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Opinion

Readers React: Pete Wilson is in no position to decry the land development rights of Native American tribes

SANTA YNEZ, CA-NOVEMBER 21, 2013: Overall, shows the 11,500 acres of land in the Santa Ynez Valley
A view of the Santa Ynez Valley in 2013.
( Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Former Gov. Pete Wilson’s op-ed article decrying the development rights of the Chumash Indians displays the same fear mongering that fueled Proposition 187 in the 1990s.

His message is clear: Fear the other. “Your communities could be next,” he writes ominously, as though white settlers are fearing an Indian raid in some bad old western movie.

Unsurprisingly, he ignores the many golf courses built by white people in the Santa Ynez Valley that have caused extensive blight there.

Clearly, for Wilson, economic growth is only meant for some, and not the “others.”

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Craig Loftin, Long Beach

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To the editor: Wilson’s whining and seemingly moral indignation is absolutely laughable.

He is complaining about the strong-arm tactics of the Chumash Indians? The same strong-arm tactics that special-interest, money-driven, anti-John Q. Public Republicans have refined and championed for many years?

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If that is not enough, Wilson either does not know history or chooses to completely ignore it. Early citizens of the United States — also known as immigrants and their offspring — settled this country in direct opposition to the interests of the indigenous Native American peoples. In some cases, these people butchered Indians and pillaged their villages while stealing their land whenever it suited them.

Add to that the fact that the U.S. repeatedly broke treaties, and I say half-jokingly, “Payback’s a pain, Gov. Wilson.”

Marc Joel Simon, Encino

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