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| Opinion | July 2, 2020

Open Letter to Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth and Mayor Pro Tem Bill Miranda
Mr. Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem:
According to a local newspaper report, I want to commend you for wanting to “make clear that the city denounces racism” but I also would want you to be aware and cautious of some of the radical things the formal Black Lives Matters organization believes and practices.

For instance, if you or your staff would spend just 90 seconds perusing the “What We Believe” section on the official Black Lives Matter (BLM) website (https://blacklivesmatter.com), I believe you will be astounded to learn that heterosexual men—particularly black fathers—are excluded from BLM’s supposedly inclusive movement. In a time when 69% of black children will never know a two-parent family, BLM is bizarrely anti-family. See these direct quotes from BLM’s website:

“We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.

We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

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When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking…”

While the term “black lives matter” is a statement of truth and worth, Black Lives Matter, as an organization, clearly has a radical social agenda that our city and its leaders should not be endorsing.

Let’s certainly affirm civil rights for all our citizens, denounce racism when it is found and support humane use-of-force reforms in police policies but please be cautious about gratuitously affirming the Black Lives Matter organization, whether personally or as voting members of the Santa Clarita City Council. There is just too much the public does not know about BLM’s leaders, practices and policies.

Thank you for all you both do for our city and citizens!
Gary Curtis, a Newhall resident

To all the mis-educated, non-reading, gossip monger minions of Christy Smith and all other “progressive” cultists, here is the last stanza I’ve written for your new Socialist National Anthem:

Ever forward, brave Leftist lemmings!
Defiling all from sea to sea,
Cutting off each rose from stemming,
Ever onwards – to the cliff of victory!
Richard Hood

This originally appeared as a comment on Doug’s Rant on our website but for an unknown reason kept being hidden so here it is :

Letter to the Ranter
Doug, you say you like healthy debate, hate one-way thinking and catchy metaphors that are just for show. Me too. I’ve read your column in its entirety and while I won’t attempt to address every point you make, here are a few responses. I am a 47 year-old white, female resident of Newhall. I moved here from Los Angeles (Frogtown) in 2013. I was raised in the rural midwest in a one-stoplight farming town surrounded by miles of corn and hog farms. My parents were Silent Generation. I grew up alongside rural, poor whites. My mother’s family is from rural Arkansas, my father’s family from rural Nebraska where he was raised on a farm, to become a farmer.

DOUG SAYS: “But, from what I’ve seen and heard, the mainstream media along with many on the left are taking the reality of this terrible situation and blowing it into the racial stratosphere. Four bad guys who happened to be cops did a really bad thing to an undeserving black man, but with all the hype, it’s being portrayed as a weekly occurrence across the land, and that just isn’t the case.”

• No one is saying all individuals who are police are bad. The “justice system”, which starts with the police, is a broken system that works against those who are black (and poor). No one is saying white people aren’t also victims of this system. But if this is such a problem for white people as well, why aren’t we doing something about it?

DOUG SAYS: “From my years on this earth interacting with black friends and law enforcement friends, and keeping close tabs on all news stories, I just don’t see any indication of law enforcement contributing to the systemic racism that is being screamed from the rooftops as a result of one man’s *death.“

• He was *murdered, and it’s not ‘just one man’. I haven’t seen it or experienced it either. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I haven’t walked through the world as a black person. Why should I refuse to listen to our fellow citizens, neighbors and community members who say “this is what it’s like for me, please hear me on this”?

DOUG SAYS: “Sure, there are bad things that happen to black people at the hands of white officers at times, but how prevalent is it really? There are statistics to back up the fact that it just isn’t.

• How bad does it need to be? How many deaths constitute a statistical insignificance in your opinion where lives are the statistics? Where do you set that bar? How many deaths until something needs to change? •

DOUG SAYS: “They think yelling, screaming and carrying signs will quickly save the day. But does it ever?”

• No one believes protesting is the solution to the problem. It is the impetus for change. And no one thinks this will happen quickly, however: “There is no power that can stop an idea whose time has come.”

DOUG SAYS: “No Justice No Peace,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Say Their Names,” and “I can’t Breathe.”  Okay, good metaphors. But how do they intend to really enact change for what they perceive the exact problem to be?”

• Columns like this, for one. Why do others have to change? How might YOU and I change, Doug? What do you intend to do to enact change except spending time re-treading your own already established, long-held ideas?

DOUG SAYS: “I’m not giving them a hard time for protesting. That is absolutely their right.  But I’d like the students to think about what exact change needs to happen to solve what exact problem?” 

• They HAVE thought about it. They HAVE said and ARE SAYING what the problem is. That’s why they’re protesting. They’re now asking YOU and I to think about it. Shoring up one’s old arguments and seeking new ways to reinforce one’s own already established viewpoints is not honestly ‹thinking about it› and, I speak for myself on that one as well.

DOUG SAYS: “The gentleman had many issues, none of which warrant the glory he is receiving in *death.”

• None of which warranted his *torturous, public murder. No one is glorifying his struggles. Because he is black, he is “bad person” for having had drugs in his system and having a criminal record. Had he been white, he would have been considered “troubled”.

DOUG SAYS: “In reality, the accolades he received resulted from him attempting to break the law at the wrong place and the wrong time.”

• It is not known that he intentionally passed a fake bill. Have you ever unknowingly passed a counterfeit $20? I probably have. And even if he did, it does not warrant his murder in the street in full public view by a police officer moments later. Nothing he did in his life justifies his murder. No human being deserves what happened to him.

DOUG SAYS: “Aside from that, he previously was jailed for armed robbery, breaking and entering a woman’s home, and pointing a gun at her while looking for drugs and money. Yet he’s being idolized by left leaners as great man because of the way he was killed?”

• Do you not believe human beings have complex, difficult lives where we are capable of doing bad AND good? Do you believe that when a person does something wrong, or commits a crime that they have no right to forgiveness, empathy, possibility of redemption or change? Do we simply throw that person away and say therefore it doesn›t matter that he was brutally murdered? Because he had drugs in his system? Because he›d committed crimes in the past? Did he therefore deserve this?

DOUG SAYS: “This past Wednesday, the House of Representatives hastily scheduled a hearing on police practices. The first person to testify as an expert witness was George Floyd’s brother. All networks had their cameras glued to the gentleman, even though he has no police experience other than what happened to his brother.”

• I am certain that George Floyd’s brother has much more experience with police beyond what happened to his brother, though I understand that’s not what you meant. Your point is that because he isn’t trained as a police officer or had inside experience with a police department or academic study of the justice system he has no right or informed view to speak about the murder of his brother by police? •

DOUG’S FRIEND SAYS: “If you don’t want to be treated like a stereotype, then don’t act like one. You demand respect. Respect is earned; it is not given based on the color of your skin. That would be racist.”

• I don’t hear anyone saying they demand respect because they are black. They deserve respect because they are human beings.

DOUG’S FRIEND SAYS: “I am tired of white people kowtowing to minorities to prove that they are not racist. You are or you aren’t, and your actions will show your true nature regardless of what you say.”

• Me too, and I couldn’t agree more.

DOUG SAYS: My hope is many of them will not turn to a fad of the month mentality lacking thoughtful, concrete problems and solutions. We see too much of that already every time we turn on the mainstream media.

• Me too. And I hope you include yourself in this statement as well.
-Jenny

More letters to the ranter:

Doug,
My wife and I are long-time residents of  Santa Clarita and call this valley our home.  We have been loyal, dedicated readers of the Gazette over the last several years, and have (almost) always appreciated your perspective and the variety of opinions your contributors have provided. It has been good to see conservative, God-fearing people put thoughtful and sometimes wise perspectives into writing. 

This year and before no doubt have been very difficult and trying for you and the team, in several ways. For us, I’m in aerospace and combined with the delayed 737 Max (and other aircraft models) production and Covid-19 effects, my work future is not certain. And the current friend and family environment is turning into not so friendly any more. 

With this, we are trusting that you and your wife have success and fulfillment in the coming future with the retirement and move. Please seek the Word of God for direction in your life! We have to keep our focus not on man but on Jesus.

Gotta get a light dig in, though. You’ve done super well with the editing in every issue. But you may feel some blowback with this last issue – your subtitle reads “From the Publihers”. LOL Take care and God Bless. Ed

Doug,
I want to say how bad I feel that you and the Gazette won’t be in my life as it has before for many years. ( I guess I am selfish in that way but still want to say THANKS to you and Mrs. Ranter ) I have shared your newspaper with friends who live far outside Santa Clarita and the papers closure will be felt far and wide. Quite awhile back, I was mentioning to Jim Horton that you are a hero of mine. He said he understood how I felt that way. Your method of writing, content, knowledge and especially your common sense have always impressed me and made me smile, page after page, issue after issue. I, along with a lot of people will miss you but hope to hear back from you in the near future.

Thank you for your support of our President and Congressman Garcia. You know a good man to respect and support as I believe I do as I respect and support you. Thank you for being you and Happy Retirement. Mike

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