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Letters to the Editor: 8-9-17

August 9, 2017 - 12:05am

Stereotyping an unfair way to look at world

I appreciated Leningrad Elarionoff’s letter to WHT regarding the homeless situation on the Big Island. It seemed to perfectly symbolize the core of what ails our country today. People are fueled by an incredibly hostile political atmosphere, and in turn fuel the pandering rhetoric of the current administration that marginalizes so many segments of our population.

Mr. Elarionoff makes a perfectly valid point when he states that if someone consciously chooses to be homeless and not work, perhaps they should not be subsidized by those who are working and paying in to the tax pool. Indeed, I am a huge proponent of the idea that a hard work ethic is not only a means to great self-satisfaction, but a way toward more financial security and independence in life. I have worked full time since I was 18, going to college along the way, and currently work a 60-hour week to meet my various financial responsibilities and put a little away for retirement.

I, too, don’t think it’s fair that I should have to give a larger portion of my check to the state to support someone who chooses to spend the day at the beach rather than put in a hard day’s work. Having said that, Mr. Elarionoff loses me when he applies a one-size-fits-all stereotype to the issues of homelessness, poverty, and hunger in our country assuming this is all caused by laziness and that all situations are the same. This, in my opinion, is the crux of what is hurting America today, the negative stereotyping of entire segments of our population whether we are talking about immigrants, the mentally ill, the homeless, the poor, minorities, or the LGBT population.

The political chasm and tendency to stereotype in our country is on full display in his letter when he refers to the homeless as “leeches” and “stray cats.”

When the Great Recession of 2008 hit our country, countless American families were blindsided and went from having good jobs and living in a nice home to living in a van on the street or staying in a motel room, trying to figure out a way to feed their kids. Wall Street got filthy rich, while Joe the construction worker and his family got kicked to the curb. Most of these folks were hard working Americans playing by the rules who were the victims of circumstance, not members of the animal kingdom, Mr. Elarionoff.

Until we treat all these people as individuals with unique sets of circumstances, and find politicians who instead of pandering to the fringes of the political spectrum actually try to find fair and equitable solutions, and to somehow get the poor and middle class involved in the new world economy, these issues will only worsen in the coming years.

Eric Garrett


Be kinder to animals, Hawaii

My family and I are visiting the Big Island, as we do every year in August. We love it here but I am very upset to read about how many Hawaiians think the answer to problem animals is to eradicate them.

While I understand that we don’t want invasive species here, killing them all off is the wrong thing to do. Humans brought the axis deer here and we should be responsible and compassionate in finding a solution.

Then, today, I read in WHT that Hawaii is trying to eradicate all the harbor feral cats, another man-made problem. Trap, neuter and return (TNR) is really the only solution. Other feral cats will come in and procreate where the ones that you have destroyed were.

Educate Hawaiians to these facts about feral cats. Killing should not be the solution; it is unnecessary and it is wrong! We are so callous to animal suffering and we need to take responsibility for our actions in a humane manner.

Patty Shenker

Tarzana, Calif.

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