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POSTED: August 16, 2007 5:03 a.m.
The issue of immigration was, no surprise, the runaway winner in number of reader comments.
I try to respond personally whenever I can; recently my reply to a number of messages was, “The mail I get from readers, and what I hear from some people I have interviewed, leave zero doubt there is widespread unreasonable fear of immigrants out there, masquerading as legit concern over immigration law enforcement.”
Which brought this shout: “SIR, YOU HAVE LOST ALL CREDIBILITY. YOUR REPLY TO MY LETTER TO YOU IS LAUGHABLE, AND MAKES ME REALIZE THAT PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE THE REAL RACISTS.”
Ay.
But enough about immigration. One column that got pretty good response took a look at the 400th anniversary celebration of the founding of North America’s first permanent English colony, in Jamestown, Va.
I wrote that despite political correctness, organizers were justified in calling the celebration “Americ’s 400th anniversary,” because “the United States is an English-speaking country with legal customs and political traditions inherited from England.”
I noted that historical correctness requires Americans to remember the first permanent European colony was St. Augustine, Fla., founded by Spaniards 42 years before Jamestown.
I got a note of thanks from an official in St. Augustine’s visitors and conventions bureau, who said the column “is helping us to create more awareness of our nation’s oldest city and the impact that Hispanic heritage has had on the founding and development of the most wonderful country in the world.”
Nice, no?
Then someone else put me in my place: “The editorial page of my local paper carried a copy of an editorial from The Washington Post regarding the visit of Gonzales and Card to Ashcroft’s hospital room. Next to it was an article by Eugene Robinson headlined ‘Gonzales has no business leading Justice.’ Next to that was a column by Roger Hernandez telling us that St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States. Tsk tsk. Who cares, Roger? Get with the news!”
Ay!
Wrote another reader, in response to a column supporting the trade embargo: “You have no faith in the Cuban people. ... The people will determine their own fate without the meddling and interference of Washington imperialism that you so crave.”
How does one even begin to formulate a serious, substantive response to that kind of thing? One first considers trying to explain tthe Castro government denies the Cuban people any say whatsoever in their fate, and jails those who do try to have a say. But then one rereads the email and says, “Nah.”
My favorite email this year, however, was simple and to the point. It said, “Excellent. Well written, clearly stated.” But the subject line simply stated “Your article,” so I do not know to which column this refers.
That’s OK. We are happy to consider it a comment upon our entire oeuvre so far more than halfway into this year of 2007.

Hernandez is a syndicated columnist and writer-in-residence at New Jersey Institute of Technology. His latest book is “Cubans in America” (Kensington). Send email to rogereh@optonline.net.
 

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