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Contributions this week included comments on children and schools’ difficulties facing budget shortfalls, in addition to the continued debate on political parties and political positions. Common topics among them addressed immigration and the fate of those who come to our border.

As always, we welcome your thoughts, and thank those who share their views with their fellow readers.

Blaming migrants

I do not want to belittle the tragic death of the nursing student in Georgia. I feel for her friends and family. But I am concerned with the statements of the Republican governor there.

Yes, the murder was committed by an illegal Venezuelan immigrant, but the governor failed to mention that three other college students were killed elsewhere in the last two weeks by American murders. I question whether the governor was concerned about the victim and her family or if he just wanted to make political points.

Various newspaper vending machines read “Woman commits crime,” “Youth commits crime,” “White guy commits crime,” and “African American commits crime.” The man points at the paper that reads “Asylum seeker commits crime” and says “See!? This proves they’re all criminals!”

It is like our governor sending migrants to “blue” cities rather than to parts of the country that could use workers, especially migrant workers. It isn’t out of any altruistic concern; he just wants to play politics.

I really wish we had politicians on both sides who would worry about doing what is right rather than trying to show the other side up.

I am sure that of all the migrants who have come into our country there are criminals, but it is dishonest to suggest that all the immigrants should be painted with the same brush. Look at all of the murders committed here in the Valley by American citizens. Does that mean all of the people in the Valley should be painted with the same brush?

Gerard Pahl


Marring the truth

Donald J. Trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and other like-minded politicians should be made aware that throwing insults at truth does not in any way alter the veracity of the facts. Attempts at disfiguring the truth only damages and forever scars the attacker, and diminishes the legitimacy of substantive dialogue and understanding.

Dialogue and understanding. Intellect and aptitude. Unfamiliar precepts to simple-minded, MAGA-inspired functionaries and disciples who know not their own minds, or the abhorrent minds of those who spew their self-absorbed political venom.

Politicians and their followers who are set on disfiguring the truth reveal through their words and actions their self-mutilated image of the world and the people around them, and their low self-esteem.

A car drives past a billboard that reads “Vote Republican. We can’t govern ourselves, but we can govern the country!! We promise.”

Disillusionment, disenchantment, arrogance and bigotry — hallmarks of the human need to besmirch and damage a person, an idea, a nation, and even the presidency or a congressional seat.

And therein lies the rub — for truth cannot be disfigured. What are disfigured are the character and humanity of those who dare attempt to call attention to their diminished capacity to think, reflect and imagine. For once the dream dies, so does the need to believe in the idea that is the uniqueness of us.

A. Garcia-Wiltse

San Juan

Don’t combine elementaries

Brownsville ISD is trying to find budget cuts and I understand that. However, the consolidation of Cromack and Castañeda elementaries does not make sense. The presentation said it would save so much with salary and but sections of Cromack will still be used so the utility savings are not accurate. The staff will not be let go so those proposals are not accurate either.

I have taught 31 of my 34 year career at Castañeda. It has been my pleasure to teach generations of families throughout those years.

Please stand up for our community and do the right thing. Leave Cromack and Castañeda elementaries separate.

Catherine Cantu


Trump defended
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Waterford Township, Mich., Feb. 17, 2024. (Paul Sancya/AP Photo)

This is a response to the commentary, “Trump is no Messiah,” by Vicki Bunderson (Feb. 7).

Just when you thought you had read the most vicious and vile attacks against former President Trump in this publication, along comes Ms. Bunderson. She is obliviously suffering from an acute case of “Trump derangement syndrome” and thus proceeds to call Mr. Trump every derogatory name in the book including bigot, racist, liar, cheat, fraud, con artist, etc.

Of course, no anti-Trump smear job or diatribe would be complete without attempting to ink former President Trump with fascist dictators past and present. Thus, the writer accuses Mr. Trump of using the rhetoric of Adolf Hitler and states that Trump’s heroes include the likes of Vladimir Putin, Benito Mussolini and Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Anything to paint Mr. Trump as some kind of monster.

The writer ends her commentary with a disturbing assertion/question” that borders on paranoia: “Or maybe Trump is the long-feared Anti-Christ?”

It is beyond comprehension how anyone can hold such hatred and animus in their heart toward another person for whatever reason. It is, moreover, sad and disturbing for anyone to devote so much of their time and energy spewing such hatred.

“Trump derangement syndrome” is obviously difficult to cure.

Ben Castillo


School district draws comment

My husband and I grew up in the Brownsville school district. Back then we both agreed that when we have kids we’re sending them to private school. Why? Because even in high school we knew we weren’t prepared for college. We busted our brains in small universities obtaining degrees that shouldn’t have called for busting our brains. We didn’t party like the college kids you see on TV. We studied hard just to keep up.

So when I heard that charter schools were popping up in Brownsville I said, every time the subject came up, “Good! I have no sympathy for Brownsville ISD!”

No one has sympathy for BISD! You can make all the excuses you want, but if you want Brownsville students back then you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and fight for them!

A view of a Brownsville ISD school bus Wednesday, May 25, 2022, after school dismissal. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

The district has to rethink the importance of some of its administrative offices, and reduce their incomes to something more reasonable. Stop giving themselves raises with money earmarked for teachers. Quit playing power games with teachers and help them do their jobs. That is why they exist in the first place!

Seeing as charter schools require you to apply, they are taking all the best students. That being said, the state needs to throw the standard STAAR expectations out the window. Test the kids. Find out where they are and go from there.

Do not reprimand teachers or principals due to a lack of scores. They are already losing teachers to the other districts. You need to stand by them and actually help them make the students more successful.

Make the students ready for the PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP tests and the STAAR test will take care of itself. Do whatever you have to do to make the kids ready for college. And not just local colleges. They need to be successful at upstate universities. If they can’t be ready for a school upstate then close your doors and let the IDEA schools take over because you’re not any good to us. Not only did we send our daughter to private school, most of Brownsville sent their children to private and charter schools as well.

Deborah Garza


Misinformation and exaggeration

It’s bad enough having to deal with malicious Russian disinformation and misinformation designed to undermine our democracy. But when some folks in our communities express similar misgivings, that’s even worse!

I know that when when Ernest Gorena wrote that “the world is on fire,” “our police were being overrun,” “hatred for all that is ‘American’ is everywhere,” “our religion is being attacked,” “our children are being indoctrinated” and “men are being allowed in the girl’s restrooms” (March 2), he was doing so with a bit of drama and exaggeration. But when he declared that our “election integrity” has become questionable, he was not exaggerating. Because never before in the history of the United States has a “poor loser” political candidate declared, without an ounce of evidence, that “voter fraud” was evident in our elections, until now.

“Of course we say we are against government intrusion into your lives. Why do you ask?”

The Russians are once again doing what they typically do to help Donald Trump win elections; spread lies and disinformation. Their goal is to make their con-artist candidate look good by making Democrats and President Biden look bad. How sad.

Even sadder is that a great number of MAGA politicians and their constituents love it. They swallow it hook, line and sinker and then they help Vladimir Putin parrot his putrid propaganda by loudly and faithfully repeating it!

Democracy made this country great and, of course, Putin doesn’t like that. He wants our country to be led by someone like him. And within our country and our government there are those who willingly oblige. And that, my friends, is indeed shameless! Hoo-boy.

Italo J. Zarate


Deluded marchers

Here the über-deluded, leftist radicals March bravely forward in their blind allegiance. Like all dogs on the same block begin barking in sequence without reason, you guys blindly follow the narratives of the Joseph Goebbels-Saul Alinsky box. You cannot ever reconcile your leftist positions with abject reality because of your narcissism and fragile intellectual vanity.

You rage against Republicans with unhinged, psychopathic fervor. While Republicans have divergent viewpoints, your leftist figureheads are just bobbleheads in blind agreement. Your demagogues pushed ”the border is secure’ one day to “it’s broken because the Republicans” the next. Joe Biden could fix it with a stroke of his executive pen.

You have this noble image of latter-day migrants as humble laborers, farm workers or students, but not so. These are not Mexicans, these are from South America, Africa, the Caribbean, Middle East and Asia. Latino countries are emptying their asylums and prisons directly into the migrant caravans. Since October, about 10,000 crossers per day. More watch list apprehensions in 2023 than the previous six years combined. More than 300 during Biden’s three-plus years. Border Patrol, in an Arizona CNN report: 85% are single adults.

Mainstream news folk aren’t neutral disseminators of reality, they’re paid transcriptionists for the Democratic Party, adorning your halls of illusion, your sound-proof echo chambers. Until you accept that, there is truly no hope for you in your political hatred.

Jamey Honaker


Roe v. Wade and racial disparities

Since the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling, 17 states implemented policies that would effectively outlaw abortions shortly following the ruling’s overturn. To obtain an abortion, women in these states likely would need to travel out of state, imposing disproportionate barriers to accessing abortions for women of color.

Available data indicate that more than half of abortions performed are among women of color, with the vast majority of those abortions occurring during the first trimester across racial and ethnic groups. Recent reports showed that limited access to health care adversely affects women’s access to contraceptives and other reproductive health services, both of which are critical to pregnancy planning.

Planned Parenthood advocates for access to birth control as it enables young people to get an education and support their families. Specifically, access to oral contraceptive before the age of 21 significantly contributes to college retention rates among those enrolled. As a young, white professional woman, I could afford birth control through private insurance available by my employer. This allowed me to plan my future, attain a master’s degree, have children when I chose, and support my family. Regardless of background or income level, everyone deserves full access to birth control options, as contraceptives constitute health care.

A May 2022 KFF survey revealed the majority of women ages 18-49, across various racial and ethnic groups, did not want Roe v. Wade overturned, and felt abortion was a personal choice. To better understand their perspective, women of color have fewer financial resources that increase barriers to accessing an abortion.

Additionally, limited abortion coverage under Medicaid disproportionately affects women of color. Women of color, ages 18-49, are nearly twice as likely to be low-income compared to their white counterparts. The lack of access to contraceptives and abortions exacerbates existing racial disparities, including higher poverty rates, increased use of public assistance, elevated likelihood to commit crimes and heightened health problems.

With Roe v. Wade overturned, women of color are already disproportionally affected by state and legal restrictions on abortions. These structural impediments are detrimental to women, children, the economy, and the United States healthcare system. Rather than restricting access to health care, efforts should focus on increasing the accessibility and availability of quality healthcare to all individuals.

Elizabeth Jatkowski

Mapleton, Ill.

Clinton bashed

Pompous Hillary Clinton self-righteously sits with the leftist media on a frequent basis, sanctimoniously bashing many Republican conservatives as Russian assets. Really? Has she forgotten how the Clinton Foundation was so friendly with Russia, when the U.S. under their watch sold our defense-valuable uranium to the Russians?

To this day we don’t know who approved such, and who benefited by this secretly maneuvered brainless foreign policy, certainly not American taxpayers.

Imelda Coronado


Feeding children

Starting the day on an empty stomach is no way to tackle the business of learning. And yet, in the Rio Grande Valley, as many as 1 in 4 children faces hunger. In turn, childhood hunger can result in lower test scores, weaker attendance rates and a higher risk of chronic diseases.

Luckily, there’s a powerful tool to fight childhood hunger: nutritious school breakfasts. These morning meals provide a critical source of nutrition for kids, ensuring they feel better, learn more, and grow up strong.

A student carries their breakfast tray to input their account information with a Food and Nutrition Services employee Wednesday morning, June 8, 2022, as part of BISD’s Free Summer Meal Program at Edward Manzano Jr. Middle School. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

And studies show that school breakfast and student success go hand in hand. Kids who eat school breakfast do better academically, are more alert and have better concentration and memory.

School breakfast doesn’t just happen. It takes hard work from the school nutrition team at local school districts who ensure that kids start each day with a healthy meal, energized and ready to learn.

This National School Breakfast Week (March 4-8), let’s celebrate the importance of school breakfast and the critical role school nutrition professionals play in helping children succeed. Feeding kids today is one of the smartest investments we can make to ensure they’re ready to face the challenges of tomorrow.

Cruselva Peña

Program manager

No Kid Hungry Texas


Defending ‘wokeness’

What are the Republican WASPs so afraid of? Why do they feel so threatened and insecure, in a state of fight or flight? Why are they acting like cornered animals doing whatever they can, even lie and cheat?

I am speaking of the Republican WASPs of the Trump variety. Are they afraid of women, Black and brown people and anybody who does not look like them?

U.S. demographics indicate natural anti-WASP forces at work. All species eventually become extinct if they don’t adapt to their existing environment; they become weak and disappear. It might be a species or a variety of a species. In this case it is the Republican WASP of the MAGA Trump variety.

An example is the Germanic white Aryan superior race theory that was proven wrong. There was no such race in the way they claimed. They became extinct.

Or are they just another cult with a crazy leader like Jim Jones and David Koresh?

Typical cultists are gullible, lack individualism, are easily persuaded, have low self-esteem, no curiosity and want to be led. They follow the leader no matter what, no questions asked or suffer the consequences.

Most cults either fizzle out or come to a tragic end. Some cultists become disappointed or even suicidal when they finally wake up to the truth.

True patriotic Americans are not cultists. We are not easily frightened.

We are self-motivated, sharing people and are curious and ask and verify. We easily recognize an amoral liar, scammer and habitual grifter. We value real freedom and law and order.

We are the winter soldier ready to sacrifice and overcome all odds to make things better. Our way has created a country that is admired and respected by those who understand successful humanity.

We are woke in the real sense of the word. It means look around you, recognize real threats, check your 6 o’clock, don’t be easily fooled.

The word “woke” was coined by the Black community many years ago and has been misused by ultra conservatives who know their followers don’t question what they are told.

Arnoldo Gonzalez


Editor’s note: We welcome your letters and commentary. Submissions must include the writer’s full name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters of 200 words or fewer will be given preference. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar and clarity. Letters may be mailed to P.O Box 3267, McAllen, Texas 78502-3267, or emailed to [email protected].