Spoke loudly, carried big stick

EDITOR: Thank you for your editorial (“On the Presidency, Misogyny and All the Little Girls in America,” Nov. 11 ).

Racism is now on the rise as well. Please do what you can to continue to raise these issues with our community.

I have forwarded an email I received yesterday (removing the CC’s and changing the names) regarding an incident involving our gardener’s daughter.

This cannot be our new America. Here’s the email:

“Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez’s teenage daughter, Mary (not their real names), was walking to the Boys & Girls Club in Sonoma with a group of friends when a guy started chasing them, brandishing a stick and shouting, “Go back to Mexico now! You don’t belong here!” They were quite near the club, got there quickly and nothing physical happened. The Boys & Girls Club called the police, but the man was gone by then. Welcome to America 2.0.”

Terry Dalton

Sonoma

Iran, behind the veil

EDITOR: Iran – the good news/the bad news. Salam! The good news is that on Nov. 4 I returned from a cultural tour of Iran organized by Cross-Cultural Journeys and the Shift Network. We spent two weeks learning about the ancient, modern and recent history of the country, its cultural treasures, and its most splendid treasure – the people who live there!

Over and over again we encountered Iranians touring the same heritage sites we were visiting, who frequently asked, “Where are you from?” When we answered America or U.S.A., the most common response was, “We are happy to see you. You are welcome here.” Sometimes we were asked to join in family photo shoots, apparently so they could prove to their friends that they encountered real Americans, ordinary Americans who appreciated their country, history, and people. Given our government’s history of meddling in Iranian affairs, we felt gratitude that they didn’t blame us as individuals for what our government has done.

Given the pre- and post-election rhetoric in the U.S. about Iran, it is really important to know that Iranian citizens want peace. We learned so much about Iranian values. They value their country’s present stability. Most Iranians practice the Shi’a version of Islam, a non-extremist form, and they value tolerance for people of various religions, including Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians. They value their families. They lost so many precious lives to a cruel dictator – the last Shah – and to the eight-year war that began in 1980 when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq began dropping bombs on Iran. They do not want to go to war with anyone.

Ruth Hoppe

Sonoma

Playing the Trump card

EDITOR: Now that Trump is President-elect, I think we should respect the system and give him a chance – like the one he gave Obama when he tried to de-legitimize him by claiming he wasn’t born in America, like when he tried de-legitimize Hillary by claiming he would throw her in jail, and like when he tried to de-legitimize our democracy by crying our system is rigged and wouldn’t concede the election results unless he won.

Let’s give Trump all the chances he deserves.

Tom Sokolowski

Sonoma