The Big C — Courage

Rashida McElvene showed physical, moral, and spiritual courage in her willingness to give up her life to protect and save another’s (“Is That a Woman He’s Beating Up Like That?” Cover Story, June 7). May we all be moved by her compassion to gird ourselves now so as to be ready to act in the same way when the need arises.

Ken Carter
via email

Kindred Spirits

Is That a Woman He’s Beating Up Like That?” (Cover Story, June 7) is one of the best features you have printed in a long time. Rashida is an exemplary human being, and her memories of her grandmother are priceless. I, too, have stopped a man beating a woman and know the immediate reaction of protecting another without thought of personal consequences. I was glad to read the man was caught and brought to justice and the woman was okay. I am sure Rashida would be the first to point out that her action was not one of bravery but one of an instinctual deep respect for people and sense of righteousness. But I consider her brave and a hero, and after reading her story I was uplifted and felt a sense of kinship and felt proud that there are strong women out there that are not taking any guff from anyone and will stand up and act when action is needed. Rashida, you are a role model and inspiration to everyone. You go, girl!

Joan Mathison
via email

I Can Taste It

I just finished the story about Rashida and her partner and Rose, an amazing story (“Is That a Woman He’s Beating Up Like That?” Cover Story, June 7). It brought back memories of me as an eight- or nine-year-old boy witnessing his mother being beaten by a man while just trying to retrieve a baseball glove that was taken from me by his son. When I tried to help, I was pushed down the stairs. Thank God, at that point, the beating stopped. Rashida, I needed you in 1960, or someone like you. Thank God you both were there for Rose. I was a witness in court, and if memory serves me, he got a $50 fine. In 1960, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, beating women, I guess, wasn’t a bad thing. My mom didn’t even get the $50 — the court did. Anyway, I just had to write and say it’s people like Rashida and her partner who renew my faith in people in general. There still are some truly wonderful people left in this world. It’s just too bad they have to be brought out through acts of any type of violence.

A little P.S. to my story. I will confess, I’m not proud of this — not! —but I got my revenge for my mother when I was a teenager. With a blinding surprise attack, by covering his head, I knotted this a up. I’m an Italian city boy, but I’m going to find out where Rashida is cooking. I know I’ll be able to taste a little bit of Gram’s country style in it.

Wayne Sanders

Protest In Paint

I always look forward to Jeff Smith’s articles on San Diego history, a much neglected subject matter in the local media. It is even less common to see the disreputable side of San Diego’s history revealed, especially when it involves the actions of the city’s founding fathers. That is why I have especially enjoyed Smith’s well-researched series on the IWW-led Free Speech Fight of 1912 (“Unforgettable”).

While it is a well-documented incident and includes then well-known figures, such as John D. Spreckels for whom the theater and organ pavilion are named, most people do not read history journals and are likely unaware of the heinous actions carried out by Spreckels in his bid to deny free speech and labor organizing rights for local citizens. While it may not seem to be of any relevance to today, what Spreckels and his ilk were up to 100 years ago is reflected in the policies and politics of the very same newspaper, albeit under a different owner. Goes to show that some things never change, especially in our poor city where the rich get their way and the workers get the scraps.

As a side note, I recently finished a painting about the Free Speech Fight called Spreckels’ Masterpiece, which is currently hanging at Twiggs Coffee on 4590 Park Boulevard in University Heights, along with some other works political in nature.

Dan Epperly
via email

Bruised By Name Dropping

Re the movie column. The writer of these reviews sounds like one of those all-knowing film-trivia buffs. Thanks for name-dropping 60 times in one review. We get it, you’re really good at “Scene It?” You just made me a permanent reader of Rotten Tomatoes.

Katie A.
via email

Inhumane, I Say!

I am writing in response to the article in the May 17 edition entitled “DEA Apologizes to Daniel Chong” (“SD on the QT”). Frankly, I was appalled. I found it unconstitutional. Here I sit, reflecting on Memorial Day, a day when we remember and pay tribute to men and women who so bravely fought and lost their lives for not only our country but other countries’ freedom. The article made me wonder if their efforts were made in vain. How can our government allow something like this to happen? The DEA tried to justify their actions. I see no justification in that kind of inhumane treatment. It shed a bad light upon our judicial system. Even more than that, it was direct attack on the law of humanity, which I choose to call God’s law, whether you believe in God or not. I challenge anyone to find justice in the injustice that Daniel Chong endured at the hands of authorities, people who have been sworn to protect and serve. I believe there is no amount of money that can right that wrong. I pray that a lesson will have been learned and that this never happens to anyone ever again.

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