Living Large in Carson City is a mixed bag. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s a hoot and a holler. There is that .1 %, however, that drives me bonkers. A case in point is this Letter to the Editor that appeared in what passes as the Paper of Record for Carson City, The Nevada Appeal.
It’s more than a little disturbing to read letters like those of Alan C. Edwards of Carson City at any time, but especially now during these times of racial unrest when cooler headers need prevail. On Saturday, Mr. Edwards’ Letter to the Editor attempted to equate past statements by Kamura Kambon and Dr. Jose Angel Gutiérrez as an all-out assault on the “white race”. While both men did make inflammatory statements in the past, a look deeper into the context of their words reveals that Mr. Edwards may be using them to push his own agenda that is not all that unlike what the two professors said in the past but from a white man’s perspective.
Granted, neither Gutiérrez nor Kabon can be called shrinking violets when it comes to their beliefs about racism in this country. Dr. Gutiérrez is now a respected political science professor and Director of the Mexican-American Studies Center at the University of Texas at Arlington. One can only assume his passion for the plight of people of Mexican descent is no less passionate, but directed in more acceptable avenues of expression. While it is true that Gutiérrez may have said something to the effect, “the white race is dying, it’s getting old and not making babies”, whether he said it gleefully is suspect. He was, however, stating a fact as the comment by Edwards (Many (white) married people are choosing not to have children) underscores.
Kambon’s statements were made nearly a decade ago when he was a visiting professor at North Carolina State University. Kambon has a history of outlandish statements that certainly can be seen as inflammatory, but in every race, black, brown or white, extremists enjoy the same right to freedom of speech just like everyone else in the United States. While Mr. Edwards may take exception to them, Kambon has the right to his thoughts. His statement on “C-SPAN that whites must be exterminated” were widely denounced by both black and white leaders at the time. Extremists say things often in the heat of the moment, but again, when cooler heads prevail, their comments come off a just that, extremist, not the will of the majority.
Mr. Edwards, however, was not done. In what can only be called an amazing feat of mental gymnastics, he shifts gears writing, “The white race is under attack on several fronts. The major attack comes from feminism.” Putting aside the racist tone of his assault on Gutiérrez and Kambon, Mr. Edwards seems to be stuck in world of patriarchal malaise that condones misogyny as a matter of course. He wrote, “Feminism tells housewives raising children and depending on a male is demeaning.” Feminism teaches women that they are not inferior to men, not that men should be seen as the lesser half of the male/female paradigm. While equality of the sexes may be seen as a real threat to patriarchal thinking, ultimately, it makes our society and the human species stronger when all assets of the human gene pool are put into play.
Finally, and surely the most revealing and disturbing of Mr. Edwards’ rant comes in the final paragraph of his screed Letter to the Editor when he references the remake of “The Time Machine” when describing “the Eloi are crudely dressed brown-skinned primitive people of some homogenized race, unlike the elegant looking white people of the original version.”
Words fail me.