Open letter to the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners

Marilyn Smith, Tampa FloridaInstead of apologizing for what Marilyn Smith said, you all should be apologizing to her.

Using your public forum to characterize Smith as a racist for her use of the word “ghettozing” in describing a proposal to segregate the so-called Hispanic vote into one geographic district is both contrary to the spirit of the first amendment, and wrongheaded as to the historic origins of the word.

Ghettos have long been used by authorities to marginalize ethnic minorities, by rule of law, removing their voice from general public discourse.

 You should also apologize to the voters for blatantly admitting that the voices of Hispanics would not be heard by the BOCC unless through some commissioner elected from a barrio.

Single-district as well as at-large commissioners are bound to represent all county residents, regardless of geography; regardless of ethnic background.

 Perhaps a less emotionally-charged word describing ethnic redistricting would be “Balkanization”.

Here once again, the goal of the ruling classes is to divide up the political power of the people into ever smaller groupings, dedicated to self-interest, leaving true power in the hands of an influential few.

 I have never known Marilyn Smith to use race, gender, age, political or sexual orientation to attack anyone, even those who were acting against the best interests of the community.

Each of you at one time or another has been on the sharp end of one of her acerbic comments; but none of you because of whom or what you are, but rather because of what you said or did.

 <IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


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