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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Today's Letters: Puerto Ricans fought for U.S.
Letters to the Editor
Published February 7, 2008
Re: Wrongheaded remark warrants swift apology Feb. 3 editorial
Brown-Waite is wrong. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.
This is not white America. This is not black America, or Latino America. This the United States of America. Brown-Waite should recognize that this is not the time to inflame racism by making disparaging remarks about Puerto Ricans as "foreigners."
We are American citizens from birth since 1917. Ever since, Puerto Ricans have fought in all the wars the United States has been in. The most thrilling account of our patriotism and loyalty to the U.S. was when Puerto Rican soldiers of the 65th Regiment were almost entirely annihilated defending our country, despite the fact that 95 percent of the regiment could not speak English. Puerto Rican soldiers have distinguished themselves in Germany, Japan, North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Bosnia, Afghanistan and everywhere U.S. soldiers have been needed. (And that's even after the volunteer military, because before soldiers were drafted and had no say.) The U.S. military draft board had offices in Puerto Rico and offices in all the states where Puerto Ricans lived. The offices for Commonwealth states had translators for those who could not speak English, and not speaking English was not an excuse to opt out of service in the U.S. armed forces.
This is only one little grain of salt in which Puerto Ricans have given this country. And 90 percent of the Puerto Rican majority is not complaining about being part of this great United States of America society. I know my family and friends are happy.
So, Ginny Brown-Waite, please zipper your mouth if you really made derogatory remarks against Puerto Ricans as "foreigners," or about any other Hispanic citizens.
Luis B. Rosario, Spring Hill
No apologies will be forthcoming
No, U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite has no reason to apologize for her inane comments about Puerto Ricans being foreigners. She also has no reason to apologize for sustaining President Bush's veto denying health insurance to children in low-income families. It doesn't matter that thousands of low-income families are her constituents. She doesn't represent the needs of these families.
This is the bonus we get for living in a "safe" congressional district. A politician elected from a pocket borough can act with impunity. Brown-Waite is simply not accountable for her disgusting comments or her closed mind that creates such outrageous pronouncements.
We will not receive any apologies from her until she is confronted by a viable opponent. How long must we wait until Democrats recruit and finance a candidate to run against this embarrassment? Until then we will just have to treat ourselves with antinausea Composine.
C. D. Chamberlain, Spring Hill
Let's thank God for Brown-Waite
I read with interest the editorial attacking Rep. Brown-Waite and what got me more than anything else was the statement made about securing the border by building a fence, in which the writer referred to it as being an extreme position.
With all due respect to the writer of the editorial, what is so extreme about wanting to protect your borders? Isn't that part of Brown-Waite's duty as a representative of the United States, to do what is right for this country?
Was the writer of the editorial trying to say he or she is for illegal immigration and for open borders? It certainly sounds like it to me. I would hate to think that the writer is so clueless that he or she was unaware of the recent attacks on our border guards, including the recent death of a border guard due to a hit and run attack by a drug smuggler. Knowing that, does the writer of that editorial think the Congresswoman's position regarding the border is extreme? If anything, it's the Hernando Times and its parent newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times, that have taken positions out of the mainstream.
I thank God every day for having someone like Brown-Waite representing me and my family in Congress, and I will do anything I can to help get her re-elected.
Peter Stathis, Spring Hill
Brown-Waite out of touch
I had to do a quick check to make sure it was the Times I was reading. After all, here was an editorial that was actually taking U.S. Rep. Virginia Brown-Waite to task for more of her arrogant actions.
Brown-Waite, once again, demonstrates her cowardly, bullying behavior by refusing to acknowledge the vast number of citizens of Puerto Rico and Guam who are entitled to the rights and privileges afforded by the U.S. government. I served in the military with many of those "foreign citizens" and they deserve more than Brown-Waite's blatant dismissal.
I have yet to determine if the arrogance and ignorance of Brown-Waite comes from her New York roots or from her believing she is somehow not accountable to the citizens of the U.S. and the constituents of this district.
Brown-Waite has no idea what the top concern of most of the constituents here might be. As one who does not fall for her flavor-of-the-month political squawking, I obviously have been removed from her mailing list, which is not a bad thing.
I believe Brown-Waite and her communications director, Charlie Keller, both are bereft of any cultural awareness, political ethics or genuine interest in truly representing the citizens of this district and those elsewhere in the United States.
And if they disagree with that, then I say they are just "nitpicking."
Bob Dodd, Dade City
In dire need of a history lesson
U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite's comments about Puerto Ricans seem to show a dark side of her true feelings, which indicates a racist view. If she reluctantly voted for President Bush's economic package, she is showing how insecure she really is since she could have voted against it.
It is really sad that a person of her stature and position would choose a word like "foreigners" when referring to Puerto Ricans. We are Americans. She needs to take a course in history, along with Charlie Keller.
I guess anyone can achieve a position like that by having the right contacts and connections. Knowledge has little to do with it. He contradicts himself when he says the comments have nothing to do with the people themselves, since this whole bill is about people (Americans), including those of Puerto Rican extraction.
Mr. Keller should get himself another job if he does not realize the importance of choosing words.