Home Run

To the Editor,

Regarding "Double Standard" [December 20]: Once again Tom Danehy shows his ignorance when it comes to home educators. Many, if not most, of them are looking for a program that provides some moral backbone, not some gushy feel-good program or an effort not to hurt the child's self-esteem, which is what is currently in vogue in the public schools. Our group of home educators wants a Catholic education for our children, something unavailable at a public school, and in many instances, such as my parish, not available there either.

Some of them cannot afford tuition at a parochial school, thus homeschooling is their only option, and, surprise, our support group is not full of rich white folks, but regular folks and a whole lot of Hispanics and other races, as one would expect with a Catholic group, since Catholic means universal. So his allegations of rich WASPs does not fly with the bulk of home educators in Tucson.

I don't know anyone homeschooling just to do sports at a particular school. I doubt Danehy does either. And as for his allegation of recruitment, he should go after Salpointe Catholic High School, which has been alleged to do just that since the '60s when I was in a public high school in Tucson.

And as his justification for saying home educators are making a mountain out of a molehill, he must not read the current literature out there on the failure of the public schools to educate in a safe environment. Unless you count learning a trade such as drug trafficking a success story.

My kids have never "popped" into the public school system. The only time we tried was to get my daughter some violin lessons from a public school and we were told not now but never by TUSD. Never mind I pay outrageous property and sales taxes to public schools and don't even use them and save the taxpayers thousands of dollars in not having my children in the public school.

Perhaps Danehy has forgotten our rights under the Constitution to freedom of religion, also. We choose to teach our kids using a Catholic curriculum at our expense, just like we support our church. That is our right. That is not a privilege. And if some "lowbrow" Republican did this to us, why does every liberal state in the East allow home education? In fact, all 50 states allow it.

Perhaps Danehy is the bigot here and the usurper of rights, not the "selfish few" home educators who are neither selfish nor few. And as for standards of education, we have more than the public schools, as our children are accountable to their parents and we do testing, unlike the state with its often postponed AIMS test.

I will be happy to have my children take an exam to graduate from high school, if only the public schools would be so forward-thinking, but no, that is opposed by the Danehy's fabled teacher unions. Danehy is enraptured with them since he apparently is a member via his coaching jobs.

So let us look at who wants their cake and eat it too, and I would suggest it is not home educators, but Danehy. After all, more kids in public schools means more teacher union members and more coaching jobs.

--Jeffrey J. Hill

Black and Blue

To the Editor,

Regarding "Kwanzaa Quandry" [January 3]: I'm through accepting Tom Danehy's representation that he's not racist because 1) he was raised in proximity to small black children, and 2) he plays roundball and actually speaks with select (read "jock") members of the African-American community. It's still the "some of my best friends" argument, Tom, no matter how you dress it up.

I'm sure all the blacks who do celebrate Kwanzaa--people who, for their own reasons, want an Afrocentric holiday for their children to celebrate in this season when almost all children celebrate something--couldn't care less that they've offended you. True, there aren't hundreds of millions of people who celebrate the holiday, but no part of the Constitution states that joyous endeavors have to achieve some sort of Danehian critical mass or face eradication. If there were, freshman girls' public high-school basketball would be a thing of the past, and you'd have very little left to do or write about.

And speaking of big, old, written works, I find nothing in the Bible relating either to the North Pole or red-nosed reindeer. (Icicle lights may, I hear, appear somewhere in the appendix.) So as to your "research" indicating a lack of historical backing for Kwanzaa, how about asking your overweight white self, "Why exactly did I bother?"

--Steve Barancik

To the Editor,

I generally don't respond to newspaper articles, but in this case I decided to make an exception. Having facilitated black-history classes for several years, I had an opportunities to experience the Danehy personalities and characters often. That experience came mainly in the form of books or excerpts from same. I must say with a great degree of sadness that there were more writers of European descent that I care to remember whose experiences about race and culture were and are molded out of the same realities as that of Danehy. Nevertheless, it still amazes me that the Danehys find the time to crawl from beneath rocks to criticize what individuals in the black communities are doing to uplift themselves in positive ways.

Black people don't need Danehy's permission to celebrate. Furthermore, I don't think that black people as a whole really care about who you find on street corners to agree or disagree with your position on Kwanzaa. What are you really afraid of? Does the celebrating of Kwanzaa pose some sort of threat to you? Are you just being paranoid like another individual in our not-so-distant past? (Hitler.)

--C. Dogan

Whiter Shade of Pale

To the Editor,

In response to Anthony David Thompson's criticism [Mailbag, January 3] of Tom Danehy's "The White Stuff," in which Danehy states that Catalina Foothills High is the whitest school in Tucson, just as it's not racist for Ice Cube to call a black man "nigga," Danehy can say "honky" all day long. Actually, since we own everything and have screwed everyone to get it, I think anyone can make fun of Caucasians, even to the point of racism. Native Americans, African Americans and Hawaiians have one thing in common: White people have destroyed their cultures and displaced the members of those cultures. I think it's fair.

About golf, tennis and swimming: As far as I can tell, only three black athletes play those sports. Besides Bryant Gumbel, Tiger Woods is the whitest black guy in America.

Personally, I just don't think any black person would have the stupidity to waste thousands of gallons of water to grow grass in the desert. It's not about hatred, Anthony, it's just plain funny. Have you noticed the way golfers dress? Have you seen middle-aged white guys dancing to "Who Let the Dogs Out"? It's not pretty, but it is funny. Get a sense of humor, get over yourself and your small europenis, or join David Duke's National Association for the Advancement of White People.

--Austin Persinger