Sunday, November 9, 2014

Yet another post from a loyal and concerned reader

I read with great interest the Letter to the Editor by Guillermo Carrasco in this week's Lake Worth Herald (LWH) concerning the protest in Lake Worth on October 22nd. First, Mr. Carrasco identifies himself as the "Chairman, Guatemalan Maya Center [GMC]". The GMC website lists Mr. Carrasco as a board member as you can see here, not the Chairman. Perhaps their website is not up-to-date?

Second, Mr. Carrasco writes, "We have it on the authority of the local media, BUT DON'T KNOW HOW TO VERIFY [emphasis added], that the two unwashed men who joined our event carrying an offensive poster were at work for the PBSO." What local media? Will Mr. Carrasco follow up with an apology in next weeks' LWH? That is a serious accusation. If you are staging a protest and you can't control your message should be staging a protest in the first place? Also at the protest were other signs being held calling for the end of PBSO policing in Lake Worth. And, just by way of observation, it would be difficult to determine the most "unwashed" of this group, meaning our local anarchist tribe.

Mr. Carrasco goes on to write, "It [the GMC] doesn't know the agenda of particular political elements within the City." Mr. Carrasco is unaware of Cara Jennings' position on PBSO? Cara Jennings is a former Commissioner in Lake Worth; she tried unsuccessfully to end the PBSO contract. Cara Jennings, Panagioti Tsolkas, and many others from the anarchist community were there at the protest. If you have members of the GMC and anarchists on the same corner at the same time protesting, chanting and carrying signs, what is the public to conclude? 

Later Mr. Carrasco writes, "A deputy who can not understand nor be understood brings no standard police skills to a neighborhood except the use of force." How many interactions between PBSO and the Guatemalan/Maya (GM) community have occurred without the use of force over the years? 

Lastly, this is from the GMC Mission Statement you can find on their website: "[...] cultural continuity, and family preservation and empowerment consistent with the Mayan culture as we embrace our new environment."

Cultural continuity? Empowerment consistent with the Mayan culture? No doubt the language barrier is a contributing factor in confusion between PBSO deputies and the GM community. PBSO has an enormous responsibility and so does the GMC. On the GMC website they state there are 22 different Mayan languages. Were the GMC to focus more attention on teaching the English language much of the confusion would be solved. No community policing effort on the planet could field a force of men and women fluent in English, comprehend Spanish, and understand 22 Mayan languages with any number of dialects and linguistic nuances. Learning English would solve many problems between PBSO and immigrant/undocumented community.