Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Chair Rex Bohn, in an official capacity at a public event, made a statement equating being authentically Mexican with being a criminal ("Sad Days in the First District," April 11). This self-revelation by Supervisor Bohn of his ingrained disrespect for Mexicans and, by reasonable extension for Latinos in general, speaks volumes regarding Supervisor Bohn's character. In my opinion, Supervisor Bohn, much like our racist president, is unfit for office if for no other reason than their inherent disrespect for citizens and residents who they ostensibly represent.
One object lesson for me from our current scenario of "rule by the worst" is that these leaders express and thereby engender in others disrespect as a principle and as a practice. As one who practices acceptance and respect for all individuals for who they are, reserving judgment for their actions, I find the spreading acceptance of disrespect by our leaders to be abhorrent and to merit attention and activism to counter the forces degrading our society that are mobilized by such expressions of disrespect.
Count me among those who think that Supervisor Bohn should resign, having demonstrated that he is inherently unfit for office. Failing that, an effective effort to unseat Supervisor Bohn is certainly called for.
More broadly, I encourage each of us to consider the fundamental benefit to both self and others of holding a position of respect for all persons based on who they are, and to reserve judgment for actions and statements that individuals make. Respect as a starting point only makes us better persons. Increasing respect in our many circles of society only makes us a better society. Disrespect, as manifested by Supervisor Bohn, does the contrary. Let's each act positively in our own ways to reduce the amount of disrespect in Humboldt County and to increase the amount of respect. Respect matters.
Bruce LeBel, Arcata
Racism comes in all forms. It can come from your friendly neighbor and your unfriendly neighbor, alike. Most prevalent these days is in the form of intrinsic bias, which by its nature we are often unaware of having ourselves. But we all have it to one degree or another and I think we all like to believe ourselves to be good people.
Being comfortable with overtly promoting racist stereotypes goes beyond this, however. And good acts toward one person does not give you a pass for the ill treatment of another, nor the denigration of an entire people.
We must always be mindful and self-aware, and this is especially incumbent on ourselves if we purport to be a representative of a plurality of people. If we cannot fulfill that singularly important duty of equally representing and advocating for all our constituents, then we are derelict in our duty as representatives and must step down. We deserve someone that will treat everyone with due respect and someone we can trust to have everyone's interests at heart regardless of race, sex, creed and even political affiliation. I no longer have confidence in Rex Bohn's ability to live up to this necessary standard. As such, I believe he should respectfully move aside and make room for someone who can.
Dawson Darling, McKinleyville