Reader: Former youth corrections officer says the system is messed up

"Bad Company," Melanie Asmar, May 17

Fostering Resentment

As a former youth corrections officer at a branch of Rite of Passage, I could not agree more with this article. Ms. Asmar has hit the nail right on the coffin. The youth corrections system is messed up and needs to be fixed. I understand that Ms. Spence thought that she was providing a Band-Aid to kids who just want to be accepted, but all she really did was make the wound larger. A kid's life is worth more than the few dollars that Rite of Passage is collecting to fill a bed that should be saved for a real criminal. The City of Denver just passed the urban-camping ban; what's next? Making being a foster kid illegal to justify placing them in the Department of Corrections system?

Aaron Futrell
Centennial

¡Ask a Mexican!, Gustavo Arellano

Mex and Match

Gustavo Arellano's response about Catholic culture couldn't be more incorrect or offensive. Why don't you have a column called Ask a Muslim?

Answer: They'd cut your head off and post it on YouTube.

It is fun watching your rag die the slow death it deserves.

C. Sean McManus
Denver

I mostly enjoy Sr. Arellano's column, and know that he went and got himself "all edjicated" so he brooks no quarrel with his pinche opinions. 

I am one of the "Spanish" he so criticizes as he seeks to paint all in the Mexican palette.  I grew up in one of the Spanish Colonial towns in northern New Mexico. We never celebrated quinceañeras or Cinco de Mayo, had no known bloodlines in Mexico, never flew the Mexican flag (hell, we didn't know what it looked like), and we certainly didn't know what a chimichanga was, other than maybe a feminine monkey. 

As Gustavo is an educated man, he most assuredly know of the extensive and well-established Spanish Colonial history of this area and its people, yet he persists in dismissing us as something we aren't. Google "Spanish Colonialism." But I'm wasting print, aren't I?  Por qué?  An Italian doesn't want to be mistaken as a Frenchman, a Scot doesn't want to be mistaken as a Swede; is a Cuban a Mexican? We people of Spanish descent don't have a problem with those of Mexican heritage; we just don't share it.  We grew up as Americans, as we were not "foreigners." It is well established that the country came to us — but Gustavo knows the history, doesn't he?  We knew no fealty to any flag other than the American flag. I question why immigrants insist on flying a foreign flag in their adopted country. 

P.S.: Gustavo, you do so much to foster respect for Mexicans. Why do you persist in perpetuating a poor image as that of a gap-toothed, double/triple-chinned, overweight Mejicano?

Richard Rivera
Centennial

Editor's note: You can ask him in person! Gustavo is coming to town; get details on page 37.

 
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