Oakland Woman 
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Recent Comments

Re: “Rich, Black, Flunking

Having lived n several different countries I would like to share some of my own observations:

People who work hard to immigrate legally, generally learn a country's language faster and often better than the native speakers of said language.

People who enter countries illegally rarely learn any more of a country's language then what they "need" to learn, usually just a small handful of words and phrases - however, they want their children to learn them but are unable to assist them in this learning. It can often take several generations for the families of illegal immigrants to be "native" speakers of the language of their new homeland.

I have found it interesting that unschooled people in many African countries speak better English than many Americans do. They learn their "proper" English by watching American television programming that is broadcast around the world and listening to shortwave radio. Increasingly they are learning it in Internet cafes. This is true of people in India as well. They, like people the world over, know that English is the international language of business. For the past 20 years, the vast majority of schools in China have been teaching English to their students. The competitive edge that China has in the global market has a lot to do with China understanding the importance of this.

Learning to read, write, and speak proper English is not selling out as "white." One can maintain their own native languages and still learn English. A commitment to learning English is a commitment to put oneself on the fast track to success in the world-wide business community. It isn't selling out. It is buying in.

And yes, I am white. I am first generation American, neither of my parents spoke a word of English when they came to this country early in the last century. And neither of them had much education. What they had was determination and a dream for their children. Both of my parents learned to read, write, and speak proper English when they arrived here. But at home, they continued to speak their native language. As a small child I spoke three languages. But once the children in my family started school we were forbidden to speak anything other than "proper" English at home. My parents were committed to our future success. As I got older and had more formal schooling than they had, not only did I have to do my own homework they expected me to teach them what I was learning.

My father only had a 6th grade education when he came to this country. He was 50 when I was born, and when I was 16 he retired. At that time he believed he knew enough to go to a community college and he took the entrance exam and not only placed at college level, he received an associates degree in electronics in 1.5 years.

At some point, I believe, that people have to learn that personal responsibility and self-determination are what make the difference in whether people succeed or fail.

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Posted by Robin on 01/15/2009 at 1:19 PM

Re: “Oakland: An Alternate Universe

I have an idea - what if the residents of Oakland stopped sniveling about the increased crime and stopped kowtowing to the criminals? It is time to step up and form neighborhood watch groups and report crime when it happens. The vast majority of crime in Oakland is never reported because people think the police will not do anything about it anyway, or they are afraid their insurance will go up if it is reported; you can report that broken car window to the cops without reporting it to your insurance if you don’t want to have them pay for it. People do not realize that when they report crime they get more patrols in their neighborhood – and you can report all crime anonymously.

I think it is time that a finger or two gets pointed at the good citizens in this town that “let” crime happen in their neighborhoods by pretending that they don’t see it happen. The next time a young man is shot on your street, take a long hard look in the mirror and ask yourself what your own role in the shooting is because you didn’t “snitch.” Everyone wants to make someone else responsible. Crime is not a problem for city government to solve. It is a problem that everyone needs to be involved in solving. And for the record – building additional rec centers is NOT going to solve Oakland’s crime problem. Courage will solve Oakland’s crime problem and nothing less. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men (and women) do nothing.

Posted by Robin on 10/22/2008 at 9:33 PM

Re: “Letters for October 15

It scares me to think that this man is "running" Oakland. We sit on the Hayward Fault, and it is a ticking time bomb. Oakland will be largely destroyed in a major quake on this fault - Mr. Dellums is going to make the folks at FEMA seem simply BRILLIANT when it comes to handling a disaster. If I were Mr. Dellums, I would be resigning and moving out of the state before he has a chance to face a truly angry mob.

Posted by Robin on 10/21/2008 at 9:12 AM

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