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Xavier Hermosillo is the President of, a national Crisis Communications, Marketing, and Management firm he founded 23 years ago. He is a former political chief of staff, an award-winning reporter and photographer, and a former radio talk show host and TV commentator in Los Angeles. He has co-founded two publicly-traded companies where he served as a member of the Board of Directors and as the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. He has also served as a Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission on police officer discipline cases, and holds degrees in Administration of Justice and Business and Communications. He can be reached at

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 teammates.

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 streets.

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 a
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 Ripatti.

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 the villains.
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 ASDP.

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.