Open mouth, insert foot

Dear Editor:Councilman Mario Guerra, in his usual arrogance, declared the reason Trader Joes will not come to Downey is because we are not white enough and not rich enough and he would be happy to throw them under the bus. ("Guerra Predicts Layoffs," 10/20/11) His statement was made at a town hall meeting Oct. 19 as reported in your paper by Eric Pierce. I guess Guerra has had meetings with Trader Joes and that was said to him by Trader Joes. Perhaps one of the reasons they won't come to Downey is the arrogant manner he has dealing with people. Has he checked the demographics of Trader Joes and seen the many different cultures that shop in their stores? I think not. Guerra owes the citizens of Downey an apology for his bigoted statement and should resign at once from his position on the City Council. Guerra owes Trader Joes an apology for the statement he made about them and his disgraceful statement about not having a problem with throwing them under the bus. Shame on Guerra as an elected official to represent the citizens of Downey. He should apologize and resign at once. -- Bob Udoff, Downey

Dear Editor: Councilman Guerra in a recent article on the front page of this newspaper made a "blunt" accusation against Trader Joe's, giving his own incendiary opinion for the reasons the aforementioned business has chosen not to reside in Downey. Mr. Guerra was quoted as saying, "We are not white enough for them and we are not rich enough for them." In other words, the use of demographics by any business equals racism on the part of the business in question. In response, the councilman fired back with a very racist remark of his own. While one may make suppositions all day long regarding the use of demographics as the basis for a business decision, one may clearly see a remark such as the one Mr. Guerra made as purely racist in nature without the need for supposition. It is quite painfully evident that being white in Downey is not a compliment coming from the councilman. It is very interesting the he did not say this city is "too brown" for them. He chose to use the term "white" in a negative tone. If the town were "white enough", would that be bad or good, Mr. Guerra? This makes me question the value Mr. Guerra puts on citizens such as myself who have been born with "white" skin. If a "white" politician had made the statement "this city is not Latino enough for them" or "brown enough for them", his political career would have ended there. It is highly unprofessional for a city councilman on the front page of the local newspaper to talk about his "white" citizens in such a way. It is just as unprofessional for him to denigrate the character of an entire business based on his ludicrous, racist suppositions. It appears he is very quick to pull a race card, and it seems he himself holds racist views. It makes me wonder about his integrity. He also boasts to be happy to "throw Trader Joe's under the bus". Is this what we want to hear from a city councilman? Check your own racism at the door, Mr. Guerra. You should publicly apologize to Trader Joe's and to the citizens of your city who may not be "Latino enough" for you. --David Dominessy, Downey

Dear Editor: Councilman Mario Guerra was so politically embarrassing in his statement responding to a resident's inquiry about Trader Joe's not wanting to open in Downey. "We're not white enough for them, we're not rich enough for them, I don't have a problem throwing them under the bus on this..." What's that about? Assuming the "we're" refers to all of us in Downey, I take exception to that inclusion. If there isn't enough prejudice in this world, making blunt statements like that does not help whatever issues Trader Joe's has with Downey. It's a business decision. Guerra should've left it as "the city doesn't fit the company's preferred demographics." If he thought adding to that would make him look good, then he shouldn't be a public servant to this city, or at the very least, refrain from public speaking. I love Trader Joe's, I'm sorry they won't come to Downey, but so what?‚ÄàDon't be nasty about it. I‚Äàdon't approve of Downey allowing the hookah businesses, but it's business, and I‚Äàdon't wish the council to be thrown under the bus for allowing that to happen. Mr. Guerra needs to apologize to Trader Joe's. But, of course, that's just my opinion. Thank God we live in a society where we don't have to be white enough or rich enough to disagree with one's actions. --Alexa Davis, Downey

********** Published: October 27, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 28