Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
Regarding the spring 2007 cover story, “The Return of the Global Slave Trade” by David Batstone: This may be the most important and morally imperative positive action that USF has taken since its stand for equality in 1951 with the USF football team noted on page 12.
The only disappointing thing about the article is that due to either the dominance of criminal justice terms, or politically correct language, slavery is often referred to by other terms, and what is essentially smuggling is referred to as trafficking. It is understandable why this subject is so painful and offensive for people to discuss. And that is exactly why none of it should be sugar coated. Just as our ongoing struggles with racism are constantly swept under the collective rug of our unconscious, slavery in any of its manifestations rightly ought to be equal in worldwide priority to ending hunger and environmental protection.
I cannot even imagine national security concerns preventing countries from ending the business of slavery. It seems clear that as with so many other social ills, our people and governments do not possess the moral character and determination to make positive change happen! Even in the case of Mr. Reddy, who allegedly smuggled over 500 people here from India and was only caught due to an accident and subsequent bad decisions, he only got eight years and a $2 million fine, which would amount to a literal slap on the wrist to a person who controls Bay Area real estate totaling over 1,000 rental units plus numerous retail businesses. He should have gotten life without the possibility of parole, and a confiscation of everything but one house for his wife and children. Not only is this crime wrongly considered to be invisible, but when it comes to light, it is not punished in a manner commensurate with its importance. That says we have a lot more important things to worry about, and in the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t really matter that much after all.
To the Editor:
I must admit, I usually skim USF Magazine and toss it. The spring 2007 issue caught me. Thanks for the provocative and educational information. Not pleasant, but the truth.
Marilyn Jasper, MA ’78
To the Editor:
The level of my disgust at seeing USF President Privett collaborating with Senate Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the latest issue of USF Magazine cannot be overstated. If there were ever one who was more a CINO (Catholic In Name Only), I am hard pressed to think whom it might be! Perhaps Fr. Privett should have checked out her voting record before agreeing to being drawn into her web. On one issue alone, she has miserably failed her professed faith—Roe v. Wade. Has she truly applied “God’s standards” to her political ambitions?
I think not! I am shocked at this double standard.
Chuck Wiedel ’61
The following is an excerpt from a letter written by USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J., explaining his association with Nancy Pelosi:
I am, by nature, an inclusive person who seeks to extend a conversation rather than cut it off, build bridges rather than walls across differences and engage divergent opinions rather than condemn them. I realize that my pastoral strategy may not be universally endorsed, but it is the product of careful thought, prayerful reflection, and some experience. From my friendship with Ms. Pelosi, I know that she is a serious Catholic, an active member of her parish here in San Francisco, and a regular communicant. Though Speaker Pelosi’s record on abortion and embryonic stem cell research is at odds with official Church teaching, her efforts to end the war in Iraq, as well as her support for HIV-AIDS patients, universal health care, aid to dependent children, increased higher education financial assistance for needy students, just and compassionate immigration laws, tax structures that do not unduly burden persons of low and moderate income, reordering budget priorities to be more responsive to the needs of the poor, higher Congressional ethical standards, environmental preservation, and day care for children of the working poor reflect concerns of Catholic social thought. Fr. Kenneth Weare, a pastor in the San Francisco Archdiocese, made a pointed observation in Catholic San Francisco, noting that Pelosi “is by far much more in line with the greater body of Catholic moral teaching than [President] Bush ever was.”