Letters 07-13-2000

Out of 'N Sync

But the part of your article that really burns me is the assertion that surmounting the language barrier is entirely the responsibility of the health-care institution. Our hospital (not mentioned in your article) has a Spanish-interpreter program that works very well. We are very grateful to each of our interpreters for the very reasons you mention: They help ensure the best possible chance of an accurate diagnosis, an effective treatment and the patient's understanding of the whole situation. The interpreters help, but is it really the responsibility of the medical community to take it upon ourselves to be yet more "consumer-friendly"? In the ER, we stay open all day and night the whole year; take any patients for any reason (the list of ridiculous complaints is a topic for a whole other article), independent of their ability to pay, regardless of whether they've been in every week for three years for the same problem; run all sorts of tests; and usually do a pretty good job of making people better.

Believe it or not, ERs don't exist to make money; they exist because society needs them. Consider an analogy in a purely capitalist situation: If Bob went into Bashas' every day penniless and asked the manager for a Snickers and a pack of Marlboros, within a few days they would tell him to eat shit and they would call the cops. This kind of thing happens in the ER; however, we give Bob the goods. At this rate, we'll be giving pedicures and golf tips at bedside. So if you have trouble in the ER or any situation because you don't speak English, learn English, and do it soon. Until then, at least try to bring along a bilingual friend or family member. If the ER has an interpreter, great, but if not, at least you're not totally in the dark. Speaking English is the hip, cool thing to do -- most people in the U.S. do it. I look forward to meeting you sometime outside the hospital, but if you happen to need us in the ER, I'll do my best to help.

Edward O'Beirne
Phoenix

Eminem Candy

He's just joking: Okay, can I have the attention of the class? Will the very angry and obviously gay New Timeswriter please sit down ("'F' Wordsmith," Andrew Miller, June 15)? It is sad when you have to use the problems with Eminem's lyrics to explain that you are mad about the way society treats gay people. Could you not come up with something just a little more offensive than Eminem calling out the Insane Clown Posse boys to embarrass them? Or a joke about Versace? Have you not noticed that Eminem discriminates against everybody? Why waste space writing about crap or rehashing the same story that everybody in every music and entertainment magazine is writing? As soon as everyone realizes that Eminem is more comedy than hatred, then maybe you will chill! This man makes fun of everything and everyone, just like Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Don Rickles and every other dirty comic; he just raps when he is talking shit!

I am guessing that the writer is not a rap music fan and that he probably doesn't relate to any of the positive messages in the background of Eminem's music because he is too busy breaking it down phrase by phrase, word by word. Maybe you should listen to it again and laugh at the jokes. This way you won't feel like the joke is on you.

Mark DiCarlo
Glendale

Mother Load

House broken: I found Laura Laughlin's article "What's a Mother to Do?" (June 15) very interesting. It made me think of the ironic story of the gardener who has the worst-looking yard in town. None of us ever wants to admit that what we work so hard at outside of our home is often the one thing that continues to plague our personal lives. After reading Laughlin's article, it seems that this may very well have been what happened in Sophia Lopez-Espindola's case. As hard as she worked to prevent tragedy caused by gang violence from affecting others, she wasn't able to keep it from repeating itself in her own life. It really is unfortunate that Lopez-Espindola felt she needed to resign from a cause that she obviously feels so passionate about. The only way for change to occur is if each of us is persistent despite what may look like failure to others.

Kristy Anderson
Phoenix

Alien Nation

Trojan horse: The push for driver's licenses is part of the Mexican conquest of the Southwest ("Illegal Turn," Gilbert Garcia, June 8). If they get licenses, they will get amnesty. If they get amnesty, 10 million Mexicans will become U.S. citizens. If they become U.S. citizens, they can bring in their immediate families. They, too, will become U.S. citizens. That means 20 million, at least. Unless we stop and deport all illegal aliens, in 10 years Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas will come under the jurisdiction of Mexico.

Glenn Spencer
via Internet

Insurgency: The driver's license is a breeder document used by the illegal alien to obtain other documents and even to vote. If one is in favor of illegal immigration, then one should favor driver's licenses for the "undocumented." The insurance argument is just plain lame.

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