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The Lockean Project

Nothing racist about it

“Nothing racist about it,” Carmel Pine Cone – May 6, 2022

Pacific Grove is being urged to apologize for the past mistreatment of Chinese immigrants, as well as for discriminatory property deeds (outlawed), and finally for the “racist” Feast of Lanterns.

I have no objection to the city apologizing for past mistreatment of the Chinese and for racist deed restrictions. Racism is always wrong. However, the Feast of Lanterns is clearly distinguishable from these racist acts.

Having attended the Feast more than 40 years, I have never observed anything “racist” about it. It tells a love story with Chinese characters, costumes, decorations, music and fireworks. I thought it was an innocent, family-oriented, fun festival that did not denigrate the Chinese in any way.

Now it seems it was an act of “cultural appropriation: because Chinese costumes were worn by Caucasian high school girls.

According to the Monterey Herald, one Japanese-American woman said she had a “visceral reaction” when she saw Chinese costumes on Caucasian women.

Would it be acceptable if the Chinese costumes were worn by Chinese women?  If so, isn’t this a racist attitude? Doesn’t this theory of “cultural appropriation” seve to divide ethnic groups, rather than encourage the sharing of different cultures in our beloved “melting pot” of a nation?

Joseph Bileci Jr., Pacific Grove




“Better than the alternative,” Carmel Pine Cone – May 6, 2022

It’s rare that I find myself disagreeing with a Pine Cone editorial, but last week’s editorial, “Suffer the Children,” deserves another perspective. Prop. 13 was not “deliberately structured in California to charge the oldest and richest people the lowest taxes.”  It was enacted because so many elderly, unwealthy people were being taxed out of their lifetime homes simply because the value of their property had gone up.

Let’s be real. Does anyone honestly believe that if the California government were once again in charge of determining property taxes that they would care about making it fair to young people or anyone else, for that matter? Instead of giving the young people lower taxes, the state would simply make elderly people pay the same amount that the young people are paying. Then we’d be back to where we started: poor, elderly people losing their homes again.

California is never going to voluntarily lower anyone’s taxes. Prop 13 started a tax revolution at the time voters approved it; it’s a check on government power, and boy do we need that now. If Prop 13, were ever abandoned, both young and old would pay higher taxes and there wouldn’t be a darn thing anyone could do about it.

Is Prop 13 fair to everyone? No, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

Steve Gorman, Pacific Grove