A&C, Feb. 5: “The Struggle”

Arabs are Imperialists

Israeli Defense Forces assault Palestinians on the Old Pecos Trail.

Navajo artist Remy says the mural represents the "indigenous struggle" of the Palestinians.

However, Jews are indigenous to Judea, while Arabs are the imperialists in the Middle East.

King David, the first Israelite King, ruled Jerusalem in 1009 BCE. The Jews would remain sovereign in Israel for most of next 1,000 years. Arab Muslims arrived as conquerors from the Umayyad Dynasty 1,700 years after King David's reign [around 700 AD].

Israel is the only state on Earth that has the same name, same sovereign people and the same language as it did 3,500 years ago. There is no better documented indigenous history than that of the Jewish people in Israel. In contrast, there has never been a Palestinian state in the history of the world, and the concept of a distinct Palestinian Arab people developed in the 20th century.

Denial of Jewish indigeneity to Israel is the face of modern anti-Semitism. What a tragedy to have this anti-indigenous narrative forwarded by a Native American artist.

Hopefully instead of serving to erase Jewish history, Remy's mural will generate discussion and better understanding of Jewish indigenous heritage in Israel.

Samara Alpern
Santa Fe

End Israeli Apartheid

Thank you for the outstanding interview of Remy, the Native American artist behind the [mural] on Old Pecos Trail. What I would do to live in a world that wasn't suffering generational trauma from colonialism and apartheid, which continues today, not just in Palestine, but in pockets all over the Earth and right here in the USA. Please people, work to eradicate these injustices, no matter what occupiers claim. We have no right to destroy the lives of others or take what they've earned and/or inherited.

Lena Griffith
Santa Fe

Keep it Seen

Hope that if the mural is removed from these walls it is replaced elsewhere more prominently. The Palestinian struggle against apartheid is a noble and just one.

Bryce Flanagan
Via Facebook

Online, Feb. 4: “Hotel Draws Criticism”

Native Exclusion

One has to think for a minute to discern precisely what is offensive about the El Rey's reference to "spirit animals," and I get it, but there is so much more in Santa Fe that is blatantly offensive to a wide range of minority groups… Santa Fe is filled with expensive private homes, owned (mostly via bank loans), by whites who lack a single Native American friend or acquaintance. Yet, a vast majority of these homes are filled to teeming with Native American artifacts, rugs, souvenirs and artwork, intended ostensibly to show solidarity with the very same people who are being excluded. Few of them would hire a Native American were they in a position to do so, and allegiance to people who look almost exactly like us is getting worse, not better.

M. Milano
San Diego, CAlifornia

Educate Yourself

Reading through these comments it seems many of the posters are happy wallowing in their ignorance, and making fun of those who point out the problem. People like this are one of the biggest threats in today's quickly evolving world.

Google is a quick and handy reference for people who might want to learn what micro-aggressions are, and to read some of the thousands of articles written about the entrenched issues around the continued violence and genocide of Native Americans that exists in this country. Isn't it enough that it is offensive to a group other than our own to make us want to change it?

Santa Fe sits on land stolen/colonized from the Tewa people. Jade Begay is correct in wanting a Native artist in residency at the El Rey program. We are a community, and the El Rey has an opportunity to cut through the white privilege and patriarchy to be inclusive, thus truly being a part of the community and not just paying lip service to it.

Julie Clear
Via Facebook

Micro-Gentrification

This is what happens when people (not from Santa Fe or even live in Santa Fe) buy local businesses and impose their "clever" hipster BS on what they think Santa Fe is…but really have zero clue about our community or culture. But, to be fair, El Rey isn't isolated in this…look around the city. It's a shadow of the real-life community it once was. Newbies wouldn't know the difference, but lifers just shake their heads. It's called gentrification.

Natalie Bovis
Via Facebook

Food, Feb. 5: “Three Sisters on a Weeknight”

Kitchen Control

I wanted to let you know how great it was to see the…three sisters recipe. I especially thought the way the recipe was written made you hold on so you still had control of your kitchen. You could also just abide by the recipe without thinking much. Also you could add to the recipe what your grandmas added and make it your traditional family recipe.

I think you should follow through with Native recipes. A Native recipe a week would be great. That way you can make your own cookbook by collecting the recipes. You could also see what was different from the family recipe. If you were new to these foods, you could experiment. If you are not new to these, you may get the, "Mom, why did you change this," or "Mom, this is not authentic!" like I have with my children. Although they are now adults, I still get the "Mom, do I add this now or later?" call.

Mitra Lujan
Santa Fe

News, Jan. 7: “After-Work Plans”

Give Seniors A Break!

Our Legislature currently has several bills before it that would reduce or eliminate the state tax on Social Security benefits. These bills all recognize that we are at present taxing money that was already raised by federal taxes, and money that in many cases is now the only income for retirees and those unable to work.

Only 13 of the states do this and our tax rate on that money is the second highest. Why? I am tempted to suggest: "Because our legislators think nobody notices?" Write or phone or text message your representatives and the governor to urge that one of these bills be passed in this session. One such bill has already been tabled, that is: put off until some later session. We have large tax revenues from oil and natural gas, and we could more fairly raise the state income tax on all wage-earners if we need more money in the state coffers. Give older citizens, many of whom have very limited funds, a break.

Cary Stickney
Santa Fe

Tax on tax?

Why am I not surprised to learn that the State of New Mexico is one of only two states (Utah, being the other, for a change) that fully taxes Social Security benefits? Eleven other states do tax Social Security benefits, but at least there are tax exemption criteria limits, so the likelihood of burdening the most impoverished in their respective states are mitigated. In New Mexico we can only hope to be so minimally enlightened.

Think New Mexico has provided a well-researched, comprehensive policy map to the citizens and Legislature of New Mexico on the topic of achieving retirement security with the express purpose, of at a minimum, repealing the full taxation of Social Security benefits to its senior citizens. Double taxation is bad enough, but on Social Security benefits? Please.

If the current policy makes absolutely no sense to you either, please contact your legislative representative during this legislative session and let them know. It is more than time to make this change.

Jorge Fonseca
Santa Fe

News, Jan. 28: “On the Cutting Edge of Water Efficiency”

Consumers’ Waste

I applaud the city's recently announced Restaurant Water Conservation pilot program. However, there is one simple step I think that would save enormous amounts of water: Simply enforce the current ordinance that requires eating establishments to ask patrons if they want a glass of water or not. Currently most establishments I think are automatically delivering large glasses of often unused water that helps drain our reserves. Enforcement or intensive education efforts would help I imagine. Let's all remind restaurants we visit of the ordinance and importance of saving water at all levels.

Douglas Conwell
Santa Fe

Lawns in the desert?!

Want to save a few hundred million gallons of water? Require the golf courses to be xeriscaped and conformed to the natural desert flora.

Robert Johnson
Via Facebook

Online, Feb. 7: “Father Calls for Citizens’ Grand Jury”

Poor Jail Conditions

I got sick while in there 25 years ago. It was like kennel cough for humans. Good thing my immune system healed me or that coulda been me. Would love to help out…hope someone sees this and reaches out to my grumpy ass.

Michael Webb
Via Facebook

Morning Word, Jan. 30: “City of Santa Fe Signs Off on Railyard Building Sale”

What a “deal…”

I believe taxpayers are owed more information about the appraisal, as I can't even remember a time when any piece of property in the heart of Santa Fe was listed for $175,000. Simply saying that it's "a unique hybrid property that operates differently than other property in Santa Fe due to the arrangement between the City and SFRCC" does not seem like a valid explanation of why a property in the historic district appears to be so under-valued.

Jude Moir
Via Facebook

Online, Jan. 28: “The Midtown Short List”

Local team is a winner

Only Central Park Santa Fe shows promise of delivering what Santa Fe deserves and needs. I hope the other two are "straw men" that will not be seriously considered.

Kris Herbst
Via Facebook