News

Editorial: Compassion needed as the vulnerable face uncertainty

 

It's no coincidence that the incidence of harassment and crimes targeting vulnerable populations nationwide has soared over the last year with the rise of a presidential candidate who made a toxic practice of ridiculing and vilifying "the other" -- Mexicans and Muslims, for example, and the disabled. The degradation of civility and respectful behavior in our society has been furthered as well by the antagonism and threats against immigrants and their children who, after months of anti-immigrant tirades by the man now heading for the White House, are understandably fearful and uncertain about their future.

Many of these people are longstanding -- and upstanding -- members of our communities, but as the number of hate crimes continues to rise, they feel menaced not only by individuals emboldened by Donald Trump's shameful rhetoric but by the future administration's threatened policies targeting immigrants and the country's Muslim community.

During these times of uncertainty and instability, some local citizens and public officials are looking for ways to protect our communities from a possible mass deportation of undocumented residents and a potential mandate for the registration of Muslims.

One proposal comes from City Councilman Ray Mueller, who wrote a draft ordinance that would prohibit the use of city resources, including police assistance, in any government effort to create a registry or database of U.S. citizens intended to identify people "solely on the basis of their religious beliefs, and/or race, and/or nation of descent." The ordinance would also ban the use of city resources in any government agency's program of "detention, relocation, or internment" of citizens -- an obvious response to a prominent Trump supporter's citing of the World War II Japanese internment camps as a precedent for dealing with immigrants from "high-risk countries."

The City Council has agreed to consider such an ordinance, and Mr. Mueller is working with the city attorney to fine-tune the language. This is an appropriate and necessary local response to what might quickly become a nationwide crisis. Putting as many local protections in place as possible now is the right thing to do.

Other residents are also looking at ways to "think globally and act locally," discussing possible strategies to protect members of our communities from misguided policies threatened by the incoming president's team. A group in the Willows neighborhood met recently to brainstorm ideas to propose to the City Council, including making Menlo Park a "sanctuary city" to offer a range of protections to undocumented immigrants.

Residents who don't live under the direct threat of increased scrutiny and deportation, but who are searching for ways to protect fellow community members now living under a cloud of fear, are showing the compassion and courage that will be increasingly necessary in our society to protect those vulnerable groups most likely to be targeted by the incoming administration.

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Comments

13 people like this
Posted by Menlo voter 2
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 28, 2016 at 1:28 pm

The presumption behind this ridiculous article is so untrue and blown way out of proportion. If you are a criminal then you need to worry, if not, this article and proposal by Mueller is simply meant to scare you and everybody else. Again, law abiding citizens and legal visitors have nothing to fear regardless of religious or sexual or gender status. Stop this nonsense.

[Editor's note: We have added the number 2 to this poster's handle to prevent confusion; the original Menlo Voter has been a longtime poster and did not write the above comment.]


13 people like this
Posted by Belle Stafford
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Dec 28, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Thank you for addressing this very real threat to many people in the community. I think Caucasians need to be more aware of how difficult life can be for people of other ethnicities. I am very saddened to see what is happening to our country now, with Trump's message of hate and discrimination against almost everyone not a white American born male.


7 people like this
Posted by Stan
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Dec 28, 2016 at 1:45 pm

It's no coincidence that the incidence of harassment and crimes targeting vulnerable populations nationwide has soared over the last year with the rise of an ultra-liberal 4th estate that seeks only to fan the flames of hatred and fear in order to insure that our communities are exposed to only one view point on the issues that face our nation.
To be sure the, the fear has become real. But the cause of that fear may well be in part the months of highly amplified over-reaction and one sided reporting masking as news NEWS when it should be labeled clearly as OPINION.
As far as the reaction of some elected officials, they may need to go back and check their oath of office that they took upon accepting their election to public office. Many of them probably swore to up hold the laws of our state and our nation and certainly not to seek to undermine the rule of law.


6 people like this
Posted by S Bucker
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Dec 28, 2016 at 2:12 pm

>>> the rise of an ultra-liberal 4th estate that seeks only to fan the flames of hatred and fear in order to insure that our communities are exposed to only one view point on the issues that

Wow.

Question for Stan: is Clinton's popular vote win by 3 million an "opinion" or a fact?

Or how about: is Trumps appointment of all those Wall Street Goldman Sachs crooks a draining of the swamp?

Methinks not. But please get all your "news" from Breitbart. Makes for hilarious reading by those without blinders on! Especially that pizza gate fantasy!


4 people like this
Posted by Brooke Wood
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Quite a rant, blaming hate crimes on the corporate owned media "4th estate."

Having a bad day? Feel better? Any chance you would feel even better if you used your name instead of some nom de plume? Give it a try "stan". Man up, "stan".

All my love, Lady Brooke


2 people like this
Posted by Home poster
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 28, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Lady Brooke, you are indeed compassionate. Me? I always love the far-right fringe posts. Love how they take their fake news stories like pizzagate and try to apply it to factual based news organizations. Notice Stan makes many claims in his screed but doesn't post a single example? Opinion, indeed.

Like listening to that guest host on Micheal (nee Weiner) Savage radio today - claims Obama hates Israel, the worst ever. Obama puts Iron Dome in place, gives Israel $35 Billion in weapons, our tax dollars go to Israel in foreign aid in record amounts. No other country supports Israel more than the US.

But in fact-free fringe la-la land? Obama hates Israel! Oiy!


4 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 28, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

to Menlo voter above:

please don't use my handle. I have been using it on this site for years. I don't want any of the garbage you posted associated with me.


2 people like this
Posted by Stan
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Dec 28, 2016 at 6:33 pm

Ah!
How we love to attack the messenger not the message. Perhaps some of the nay sayers in commenting on the election results would profit a bit by expanding their knowledge horizons with readings like "Democracy in America" by Alexis de Tocqueville - particularly the treatise on the Tyranny of the Majority.
We to live live in a media echo chamber - particularly here in Northern California - only hearing what we want to here and what is echoed over and over by most of our available media. I would submit that the founders of our country were quite wise in creating an election system that prevents a few concentrations of liberalism from forever dictating the future of our country. From my view the country was roughly evenly divided in opinion. I don't think any candidate won a majority of the vote (haven't seen the final tallies anywhere).
I'll willingly stick the oar further in the water to say that, just like Edward Snowden, Vlad the Putin (if in fact he was behind the revelations of the Hillary/Podesta papers) may have done us a significant favor by showing us the true colors of at least one of the candidates.
Brietbart?? Sorry I've heard the name but can't say I ever heard a specific comment from him.
My opinions are more founded on sources like the Economist and other somewhat evenly balanced sources of information. In regards to Mr. Trump his choice of methods of expression are truly revolting but there were 60 some odd million of us that felt he was a superior choice. (OK let's say it "Cream of the C..P")
For those who don't know enough about me to identify my full name, it's Stan Gage. I hope that those who feel negatively about the election outcome can keep your comments positive and thoughtful.
One last tidbit of info that many people may not yet have internalized is that the brains behind Trump's surprising win are said to be those of his Son-in-Law Jared Kushner - a democrat. Hopefully he'll continue to be the brains behind an enlightened presidency.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 28, 2016 at 6:41 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"Editor's note: We have added the number 2 to this poster's handle to prevent confusion; the original Menlo Voter has been a longtime poster and did not write the above comment."

Thank you Editor.


2 people like this
Posted by Alice
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 28, 2016 at 7:34 pm

Stan - your examples of msm being fake news? Or just bloviate on to more noise?

Never mind. Got it.


6 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 29, 2016 at 1:14 pm

This editorial strikes me as a an attempt to grab attention and panic people unnecessarily, as does what Ray Mueller is trying to do. To me it looks like he is trying to get a lot of attention without doing what he really needs to do, focus on the problems Menlo Park already faces. Could Trump try to put in place a registry of people based on ethnicity, religion, etc.? Maybe, after all he did get elected. Would it be easy and likely to succeed, NO. Not only would he face serious opposition from Congress but from the courts as well. So why not worry about that issue if or when it arises,l there will be plenty of time them. In the mean time Menlo Park does not need to become a sanctuary city, when did we become Berkeley of the Peninsula?

I completely support immigration, I am a first generation American on one side of my family. I think we should expand legal immigration especially for people fleeing war and direct threats to their life and liberty, but that is Legal Immigration where they go through background checks, interviews, etc. I do not support the same protections for illegal immigrants where there is no chance to examine their character nor any threat they may pose to society. I think there are plenty of examples of Sanctuary City policies backfiring with bad results.


2 people like this
Posted by Neighbor pal
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Dec 29, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Stan said: were 60 some odd million of us that felt he was a superior choice.

I agree with the 'odd' assessment.

62 million voted for Trump
65 million voted for Clinton
73 million voted for someone other than Trump.

Odd that Trump supporters, after bashing political correctness, wearing shirts that said "**** your feelings" etc.. now demand civility.

Thump supporters now seek safe space after belittling the concept of safe spaces to protect women from sexual harassment, the very activity that Trump adnitted to performing. Grab any ***** lately, Donald?

Stan, I find your choice, your defense of your choice and your pathetic hope in Kushner revolting.


3 people like this
Posted by Changing Judiciary
a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2016 at 5:33 pm

@Brian,

If you are placing your faith in the judiciary and congress, first you need to understand the President can issue an administrative order through an executive agency without an act of Congress, or any judicial review. It may be that a federal judge would try to issue an order blocking enforcement of the Presidential action, but that order would certainly be appealed for some time. Additionally, it has been noted widely President Trump will be able to appoint almost double the number of federal judges than his predecessors, including a Supreme Court Justice, changing the federal judiciary significantly.

www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/president-elect-donald-trump-could-make-over-100-judicial-appointments/

Congress could try to pass a law explicitly making the President's action illegal, if the Republican controlled Congress decided To confront it's Republican President, which could create a Constitutional crisis under Separation of Power principles.But how likely does that really appear?

To cast dispersions on the paper and the Councilmember is a bit silly.
It makes sense to act now before the passion of the moment makes doing so in the future difficult.


1 person likes this
Posted by brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 29, 2016 at 7:06 pm

Changing Judiciary,

Have to disagree with you. Were he to issue an executive order that violates the constitution it would be immediately blocked. Then it would go through the courts and congress. The President is not all powerful, there are serious limits to what he can and can't do.

As for acting now, personally I think Menlo Park should not act at all and certainly not until or if it becomes necessary and not to protect people in the country illegally beyond the basic human rights (protection from torture, right to a hearing, etc.) which does not include protecting them from deportation.

A lot of great people have immigrated to the United States and done so legally. I am more than happy to welcome, in fact I would love to welcome more of them and make it easier to enter the USA after going through appropriate checks, interviews, etc.


Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Dec 29, 2016 at 9:11 pm

Brian - excellent, well thought out posts.

Yes, the judiciary has the final word and can stop any executive order... just as they have for the current President. If President Trump's order violates the Constitution, the Supremes will certainly chime in.

Like you, I agree that some people and institutions have an interest in scaring people - unnecessarily.


5 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter 3
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Dec 29, 2016 at 11:15 pm

What a hoot, putting protections in place for illegal immigrants living off the tax payers benefits. Hopefully we will see an increase in reporting the locations of these lawbreakers and stiff fines handed out to companies that illegally hire them. I'll start this round by suggesting that ICE round up the long lines of illegals that gather at Willow Oaks School on Saturday morning to collect welfare benefits and food stamps. Home Depot has far too many illegals hanging out there every morning as well. I love that the state of California, has simplified gathering these criminals that applied for Drivers Licenses (over 800,000 so far) by collecting their addresses. May the deportations begin.

[Editor's note: We have slightly changed this poster's handle. Please don't use the handles used by other posters.]


10 people like this
Posted by Happy Muslim American
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 29, 2016 at 11:16 pm

I am Muslim. My family members are Muslims. Let me give you breaking news: None of us were offended by President-elect Trump's views. On the contrary we support his views. We hope that he keeps his campaign promise which he clearly expressed that he will keep all of us safe by not allowing radical Islamists enter this country. As Muslims, we are the first ones who suffer from the atrocities and terrorism inflicted by radical Islamists. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims died in the hands of radicalized Islamist terrorists brainwashed by the likes of ISIS, Al-Qaeda and their spin off factions. All Trump talked about was "radical" Islam. We as Muslims can make the distinction that what Trumps talks about is radical Islamists not law abiding Muslims. I am personally sick of people who twist everything Trump says about radical Islam and make him sound like as if he is against all Muslims. These people are promoting more divisiveness and discord in our society to serve their ulterior motives. I hope Trump will be a very successful President and will keep USA safe.


5 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter 3
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Dec 29, 2016 at 11:42 pm

Calling illegal aliens "undocumented immigrants" is like saying shoplifters are just making "undocumented purchases."

It's not Sexual Assault, its undocumented consent.

He's not a Drug Dealer he's an Undocumented Pharmacist.

Bank robbers are really just undocumented customers making undocumented withdrawals.

No welfare, food stamps, social security, in-state tuition for criminal immigrants. Punish employers w/ fines for EACH illegal immigrant employed. Hold the executives (CEO, CFO, Human Resources Director, etc) CRIMINALLY liable. We are a nation of laws, that welcome legal immigrants, not criminal immigrants.

[Editor's note: We have slightly changed this poster's handle. Please don't use the handles used by other posters.]


5 people like this
Posted by Thanks,
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 29, 2016 at 11:48 pm

Thanks, is a registered user.


Happy Muslim American,

Thank you for your articulate, well reasoned and thoughtful explanation.

I wish more Muslims would speak out and condemn radical Muslims. That also goes for other hate groups of any race or religion.


6 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 30, 2016 at 10:28 am

Brian is a registered user.

Happy,

Nicely put. It is a shame that people are so quick to brand everyone in a religion for the acts of a few. I did not see all Catholics getting blames for the sex abuse done by several of the priests, you don't see all Baptists getting blamed for the acts of the Westboro Baptist church.

That said I think we should welcome more legal immigrants to America. People who have been vetted and interviewed and determined not to be a threat or long time burden on the system. Illegal immigrants go through no checks, no interviews and could range from nice families to criminals to terrorists intending to do great harm. I am fine with enforcing the laws of the United States and deporting those, especially any that have committed crimes. For that reason I think the idea of Menlo Park becoming a "Sanctuary City" is ridiculous and would be a great mistake.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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