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Hilbert Morales Publisher

Hilbert Morales
Publisher

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Feliz Navidad 2013; Merry Christmas: These are the words that we say to each other during any Christmas season. However, this 2013 Christmas has been tarnished by local happenings in our communty:

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A RACISM INCIDENT:

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The inappropriate and uncivilized behavior of four male students residing in a SJSU dormitory. At San Jose State University, the entire academic community was reacting to this supremecist behavior which revealed a low level of respect and acceptance. Unacceptable and uncivilized behavior was directed at an African-American student. The abuse by four others was reported by his parents to SJSU authorities. Immediately, the incident was alleged to be a racist ‘Hate Crime’. How could this happen in a very diverse student body? Where was the Resident Counselor? Is enough known to classify the actions as a misdeamenor or a felony? The SJSU President assumed leadership by taking responsibility after the fact; the Academic Faculty Council debated this incident; and the current state is that Judge LaDoris Cordell (Retired) will be the head of an investigatory commission. Meanwhile, these four students have been suspended.

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FOUR HOMELESS DIE FROM EXPOSURE:

The County of Santa Clara has almost 8,000 homeless individuals residing within its jurisdiction. Even mothers with kids. Almost all efforts to assist the homeless focus on affordable housing (which takes too long) and social service/mental health programs and altruistic reactions by faith organizations. What is not included is the impact of current economic fiscal practices of commerce. Tax avoidance and non-living wages are but two factors. The entire situation needs to be addressed so as to promote policies establishing how the homeless are identified; how stigma and discrimination address the unemployed, the disadvantaged, and the disabled amongst us. There are those who do not want to pay taxes to support social, mental health and health services needed by these homeless.

One step is to think of these individuals as ‘being unhoused’ which quickly points out that having a dwelling which is ‘my home’ is a condition which mitigates many difficulties the homeless have. The local faith congregations in Palo Alto have organzed ‘Hotel DeZinc’ whereby parish halls are used as shelters (and a daily meal is provided. Many widows have extra bedrooms, but who knows where they are located? Will these offer hospitality and shelter to homeless moms with kids? A system for volunteers is needed.

In wealthy Silicon Valley area, this is a social community matter that requires a comprehensive overview and analysis now for next year’s winter weather. Let’s honor these four dead homeless by an ongoing effort to devise ways to help those amongst us who end up being economically unable to have a home.

LOW INCOME FOLKS AMONGST US:

As a community we seasonally deal with the inability to provide food to those who are unable to buy food for themselves and their families. Programs to provide health insurance for kids of low income families exist. In addition, health, social and mental health services to the unemployed and uninusred are available. Sacred Heart Community Center and Second Harvest Food Bank collect funds, clothing and food to assist the disadvantaged. Even so, many of the local working poor must choose to either pay the rent or buy food. Recently it was revealed that some very profitable corporations pay their workers wages that do not permit attainment of the ‘essentials of life’ (food, shelter, clothing, security and warmth according to Mazlow’s Heirarch of Needs. Check it out via Google).

The City of San Jose began debating its policy which sets minimum wage levels. This quickly seqwayed into a discussion about ‘LIVING WAGES’. It is time to deal with reality. The laboring class has no advocate for its perspective and experiences attained while trying to live on inadequate income levels. Having an educaiton is not the universal answer because too many jobs are being automated out of existence. In
addition the current captains of industry are focused on making profits without any discussion about a fair profit margin or a reasonable return on investment.

All communities are impacted by many social attitudes and business practices. It behooves us to take a global examination of everything….not just our special interests. Our pleasures and entertainments are often distractions from the reality about us.

THIS CHRISTMAS:

Consider the poor, the disadvantaged, and those with afflictions. Consider your neighbors and plan to “do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” The outcome will be ‘Joy and Peace’ which passes all understanding. FELIZ NAVIDAD; MERRY CHRISTMAS.

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© 2011 news el observador ·A weekly newspaper serving Latinos in the San Francisco Bay Area
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