Letters to the Editor: Newsom flubbed school reopening. No wonder many minority voters want him out

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a rally against the recall in San Leandro on Sept. 8.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Columnist Jean Guerrero states that many voters of color who support the recall believe the myth that hard work and self-discipline are all it takes to win in this society. She quotes San Diego State University political scientist Isidro Ortiz, who agrees that hard work is not enough, you also need opportunity.

Many people of color support what Republicans like gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder call school choice, because to them, education is opportunity. Can you blame them?

Under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s leadership, most schools in California shut down in March 2020, despite the fact that it was known at the time that the coronavirus posed a significantly lower risk to children.


Many private schools, including where Newsom’s children attended, reopened long before public schools. There was a loss of opportunity and a loss of learning for children in Los Angeles public schools. At one point, the teachers union for LAUSD even suggested that for schools to reopen safely, there should be a moratorium on charters and the police should be defunded.

Can you blame voters of color for supporting the recall?

Barbara Allan, Irvine


To the editor: The Republican dream for America is that anyone, with hard work, creativity and discipline, can reach the top. They neglect to consider that it is a contest in which very few win and the vast majority are left to their own devices.

There is really very little room at the top, but the allure keeps multitudes in the game. The inequality of wealth distribution in America and much of the industrial West has produced division, dissension and distrust of government.

In a better and more just society there must be substantial reward for reaching the top, but also the possibility of a good life for everyone else.

As improbable as it seems, the very people who have been left behind by “survival of the fittest” policies are the ones who reject government and the programs that try to help them. Instead of demanding better government and policies, they support less government.


Where they succeed, they get what they ask for.

Michael Telerant, Los Angeles


To the editor: As Guerrero points out, the dishonesty of the “hard work wins” ideology is definitely fueling the political leanings of a certain branch of the electorate.

But let’s remember that this is not a new phenomenon; it was called out more than a century ago in Upton Sinclair’s novel “The Jungle,” in which the protagonist Jurgis responds to an ever-growing assemblage of social and economic challenges with a mantra of “I will work harder,” as he is slowly consumed by a brutal life of low-level employment in the Chicago stockyards.

Hard work is admirable — but by itself, sadly, it does not win.

R.C. Price, San Clemente