Letters from the issue of Thursday, February 7, 2008

ISRAEL'S STORY

Cruel crackers: The Israel Correa story would be unbelievable if we didn't know Sheriff Joe Arpaio's biased tactics so well ("No Holds Barred," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, January 31). This just proves what anybody with any sense thought all along: All that bigots like Arpaio are going to do is round up anybody who's brown.

This is truly an outrage! Why can't something be done about Arpaio? Here he was, out there grandstanding, and what do his goons do? They arrest the first brown-skinned man they find. When the suspect tells them he's an American citizen, they scoff because he speaks with an accent. It would have been simple for them to check out his driver's license and Social Security number over their little radios, but instead they throw him in jail — with a phony ICE Hold.

The deputies involved in this should be brought up on false-arrest charges. The Bird's right: This will turn into just another big lawsuit judgment that we taxpayers will have to pay. All because Arpaio and his deputies are classic dumb crackers — and cruel, to boot.
J.B. Thomason, Glendale

We all speak with accents, James: If this guy wasn't illegal, then why was he speaking with an accent? He had to be lying, and I'll bet his papers turn out to false. The Bird is just a pro-illegal immigration, open-borders asshole. He thinks every Mexican is a saint. You can take one look at Israel Correa and see that he's up to no good.

I say arrest anybody who even looks like a Mexican and hold them until things get sorted out. If they have brown skin, you can bet that somebody in their family came here illegally sometime.
James Tingle, Phoenix

RACE, CLASS, DEATH

Editor's note: Sarah Fenske's column "The Wrong Driver" (January 24) drew almost 200 letters and Web site comments. Most of these outraged readers refused to add their names to their opinions, so New Times is publishing the following responses without names and hometowns:

A life of injustice: I just read your article on the drunken girl who got off the hook while a young black man is facing many serious charges.

This is heartbreaking, albeit par for the course. As a 50-year-old black man, I've experienced this kind of injustice on a regular basis. You need only to follow me to an upscale mall to see what I'm saying. Can you say James Byrd? The message of Louis Farrakhan is beginning to sound pretty normal to me.

Put Laura Varker behind bars: Bryant Wilkerson should have received nothing more than a slap on the wrist. He is innocent through all this. A ticket for a moving violation is the only punishment he should receive. What has this man done that he should have to pay a price for someone else's callous acts?

On the other hand, Laura Varker is 100 percent guilty, was not in control of her vehicle (her judgment was clearly impaired due to alcohol consumption), and she thinks she can just hide behind her rich parents and their attorneys?

She should be facing manslaughter charges and should spend her next 21 years behind bars.

Drunk but not responsible. Hmm: The New Times article sounds so one-sided, and it's unfair that the author didn't get both sides of the story. It's not all about black or white. Even if Laura was drunk, he obviously caused the accident with his reckless driving. That's why he left the scene.

Everyone in his car knew he was guilty. He knew it, too, and now he's getting what he deserves. It's not her fault that her family is successful. And that was a fucked-up intro [to the column]. You're not a tabloid. Stop trying to be one.

It has to be the sober one's fault: Wow! Unbelievable. How can you say that this article is not racist when the author starts it with: "Guess which driver's facing 21 years in prison — the drunk, rich white one or the sober, poor black one?"

I've been to the river where the accident happened, and I know the street where it happened. There is no way you can make a U-turn without hitting anyone! If anything, she did the right thing trying to dodge him. It's just a shame that [her car] flipped.

And his speeding off away from the accident like that is totally wrong! He knows he was wrong. While a teenage girl's life was being taken away, he was speeding off.

It's all about the money: This story outrages me. It's sad to believe that just because Laura Varker has money and a bunch of lawyers, she can get off easy.

Wilkerson was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The authorities say his U-turn slowed down traffic and was dangerous? What? And Varker's absolutely reckless drunken driving wasn't 10 times more dangerous?

I hope the justice system takes a serious second look at this case, and charges the right person this time.

Karma will come full circle: This is so wrong. This girl needs to be brought to justice. Wilkerson was in the wrong when he fled the scene, but a drunken teen with a record not being held as the primary cause of the accident is the most absurd thing I have ever heard.

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