Contrast and Compare

By: Carey Roberts

Contrast and compare, that’s what they do in college isn’t it? Then perhaps maybe we could help the poor city council in Berkeley contrast and compare two elements of their society and how to deal with them effectively since from what I can tell they have no clue. One element, serves their country often leaving their homes for extended amounts of time, some times they are injured and even killed, the other element sneaks into a country steals ID’s from unsuspecting people, takes jobs from people who could be gainfully employed and then demands rights not guaranteed to them in any of our founding documents. One element goes about their jobs with little pay and recognition, are usually insulted, cast outs among these highly educated people and yet do not complain, the other element also makes poor wages, yet complains daily about not getting what they believe belongs to them.

One element has an office, tends to stay to themselves and only responds when asked a question, the other element stands on street corners and at stores and tends to ask you for work as you walk out the door. Now I may be wrong but I would choose the element that did not harass people who had their own office, who served my country but then again I would never live in Berkeley either. Now you see the reason I am bringing this up is their vast differences in dealing with each of these two elements, one the United States Marines and the other illegal immigrants. On July 17, 2001 the city counsel had a problem of illegal immigrants assembled near the posh Fourth street shopping district their response the council unanimously commissioned a study last week that would offer solutions to the problems day laborers face, from recent fights between workers to a lack of restrooms. Mayor Shirley Dean said the council’s first concern would be to help the day laborers.

“What we are trying to do is resolve this in a humane manner for the labors and the businesses,” Dean said. “What we want the city to do is to talk with the laborers and others as to what can work.” A stark difference to the treatment of US citizens who serve their country their reaction to them was this, Berkeley City Council, which voted 6-3 Tuesday night to tell the U.S. Marines that its Shattuck Avenue recruiting station “is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”

In addition, the council voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines because of the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy. And it officially encouraged the women’s peace group Code Pink to impede the work of the Marines in the city by protesting in front of the station.

In a separate item, the council voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m.

Councilman Gordon Wozniak opposed both items.

The Marines have been in Berkeley for a little more than a year, having moved from Alameda in December of 2006. For about the past four months, Code Pink has been protesting in front of the station.

“I believe in the Code Pink cause. The Marines don’t belong here, they shouldn’t have come here, and they should leave,” said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates after votes were cast. Now I have two suggestions here number one I suggest the Marines leave that city and brush the dust from their feet and never return even in an emergency situation and I also suggest that all illegal immigrants move to Berkeley California and enjoy their wonderful hospitality. I would also suggest that no red blooded American ever set foot in that city again. When they have unmitigated gall to throw out our nations finest telling them they are an unwelcome intruder they deserve to rot in the sink hole they have built for themselves. I am calling for an all out boycott of anything and everything Berkeley let them keep their crap and certainly no child of mine will ever grace the university door step, you do not treat our Marines like crap and expect that the rest of America will just accept it, Code Pink enjoy your parking spot and your little victory, sorry you will be celebrating alone because the rest of us know how to contrast and compare.

In the End,
we will remember
not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Voice

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