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Extra Letters: On Andy Lopez shooting

  • Mourners place flowers on the site where Andy Lopez, 13, was shot and killed Tuesday by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy. (JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat)

EDITOR: Why did you publish the letter that asks about the immigration status of Andy Lopez and his parents (“Catering to protesters,” Nov. 12)? Paul Gullixson's explanation of getting “the ideas out there for the community to discuss” rings hollow (“Why we ran that Lopez letter — you know the one,” Saturday). To print this racist garbage is to bring it up to the level of respectable discourse, with your imprimatur. Will you also print the letters laying this tragedy at the feet of Mr. and Mrs. Lopez, for being such bad parents? Anything goes if it's discussion, right?

I find it troubling that you don't seem to mind fanning the flames of racial discord every now and then. I remember the letter identifying illegal immigration as the reason Matthew Toste was killed (“Illegal immigrants,” Sept. 20, 2008). This was, of course, a veiled rant against Latinos, because the men accused of killing him had Spanish surnames. You knew very well that the men were mostly Native American, yet you published the letter anyway.

I don't see how any of this is responsible journalism. And if it is, then why bother to moderate the online comments? Oh, I know, to keep out all those offensive bad words. Racism, on the other hand, is not so offensive. That's just “discussion.”

LAURA GONZALEZ

Santa Rosa

It only takes once

EDITOR: Wow. Talk about perfect timing. On the day you ran a much-appreciated column about “that Andy Lopez letter” (“Why we ran that Andy Lopez letter — you know the one,” Saturday), which was, as Paul Gullixson said, “full of holes,” we find another unfortunate letter with its own patchwork of holes and gaps.

“Not once (since 1972),” the letter (“Deputy's conclusion”) said, “have I seen a person — child or adult carrying a weapon in broad daylight. Not once.”

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