I know differently. These are not incidents at all. These are behaviors. These are the problems of a community with an identity crisis. A community that thinks it trades in goods and services, but that really trades in human experience. These occurrences are symbolic of growing tensions in the arts community. The primary tensions are the increasingly dysfunctional relationships between institutions and artists. There has been significant verbiage about the declining value and significance of the arts. But, I challenge that assumption. The arts have become a personal portfolio investment issue, a tourist issue, a community economic development issue, and a real estate/urban renewal issue. But, it is the artist whose value that has significantly declined, particularly within the arts community itself.

It is amazing the current level of incompetence, unprofessionalism, ignorance joined by arrogance, and just plain ole mean spiritedness in our industry. How can the arts save itself with no national standard of accountability for arts institutions, or for artists. Ironically, there is no public conversation about these issues at all. The question is: Are the Arts as we know them worth saving? I say no. And I encourage institutions, funders and artists to take time in our communities to discuss a new strategy for a healthy community. I'm open to participate, if necessary. Please feel free to contact me.

Homer Jackson

residents in Eastern Colorado are fighting back

Please let it be known that the residents in Eastern Colorado are fighting back against the Corporate Hog Operations as well. Yuma, County Colorado Currently has more than their share of Confined Hog Operations and there are two additional 100,000 head facilities being proposed on top of what is already here. Any assistance which anyone can give us on addressing this matter would be greatly appreciated. I am currently attending the monthly CAFO meetings in Denver, CO at the Colorado Water Quality Control Division and am very disappointed in the avenue the discussions are taking. It is obvious that the Colorado Cattle Feeders Association and and their newly joined members (Corporate Hog Industry) everyone of them National Hog, Alliance Farms, Seaboard, Western Pork, and Pig Producers. And I am sure I missed a few have total control on where these discussions are headed and have control on any type of changes to our regulations.Does anyone have facts or figures regarding the increase health problems associated with these facilities coming into an area ? Information regarding the impact on school districts, Local law enforcement, etc. Our legislators are wanting facts and figures regardiong these matters and not just propaganda.

We need HELP.......

This is why AA is on its way out...

As a Black man, I am aware of the destructive effects of racism, but this approach is not the answer. Unfortunately, Affirmative Action simply uses the similar kind of subjective approach as the interview reports mentioned in the article. We now have an "old boy" network for certain politically correct groups of people, no better than the "old boy network" for whites. Why isn't there an emphasis on upgrading the skills of minorities to help them compete academically? I was in a privately run program, FAME (Forum for the Advancement of Minorities in Engineering) that helped prepare minorities for college by teaching them problem-solving skills and study skills.

Nearly every student in this program not only graduated from college, but also pursued further study and was able to compete in the workplace. The same cannot be said for the AA students, where high numbers of minorities never finish college. Rockwell claims increasing overall graduation percentage for the last 15 years is a sign of raising standards. What are these students doing after college? Under what criteria were they admitted? Since the education system nationally has been watered down, high national rankings are not necessarily a sign of superior achievement. I worked for 2 years as a teaching assistant at a small Black college in Delaware, and a number of the students in my classes were completely unprepared for college-level study. Further discouraging was the lack of academic progress even among juniors and seniors. Yet this school gets federal funding to "enhance academic excellence." This is why AA is on its way doesn't raise standards, it lowers them, without even helping those it was supposed to help.

Piri Thomas writes back

"I believe that no child was born to be a minority, for the word means
less than and is just another word for niggers and spicks."

(Publisher's note: Several In Motion Magazine readers have written about how inspired they have been by the works of Piri Thomas. Piri Thomas is a poet, writer, storyteller and music maker. He is the author of the sixties classic Down These Mean Streets and many other books including Stories from El Barrio, and Seven Long Times. In 1997 he released his second CD of poetry and music No Mo' Barrio Blues - his first Sounds of the Street was issued in 1994. Following is a letter from Piri Thomas.)To Brother Roberto, Perucho and Sister Sharon and Zeo. I just pick up on to this great web site through brother Nic Paget-Clarke. It's really boss in all the positive ways. Thank you and muchas gracias for your warm kind words. I believe that every child is born a poet and every poet is the child. I believe that words can be bullets or butterflies, so we must say what we mean and mean what we say. I believe that no child was born to be a minority, for the word means less than and is just another word for niggers and spicks. I believe every child is born a majority of one, similar to each other but not quite the same, for we each have our own fingerprints and no two are alike, so viva la differencias and lets get to know and respect each other born of truth with an end to forked tongues. Mami told all us children that no color was meant to be superior or inferior, Mami said that all colors were meant to be beautiful decorations like the flower gardens of our earth. All children are born of earth and universe, how dare anyone treat children with scorn because of thier most beautiful colors. We must learn to have a unity among all the colors where love is a sharing-a caring born of truth, for love is not using or being used, abusing or being abused, love is not even giving or taking, for that can lead to counting and accounting of, "Look what I've done for you"

So verily merrily, I say unto you, that love is a sharing, a caring born of truth, for those are the roots from which all children flow. Punto!!Vaya familia, Roberto, Perucho, Sharon and Zeo, palante siempre, there is no such word as defeat in unity among all the pretty colors. We are what we eat, we sure are what we think, so let's not mug our minds with thoughts of defeat. Our first and foremost cause must and should be the children of the world, those that are here and those that are to be born, it would be wonderful to turn this earth around where every child is born a majority of one and united we all would stand, a world where intelligence would not be judged by it's color.

A world where caring and sharing was the way of way of life, brought about because children were taught with wisdoms instead of with greed, for greed is the enemy of the children of all colors that come in all ages.It was chevere pouring out my feelings to cheverota familia. My web-site "The World of Piri Thomas" Love to hear from familia, we are all earth familia, we are all we got, let's not destroy ourselves with the negatives of hate.

Con Carino Your bro always,

Piri Tomas Montanez. Matrus

-- My e-mail is

Piri is a first class poet

I live in Haifa, Israel. I just finished "Down These Mean Streets", I couldn't put it down. Just to see his face on this webpage was like a completed circle- the cheap little paperback I have only has one graphic on the front of Spanish Harlem.I miss my girl in SFC and all I can do aside from work is get faded and read. I felt Piri to my corazon, and I'm glad I'm out of the city. I studied with Ishmael Reed and I can say that Piri is a first class poet, and his words are also los versos de MI alma.peace from the middle eastroberto

The Glass Ceiling

I was much impressed with Rene Redwood's "The Glass Ceiling." ... having read some of the other letters from readers, (I) would like to ask for the help in the way of quotes that I was hopeful she could provide.I am co-author of a book in progress, written on a readable level, w/ the working title Coping with Discrimination and Prejudice. We hope to make this a book that will encourage thought among teens and young adults. While Ms. Redwood's article has dynamite quotes for the chapter on gender, it discusses primarily management positions & says little to the young adults for whom we are writing. If anyone wishes to add ideas that would be relevant, I would welcome them, as I would any comments on other types of personal and institutional discrimination.Please directly e-mail me at & thanks for your help.
Mary Bowman-Kruhm

traditional Hawaiian healing

I came across a paper that Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell presented on traditional Hawaiian healing that you magazine reprinted. Dr. Blaisdell encouraged me to write the book "Na Mamo: Hawaiian People Today," whose website can be found at I pass the address on in case you or your readers might be interested.All my best,

Jay Hartwell

... an internet note

beautiful magazine/web pages - peace

Poem in memory of Jose Antonio Burciaga
u burciaga t

very sad to hear about Tony B. I knew he was ill. what a great tribute this poem is to such a talented man. He will be greatly missed but yet he has left much of his heart and soul on earth in California.Vaya con Dios Jose Antonio Burciaga...chief

Thanks to Angry White Men

I was absolutely astounded by Rockwell's article on Affirmative Action. The arguments have been put forth time and time again regarding the pros and cons of affirmative action but this article gives irrefutable evidence that the people fighting against it are once again fighting from a hypocritical stance.As Rockwell points out, we all benefit from affirmative action in some way, shape or form -- that has very often been the nature of our country. The idea that today's affirmative action is 'wrong' because of a desire to have color-blind policies is detrimental to our country's reputation and growth.The United States is an incredulous place -- where race, religion, nationality, and gender affect the smallest transaction or interpersonal communication yet 'should not' be considered for employment or academic advancement. Race, gender, ethnic background, religion -- these things shape the people that we are and the people that we aspire to become. How can we continue to take ourselves seriously by ignoring the people we are and the circumstances we subject ourselves to?

This is a cyclical problem in our country, whereby the haves continue to have and the have-nots continue without. Our economic policies underly this situation and our interpersonal relationships ensure that it does not change. Corporations and the people who lead them are key players in how our congressmen make policy, while the 'average' American (this includes the majority of women and ethnic minorities) has little or no input.Racism and sexism have been a pervasive and long-standing part of our country's history. People get tired of fighting against it, yet feel trapped when they do not. White men are welcomed in this fight, and much needed. Our inability to look critically at ourselves and accept that we too are a developing country and developing people has blinded us in the past but hopefully, with more people tuning into Rockwell and other Angry White Men, we will begin to see ourselves for the adolescent country that we are - full of mistakes as well as promise.


In 1964, if a person was opposed to the Civil Rights bill they were "labeled" a racist! In 1997 the same langauge is in the "Calf. Civil Rights In" and a Federal Bill. If you are "for" the Same Civil Rights Bill your are "labeled" a racist! It seems there is a problem? - Bob North

Our children's children will not be able to survive

Just a brief note to say that I enjoyed your article and was saddened at the same time. Greed has taken over even more in our country by those that can turn the political circle to their spot. Why is it that we the people have no say in the environment that we all live in? Why is it that the large corporations can take over and let the "little people" suffer their consequences of inhumane mistakes? Our representatives in Congress and the Senate have not listened to anything and only listen to the jingle of money in their pockets, otherwise they would have stopped this mega hog farm mess!!!

We are destroying our earth and we are destroying each other.I wanted to read up on the mega hog farms because I thought I was forming a negative opinion too quickly. Now I realize that I am not. I feel that we are definitely doing the wrong thing by allowing these farms. Just a few miles from my home there is a mega farm developing. It was to be in production by next month. There are several people who are very much against it and have voiced their right to state they are against it. They are now being sued by the people, one of which I graduated from high school with 25 years ago, who are building the mega mess. So sad, so sad. Isn't there one voice in the political circle that is going to listen and save us all from destruction? Our children's children will not be able to survive with the contamination of our water and soil. Earth will no longer be. Thank you for listening. I'm not sure how far this will go, but I hope I did not type this in vain.Katherine Johnson

How do you know they killed 150,000 fish?

I would like to know where you got your facts about PSF (Premium Standard Farms). PSF is one of the cleanest and most enviromental freindly companies I have ever toured. They contain all of there droppings. They have not dammed up any streams, all ponds have been man made. They have never spilled in a stream. How do you know they killed 150,000 fish. Or did you learn that from some pencil pusher sitting behind a desk that has not once been in the field. I feel as if the article that you have printed for the world to see is false.Why don't you take the time and tour the facility's you may change your mind on what you have written. You don't see the little hog farmer's forming international buisness for the United States do you, but you do see PSF forming foreign buisness ties. The quality is better the hogs are cleaner.Why don't you target the smaller farmers that do not contain hog droppings and urine that leak into the ground water that you drink, oh but thats OK if they don't contain it. We'll let them get away with it.

Humboldt county iowa has enacted 4 ordiances to curb large scale hog production. The most important one requires producers to provide financial assurance in the form of cash, insurance or bonding according to weight and manure storeage at site. For more information;

European Immigrants Who Wrote Laws
Excluding Native Americans

In historical facts, Native Americans who existed 10,000 years with their own laws of nature, were literally wiped out (Genocide) by European Immigrants, and were robbed of their religions, culture, and freedoms. They were seen as children, less than human by the "greedy" Europeans who wanted to please their Queen for the riches they would shower her with. They saw a civilization that had gold and they did not look much further! We are still suffering the inhumane and unjust laws of today due to the exclusion of the original Americans. We as Natives, which are now Mexicans of the Southwest and across the Nation are still excluded from the way the laws are made, exclusively made for the European Whites, of higher classes. When are we going to speak the truth? Why doesn't the White establishment admit the wrongs their ancestors did? Are they ashamed or afraid to know that their forefathers were theives and murderers? And if someone says "I did'nt own any slaves or oppress anyone", can't they see that we already know what their ancestry was, the responsible party that is still praised and has had the privilege from those actions? We, the Native peoples were masaquered and left "for dead", but we are still here and we will never disappear from this Nation, our mother earth. We need to educate our children by admitting the wrongs of the past and making up for it by "including" our Non-European people in the judicial and governmental process! We should find truth and see that there is a peace that needs to be found through courage and the truth.

President Clinton has thus far been the most courages, partly due to his generation, bringing the Race issue to the table. He did say it! Reagen could'nt even say "Aids", when he knew that many Americans would die. Could they have been less human because they were gay or minorities? Will we as Americans continue to hide as if our precedants were innocent of all wrong doing, when most of us do not even know what our great-great-grandparents were doing toward others already co-existing here? Educate yourselves to the truth and perhaps in this way, denial will not keep our unhealthy America from finding a peace and calmness, just like there was before the Whites caused wars, grief, destruction, and discrimination! After all, we all know that the Native peoples of the world are still being tricked, fooled and lied to inorder to assimulate, the peaceful method to control of the people. Spanish in the USA has been here since the 1700's and why should the original language be wiped out, another way of assimulating us again! Read the books and learn the real American values and morals and who had little!

... the Wrong Way


Thank you, Mr. Rockwell:

Thank you, Mr. Rockwell:Why am I thanking you? Because as a doctoral student in a predominately white institution, seeking a degree and career in a predominately white male profession (sport administration); I have had a depressing time "listening" to the rhetoric about how "difficult it is today for white males." In addition to hearing that, I sit in Gender Issues classes where I, an African-American female have not been included in the surveys and studies that deal with the sex discrimination endured by white women. So again, thank you.

... fear-mongering

I find it interesting that, while you perpetuate fear-mongering, you fail to note that cash hogs are currently trading at $60. This in not consistent with your radical view.Further, the hogs reared by integrated production systems posess characteristics deemed more desirable by consumers. (% lean, loin-eye depth, consistency, etc.)Put aside your "pitty me" attitude and compete.

Concerning Ward Connerly ...

I just wonder what criteria a member of the board of regents is selected. I have not been able to determine what educational background Ward has to be given a position as a regent. I guess he had been given preferential treatment to get the postion?Ward Connerly is completely lost. His arguments do not make sense. I watched him on C-Span this week and I would ask him to prove to me that :
  1. There is an equal playing field in college addmission for both minorities & women.
  2. Show me how the children of the rich and powerful do not get special treatment in admittance to CA schools.

... in South Dakota

I just read your article on hog farming and am in complete agreement. While you're in Missiouri dealing with corporate hog farming I'm in South Dakota where many people don't want it to come in at all. Nonetheless money talks and lawmakers balk. The entire issue of corporate hog farming disguised as family farming really stinks.

As the daughter of an officer in the Air Force ...

Thank you very much for your positive articles on Affirmative Action.As the daughter of an officer in the Air Force, I have moved around very much. I did not grow up in a Hispanic community. Being a minority did not make me any different from anyone else, really. I am now a freshman in college and in the middle of a culture shock. Suddenly, people are arguing with me and asking me if I feel guilty for receiving a scholarship. I can only reply that I do not feel guilty for EARNING a scholarship, for working hard, for showing that I can be more than the Mexican maid that is present in many movies I have seen.For the most part, I feel that many people's perceptions of affirmative action are grossly exaggerated. I am not a poor student who received a scholarship only because I am a Hispanic female. I am a very good student and an asset to my university. I do not appreciate the glares that I receive from other (white) students, who callously claim that I (and affirmative action) are the cause of all their problems. In reality, they feel very threatened by minority advancement. Given these current conditions, I am very grateful for your support.-Dolores Montoya"You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say,

'You are free to compete with all the others,' and still justly believe that you have been completely fair." -Lyndon B. Johnson

Early Childhood Education Preschool Myths

I enjoyed reading your article on Early Childhood Education Preschool Myths. I am currently a graduate student at Ashland University in Ohio. I can't begin to explain how pleased I was to read your article. I kept nodding my head and saying, "Yes! This is so true." I am working on my Master's in Early Childhood Education. I am thrilled to be able to have the honour of working with children in general. But working with the younger children is my consuming passion. Please accept my congratulations on an article well written and the many truths which were included.

Toni Cade Bambara
I discoverd a short story written by Toni Cade Bambara a few weeks ago. It was, "The Lesson," and I was so impressed by her writing and the message of the story, that I looked her up and found some more work on her. I am currently reading an anthology that she put together called, "The Black Woman." Having been so impressed by her writing, and the writing of which she puts in anthologies, I really wanted to see if I could find anything about her on the internet. I find this web page here dedicated to her memory, and it makes me very sad. There aren't many people to look up to now a days, and really am sad that she doesn't walk among us anymore. Her ideas have made me feel so much better about myself, and what is right in the world. I am Latin American, from the unpriveleged class, and gay. So much of her writing, and the writing of these women has given me new ideas about things around me, and in some ways has turned the night into day. There is so much about me that has felt bad, and now I know a lot of me feels right.God bless her,Angel Almanza

Fighting the hog factories entering Southeastern Indiana

We are fighting the hog factories entering Southeastern Indiana now. We have the corporations (Premalean Corp.) and an individual farmer who is getting bigger and says he will apply to Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management for a permit to build a confined feeding operation soon.We have a suit against the Jefferson County Planning Commission and against the Jefferson County Commissioners for not protecting the rights of the citizens which will be in court here in Madison, IN on Monday, May 5.Purdue University at West Lafayette, IN is sponsoring a conference on Hogs/People on Saturday, May 10. Indiana's Governor O'Banion is expected to sign the first confined feeding bill in a few days. It does little to protect the public, but did get a lot of attention.I have some bumper stickers which read "PIG FACTORIES HOG THE NEIGHBORHOOD" which we are selling for $2.00 if you'd like to order a few for your cars.Most of us who have farms near these proposed hog factories are desperate. We know our homes and land will be worthless. I have 276 acres of fine Indiana hardwoods that surround the proposed hog factory site, and am without words to explain how I feel.

Any help you might give our cause, or suggestions you might make will be appreciated.Mary Clashman, Madison, Indiana

Racism & Discrimination by another name...

Discriminating against any sect of our American society is wrong, no matter what professed noble cause that it hopes to advance. Affirmative action is such a discrimination.Our colleges and our America need to be void of gender and races labels with only performance and excellence as the judge able criteria.

Equal rights for all is what we should strive for, not advanced rights for a select minority.

Thank you.

Here in the middle of farm country ...

I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading your articles, and how it keeps me going in looking for sustainable methods of growing our food. Here in the middle of farm country, it seems I am the only one who thinks we should get off the technology treadmill. All of my neighbors use chemicals, and a lot of them still insist on moldbord plowing each fall. Thanks to your magazine, I can connect with others who feel the same way! Sometimes I feel so alone out here....The only way to change all of these farmers' minds is through the market. As soon as the people who buy the food become aware of how it is grown and start looking for healthier food to buy, then the farmers will follow (hopefully) with more sustainable methods. Until then, they don't see anything wrong with what they're doing, and organic methods sound backwards to them. Until consumers start demanding humanely-raised pork, poultry, and beef (and they don't even know what goes on!) farmers won't listen. In Genesis it says that because of sin, women will have pain bearing children, and men will work by the sweat of their brow. I've had three children and know it's painful!

It seems that everyone is trying to get out of working hard, and pollution of our land, water, and air is the consequence. (sitting in air-conditioned tractor cabs, using chemicals to control weeds, not hand-pulling, etc). Instead of praising God and serving others, we are praising the dollar and serving our own needs for pleasure. We have gotten away from being spiritual people to being consumers. It's time to discover the simple gifts of life, such as chickens running free eating worms and bugs, pigs lolling in mud holes, cows grazing on grass, and yes, even doing manual labor raising organically-grown fruits, vegetables, and grains. We'd all be healthier for it! Thank you for the opportunity to express myself, as there is no one around here who would listen.

Changed my mind about hogs in Kansas

I first didn't really care about the hogs, but after reading alot of your interesting articles I have changed my mind. I never voice my opinion on hogs because many friends have seperated over the idea of not allowing or allowing Murphys. I totally disagree with them coming into the county, but if it passes the people in Jetmore that voted for it will outwardly say that they voted for it. If we start to have problems like some in your articles the same people that spoke outwardly will say that they didn't vote or that they voted the other way.I respect your articles and I have to thank you for writing the truth. If this vote passes I am certain that one day you will have articles from Jetmore Kansas.

Thanks Again


Ag Day--not agribusiness day

Why hasn't Rhonda Perry's analysis of the unfairness of the 1996 Farm Bill (FAIR) received more coverage in the agricultural press? (Maybe we know the answer!) With Columbia, MO as the site for this information, I'd be interested in learning how much support is coming from the University's College of Agriculture? As a graduate in agricultural journalism in 1949, I never found the College to be overly concerned with the economics of the so-called family farm. It seems to me that the highly-touted figure of one farmer produces enough food for 128 others is simply because there are fewer farmers. Today is Ag Day--not agribusiness day! Now that all MacDonalds have a farm, it's time farmers got a piece of the action.

Growing up in Appalachia

I found your web site most interesting. I particularly enjoyed the article about Appalshop. I have relatives living in Caretta, W.V. and talked many times with them about their water problems. Having grown up in Gary W.V. my heart still calls the hills home although I now live in N.J. I have begun to write of my memories in growing up there and recently submitted a brief writing to Ernst and Young to be included in their cultural fair. I have received many compliments on it and so enjoyed sharing my culture with others. I look forward to obtaining some of the films.

A masterful poetress

My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting Alice recently. We also were priveleged with a very inspiring performance of her poetry, as she and other artist who joined us in providing artist residencies on Hilton Head Island, SC, shared our respective art forms on a beautiful spring afternoon. From her first words, we were all captivated by, not only the content, but also the spirited way she made the words live and breath as she painted a tapestry of change evoking images before our very eyes. It takes a lot of essential knowlege and essential spirit to do what she does the way she does it. We are a blessed to have such a masterful poetress in our midst.-- Don Harrell


RIGHT ON! - From Oregon

Behavior of hogs in confinement vs
those who can go outside

In listening to many of my neighbors talk about their hog operations, I have noticed lately that those in confinement are very aggressive and close to being dangerous. I have talked to other producers who raise hogs in old-fashioned builings and/or on pasture, and they talk about how nice the pigs are. It may have something to do with the ones being confined being bored and unable to express their natural pig tendandcies like rooting, playing. I would be interested in seeing a comparison of the two kinds in behavior and also I would like some hard statistics on the amount of medications used by the two groups. (I think I already know the answer--but it would be nice to see the results of a study). I have only known about your site for a month or so, and I like being updated on the hog issue in rural America. My farmer husband came home today and said that he was in on a discussion about how the big hog companies are going to go overseas because of all the environmental regulations here. I hope you chase after them! Personally, I would like to see a lot of small farms around here, each with a few hundred head of hogs as well as cattle, dairy, chickens, etc. It is scary looking at all of the new confinement buildings going up all around us. That's what all the neighbors think they have to do to survive!

Rural America / In Motion Magazine responds: As for the threats about leaving the country, we say "don't let the door hit you too hard as you go!'' When the mega-hog corporations say they're thinking of moving their operations to Brazil or Argentina, it's extremely transparent that these are scare tactics supposed to get business leaders concerned about the loss of jobs overseas. If communities cannot protect themselves with reasonable zoning and health regulations, what kind of a democracy is this?

I totally disagree ...

I'm sorry but I totally disagree with your thoughts and views of affirmative action. I do strongly believe that any "hand-out" whether it be a minority group, women, farmers, or corporations and business is wrong. There is no such thing as a free ride! Some one some where is paying for these benefits you receive. I am currently writing a paper over affirmative action and there are many different view points as well as definitions of the policy but I have yet to read anything that I agree with.

All sides of that story

Does anybody ever wonder how we will feed the world when the population is twice what it is now? Do people forget that land will deminish and demand will increase exponentially? Large environmentally sound hog operations with a good track record are one answer to the future food problems that we WILL face. It is true that many tell a one sided story. The sensible person will want to know all sides of that story.

All over the world

Good dayI have been reading through these letters, and I am quite surprised that all over the world racism is still very real. I am a coloured South African woman, and I guess I thought we here in South Africa are the only people with problems.

great job!

Hi folks,Found your site via Paul Rockwell's articles on affirmative action, and just wanted to thank Paul and Pedro (and all the staff) for your articulate and substantive discussions of affirmative action. You are providing a valuable and much-needed resource for the thoughtful discussion of affirmative action and equity issues online. I find the 'net to be depressingly reactionary for the most part; your pages are a real bright spot for progressive discourse.

Thanks, and keep it up!
Susana Gallardo PHD abd
Religious Studies. Stanford University

what happens if it is totally erased ...

I am a student at UCSC, and I am looking for facts, statistics and other key points of affirmative action and what happens if it is totally erased...Please, if anyone has any suggestions, ideas, key points, or anything else, send me an e-mail!!

Thanks, Leslie N.

"Marcos" and Mexico

I am a student from Nepal at Berea College,Kentucky. Today was the first time I visited the In Motion Magazine pages. Has been worth it. The "Marcos" interview threw a fresh light on how a movement can rechannel its momentum in more productive ways. I appreciate the coverage.

Paramendra Bhagat,
Berea College,
Berea, Kentucky 40404, USA.

To cope with the likes of the Texacos,
Circuit Cities and Mitsubishi of America

Indeed, Affirmative Action does discriminate - it has to. How else are the effects of institutional discrimination to be nullified? Companies like Texaco, Circuit City of Richmond, VA, Mitsubishi and other, remind minorities and women the these are but the tips of iceburgs.Minorities and women would no boubt gladly give up on Affirmative Action, with its dicriminatory nature, just as soon as they no longer had to cope with the likes of the Texacos, Circuit Cities and Mitsubishi of America. Until then, although "two wrong do not make a right", the stronger sense of justice is "misery loves company".In addition to off-setting the effects of institutional discrimination, Affirmative Action requires all groups to deal with the problems of discrimination, all groups have a vested intrest in working toward a solution and maintaining it. By ridding companies and institutions of there covert discriminatory practices, we can rid ourselves of the need for Affirmative Action programs - not before.

You have caused nothing
but chaos for the community

In-Motion Magazine- I have just finished reading your articles on Premium Standard Farms and I find them dispiccable. For all of the picking and digging up into the company you have caused nothing but chaos for the community surrounding the entire establishment. No company is perfect, yes they did have their spills, but they not once tried to illegally build like they are accused of. I know this because I am a son of one of the Senior Vice Presidents. This material has done nothing but make pain for the average viewer and should be taken back until the truth is intact. Thank you for listening and I hope you will only print the truth instead of this biast information. P.S. you never once said anything about the millions of dollars the company has brought into the surrounding community, heck Princeton wasn't even a town before they built there. Thats the end of my comments.

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