March 31, 2011 Letters to the editor:

States Rights Hinder Civil Rights

It has been said that locals know best what they want for themselves. But all legislation is controlled by local wealth, and States are dominated by wealthy business interests.  Historically, wealthy local leaders have espoused anti-racial equality, anti-women voting, anti-child labor, and any other civil rights that threatened profits.  States Rights has become a euphemism for maintaining the power through the status quo.  Governors, backed by state businesses, form the bulwark against Labor, Health care reform, working conditions restriction, public safety and taxation.  The freedoms we glory in so often nowadays comes not from our founding fathers, but from progressive federal legislation against the tyranny of business wealth.  The 40-hour work week, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and safe working conditions have come into existence not from States Rights advocates, who fought these fair practices tooth and nail, but from the national public awareness and a demand for all states to operate under the same federal laws that offer a decent standard of living. The fact that you and I can expect to live to 75 years comes from federal laws demanding health care, food safety, and insurance coverage.  Advocates of States Rights would still have poor houses and orphanages, church care only for the poor, the sick and the elderly, jail-like asylums for the mentally ill, and a law enforcement system that turns a blind eye at murder and mayhem.  The history of America is local businessmen sitting in their private meeting rooms–good ‘ole boys conniving how to demonize the opposition and spending millions for propaganda to sell the public on believing, “what is good for business is good for America,” that “government is the problem,” and Washington is “them” and does not care about “us”.  Yet progress has proceeded relentlessly, not from State Rights, but through Civil Rights fought for by those willing to fight the good fight.  Let the rest of us never forget that America is you and I, we the people, banding together to form a more perfect union. Richard Dorsey Hacienda Heights

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