I would like to weigh in on the comments of Mr. and Mrs. Day concerning Mrs. Jennie Perez's letter to the editor. While I will not put words into Mrs. Perez's mouth, I believe the intent of her letter was a message of embracing diversity. What a novel idea, given we are the nation with the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor that welcomes people from all lands.

The degree of intellectual dishonesty demonstrated by both letters from the Days was shocking, as they stated line after line in their letters about being an American without stating a single cohesive element of what really makes us Americans.

For the benefit of everyone, there is no such ethnicity as an American. There is no American bloodline, no American DNA test, and no American language. What makes us an American is our values, ideas and principles - which by the way can be expressed in Spanish, French, English, Chinese or any other native language that an American chooses to express himself or herself in - and above all our unique ability to come together as demonstrated nationally after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and here during the recent freeze.

Sadly, what is clear in the the letters from the Days is fear, fear of those who are different and the use of fear to divide people among ethnic lines in an &#8220us versus them” argument that is more reminiscent of 1930s Germany than what America is really about. For this, I will pray for the Days that they will one day see diversity as a strength and love thy neighbor.

Rodney Martin, Porterville

This story was published in The Porterville Recorder on March 15, 2007

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