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Readers React: Don’t make Irvine residents’ opposition to a homeless shelter an issue of race

Residents of Irvine, Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel protest outside an Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Residents of Irvine, Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel protest outside an Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Labeling the protests in Irvine against the homeless encampments as an Asian victory makes the April 1 article “In fighting homeless camp, Irvine’s Asians win, but at a cost,” race-baiting at its finest.

It notes the high turnout among the Chinese, Korean and other Asian populations at an Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting without taking into account the fact that the city of Irvine has more Asian residents than white. Naturally the turnout was what it was.

The article makes it sound as if Asians arbitrarily rallied together to fight the scourge of homelessness when it was simply the residents of the city that the encampment would potentially be relocated to taking action.

It further fails to mention how homelessness has been fought in other Southern California communities by other ethnic groups (such as whites and Latinos in the city of Anaheim, the original site of the encampment in question), making it more of a class issue rather than one of race.

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Yoonj Kim, Venice

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To the editor: I am disturbed at the lack of moral leadership by the Orange County supervisors on homelessness. I am also offended by the response of Irvine’s Asian immigrants.

Irvine prides itself as a model of diversity, but the reaction by residents to a proposed homeless shelter in that city shows a distinct lack of compassion for those who have not fared as well in our communities.

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I do not speak against immigration; it has made our country stronger and more interesting (I am married to an immigrant). But if each city would do its share to house and protect homeless people, we would not have people dying on the streets.

We should encourage our city councils and county supervisors to claim the moral high ground. We forget we are all human beings and children of God.

Suzanne Darweesh, Fullerton

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To the editor: I read Sunday’s print Los Angeles Times (on Easter, Christianity’s most important holiday, no less).

There was an article about a $35-million, luxury dog and cat hotel, and another about mass protests from multiple communities (including some of our most affluent) against the sheltering of homeless humans. As if I needed reminding that I live in Orange County.

If people don’t want homeless shelters in their communities, how about using the former military bases at Tustin and El Toro? Oh, that’s right, those are in Orange County.

David Goodman, Aliso Viejo

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