Letters to the editor: April 14, 2021

Listen to the expert

The April 6 Chico City Council meeting covered vital local issues. Most impressive was Butte County Behavioral Health Director Scott Kennelly’s informative presentation. He spoke about low crime among the homeless/unhoused population, dispelling the myth. He validated that those living without houses are: foster youth, people escaping domestic violence, people who have lost jobs, those with a history of ACEs (adverse childhood experience—Butte County has one of the highest numbers in the state), people from the LGBTQ community, anti-government folks, those with traumatic brain injuries, people suffering disaster-related issues and—highest percentage of all—those with mental illness and/or substance-abuse disorder.

He informed us that 80 percent of the unhoused suffer mental illness and/or substance/medicating use/abuse. His department is tasked with focusing on those with severe mental illness, which doesn’t apply to many camping in public spaces. He added that the longer people stay unsheltered, the more likely the possibility they develop substance-use disorders or chronic mental health problems.

He spoke of the newly formed mental health court and the existing drug court.

I’m impressed with the Public Guardian program, which acts as conservator for those county residents who the Butte County Superior Court determines to be unable to properly provide for themselves or their finances.

I’m hopeful that Kennelly will get his wish to have a 24/7 mental health team that serves our community.

I witnessed the entire City Council take in the information that Kennelly presented to bring a unity of understanding to our governing body.

Diane Suzuki
Chico

Our legacy of hate

Being Chinese-American, it is so hurtful to see Asians being harassed and physically attacked [by those] blaming us for COVID—even though most, like myself, were born in America and have never even visited China.

Growing up in America, I was often bullied and spit on. As I grew into adulthood, the racism became more subtle, such as whispers I should go back to where I came from. I was born and raised in America. In fact, my family has resided in the same rural Northern California town since 1856.
Now a senior citizen, I had thought that, in the 21st century, I would at least not face the indignity of being spit on. However, on a recent trip to the Bay Area, I was spit on for the first time since I was a child.

But being spit on is only a minor insult compared to the recent beatings and killings my Asian brothers and sisters have faced over the last year. Beatings and killings are nothing really new to Asians in America. Around 1900, an angry mob of about 50 whites stormed to my grandfather’s house demanding he and his family leave Red Bluff. Bravely, my grandfather stood his ground and refused to leave. Taken aback by my grandfather’s defiance, they walked away.

When will some people understand that Americans do not come in just one color?

William Wong Foey
Red Bluff

Self-fulfilling tragedies

Something not covered much in the news: One of Trump’s first actions in office was to cut aid to the three countries from which the bulk of the asylum seekers at the U.S. southern border come (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras), thus turning an immigration trickle into a flood. That foreign aid was needed since U.S. foreign policy has supported the right-wing oppositions in those countries undermining their democratically elected left-wing governments.

And in Colorado: Boulder had a ban on selling assault weapons until the day before the alleged shooter bought the weapon used in the massacre that killed 10 people on March 22. The NRA challenged that law and bragged online about the Boulder assault weapon ban being lifted the day before that purchase was made. Boulder did not have time to file an appeal before the gunman used the legal-again weapon he had purchased to do exactly what it was designed for: killing many people.

Richard Sparkle
Chico

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