June 18, 2006
This week I want to hit on several issues that are really
bothering me and I can't get out of my mind. It's not what
I normally discuss in this space, but I think it's worthy
of some note.
First of all, I am lucky that during my work day, I have
the television on in the background and I can listen in on
the world around me, from news and talk shows to everything
else the boob tube has to offer these days.
One of my favorite pals during the day-long drone of work
has always been the female hit, "The View" on ABC.
The recently departed Meredith Viera has been a personal favorite
because she has been a "newsy" for so long, is bright,
articulate, and hot for a 50-something lady. She was the glue
that kept the group functional, and not as uptight as co-founder
Barbara Walters, or as political or ethnic as the other three
With her promotion to NBC's the Today Show, her spot apparently
will be filled by the personally disgusting and overly-political
left wing whacko Rosie O'Donnell. What a BAD decision and
one that I predict will lead to ratings downfall for the program.
Walters acted much too quickly in making that decision and
it will prove to be the beginning of the end of this show.
I have nothing against her Lesbian lifestyle, but this foul-mouthed,
angry and unreasonable bitch is NO match, and certainly not
a substitute for the classy Meredith Viera. Her famed confrontation
with Tom Selleck in 1999 over gun control and the NRA was
the first shot fired in what ultimately lead to Rosie's demise.
For some reason, Barbara Walters feel the need to give her
busted career another chance and the result will be that most
people, including this former addicted viewer, will tune out
and move on to another venue of entertainment.
I appreciated the "soft side" of life that I got
from watching Meredith and her ladies, but I don't need to
explore the left-wing, lesbian side of Rosie's filthy mouth.
I will find a different "View" to enj0oyon television
than what ABC now wants to offer.
Next, I want to talk about the complete lack of outrage from
the African-American community about the tragic shooting of
a female LAPD officer short by a lifetime loser, a robbery
suspect who was then killed by another officer.
Officer Kristina Ripatti, a 10-year veteran of the LAPD,
is lucky to be alive, although she is paralyzed from the chest
down. She had been responding to reports of a liquor store
robbery near the University of Southern California when James
Fenton McNeal, 52, passed in front of her police cruiser on
foot. Ripatti, 33, and her partner got out of the car and
chased McNeal to the front porch of a home where he turned
and fired at Ripatti. Her partner, Joe Meyer, then shot and
killed McNeal, a career criminal who had served multiple prison
terms for violent crimes including robbery and murder.
Police work is a dangerous business, but like our brave troops
in the war against terrorism, we must stand up for our soldiers
in the street like Ripatti and let them know we appreciate
their efforts to keep us safe from the terrorists on our city
Ripatti's husband, fellow LAPD Officer Tim Pearce, was among
the officers responding to the shooting. The couple met in
the LAPD academy where they were classmates and they have
15-month-old daughter to raise under what can only be described
as difficult circumstances.
You can do something to help officer Ripatti. An account
has been established with the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit
Union to accept donations to help with Ripatti's medical bills,
which it is estimated will go into the millions of dollars.
Checks can be made out to the LAPFCU with a notation that
the money should be designated for the "Kristina Ripatti
Trustee Account," and mailed to the credit union at 16150
Sherman Way, Van Nuys, CA 91410.
Already, a young kid in my home town of San Pedro, California
has shown himself to b a young and responsible hero and community
good guy in helping Ripatti.
Eleven-year-old James Slevin DeLuca of San Pedro, who said
he donated $800 that he earned working at a family business
on the weekends, said he had planned to use the money for
college, and hopes that perhaps now Ripatti will use it to
help send her daughter to college.
"It's a terrible thing that happened to her, and I just
feel really sorry for her," he said.
Now THAT kid is a class act!
What really frosts my liver about Ripatti's shooting incident
is the silence from the leadership of the Black community.
The same people who bitch and moan when one of their little
hoodlums is confronted, hurt, wounded, or killed by a street
cop has been missing in action in this case. Crime and murders
are rampant in the minority communities and the so-called
leaders of the Black community are indicting themselves as
part of the problem in not denouncing McNeal's shooting of
In Los Angeles, when a police officer is forced to shoot
in self-defense and hits a suspect, activists step forward
to excoriate the officer and the department. The event is
a tragedy, and the suspect, no matter the circumstances of
the shooting, is recast as a hero, while the police become
Bob Baker is the president of the LAPD union, and his comments
on this are worth noting here:
"One would hope, then, that these self-styled representatives
of the community would show the same compassion and concern
when a police officer, in the line of duty, is shot and gravely
wounded by a suspect while her gun is holstered. This happened
with the shooting of Los Angeles police officer Kristina Ripatti
of Redondo Beach. Her injuries are grave and heartbreaking
-- the bullet hit her spinal column and doctors believe this
young mother of a toddler will be paralyzed from the chest
down. But the community has been silent. No activists are
rushing to a nearby microphone to support the officer; there
is no "spontaneous" demonstration of concerned citizens
expressing outrage over the senseless shooting.
"In the days after this unprovoked attack, there was
certainly a lot of news coverage and attention dedicated to
what happened. It is the lack of the any emotional involvement
by the community often associated with incidents in which
LAPD officers exchange gunfire with suspects (and those suspects
are injured or killed) that should bother everybody. Not,
of course, that the police department haters didn't manage
to make their voices heard," Baker added.
It is interesting to note that officer Ripatti is not alone
in this very sad and scary situation. Eighteen LAPD officers
have been fired upon in 11 incidents since January, compared
with six such incidents last year during the same period.
As far as I'm concerned, the African-American community needs
to condemn those who are given free reign to criticize the
police but never appear when it is the police who are targets.
Otherwise, we should label them appropriately as shallow hypocrites
when they fail to come out in force and express their outrage
when an officer is shot by a thug like McNeal.
Another example of hypocrites with a short memory involves
those people who are raising a stink about an L.A. Unified
School District charter school on the north side of East Los
Angeles, in a neighborhood called El Sereno. Things are anything
but serene around what I have found to be an immensely successful
and innovative campus called La Academia Semillas Del Pueblo.
The basic translation of the name is "The Grassroots
Academy of the Community."
Before I tell you what all of the hullabaloo is about, let
me tell you that I am intimately familiar with the school,
I have spent considerable time on the campus, and I wish there
were hundreds more schools of this quality not only in L.A.,
but in the rest of the country.
I believe the current hysteria about illegal immigration,
and the apparently acceptable anti-Mexican rhetoric that has
been deemed acceptable in many quarters, is behind this attack
on this charter school. First of all, let me be perfectly
clear in saying that the principal of this school, Marcos
Aguilar, is significantly to the left of center politically,
and he and I generally see the world very because I am a Republican.
However, despite our political differences, La Academia Semillas
Del Pueblo, (let's call it ASDP from this point on) succeeds
for a number of reasons that cannot and should not be ignored
buy its critics. It was founded in an area of extreme poverty,
illiteracy, high dropout rates, soaring crime, in an LAUSD
that has a legendary record for failing to involve parents
in their children's education.
Marcos Aguilar and his ASDP have turned those failing parameters
into a top notch learning environment where parental involvement
is mandatory and a tremendous success, where children learn
four languages, and where Tai Chi is taught right alongside
other traditional school and ethnic dances.
In a shrinking global marketplace, where Spanish and Mandarin
are as likely to be spoken as English, it is marvelous to
watch third and fourth graders communicating in these three
languages, as well as the ancient Aztec Nuahtl for cultural
enrichment purposes. I find it interesting that the anti-Mexican
Nazis attacking the teaching of Nuahtl apparently have no
misgivings about Irish kids in Chicago being taught ancient
Gaelic, or Jewish kids being taught Hebrew. Some will say
that teaching these languages at taxpayer expense is wrong
and that most Hebrew classes are taught at private schools.
Let me just say that Latino poverty should disqualify students
from learning opportunities, especially when a look at the
overall picture shows such great success as what we see at
Los Angeles and California are generally seen as leaders
in new trends for our nation. I hope the current over-boil
of the melting pot is NOT a model for future. Critics say
the faculty and curriculum are blatantly racist because ASDP
is based in, and supported by Latino students, parents and
faculty. .I relish the idea of an East L.A. kid being fluent
in the reading, writing, and verbal skills of English, Spanish,
and Mandarin because this kind of student represents the future
of business in our world. And heaven forbid that poor Mexican
heritage kids be competitive with rich white kids in America!
If Anglos want this quality of education for their kids, maybe
they should stop bitching and move to East L.A.