LETTERS: On ‘white privilege,’ Hidalgo Co courthouse and LNG in Brownsville port

‘White privilege’ and Las Vegas killings

Do you know what white privilege is?

It is to murder 59 people and injure over 500, only to have authorities claim, within minutes and without any verification, that you are not a terrorist.

It is to commit the largest mass murder and shooting in recent American history, and be described as a “retired grandfather.”

It is to inflict pain and suffering on others, and not have to worry that a single person of your race, or religion, or your women and children, face any backlash for your crime.

It is to kill (or rape, or loot, or plunder, or colonize) and get away with it without bringing up irrelevant issues like religion, scripture, culture, theology or ideology. As of this writing, we still have no idea of the religion and beliefs of the killer.

It is, essentially, to consider any such incident to be a freak accident, and let life continue without changing any policies, or calling for national dialogues about laws on immigration, tolerance of others, gun ownership, cultural differences, and the list goes on and on.

PS. This letter in no way intends to trivialize the tragic loss of life. My sincerest condolences to the families of the victims in this horrible tragedy in Las Vegas.

Sal Khan,


County courthouse alternative options

Kudos to Monitor Opinion Editor Sandra Sanchez for reporting on the unpopularity of the construction of the new Hidalgo County Courthouse. She stated in her Friday column a fact, not a personal opinion, that the proposed courthouse in Hidalgo county is not popular with the citizenry of the county. It was unfair for Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia to publicly go after her. The facts are the facts.

Hidalgo County Commissioners last week lowered property taxes a whopping one cent per $100 property valuation. But properties in the county have increased in value by 3 to 5 percent, overall.

Hidalgo County is noted not only for some of the highest property taxes in Texas, but has a tax delinquency rate that leads the state, as well. Those are facts not opinions. The smoke and mirror effect of raising the property values of some and giving a one cent tax break to all is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Yes, I agree the courts are crowded, but we should take a note from the federal playbook and rent space, such as currently available at the Chase Bank Tower for all civil proceedings, and leave the old courthouse for the criminal trials to be closer to the county jail. This tower is perfect for the civil courts and can be easily secured like the Bentsen Tower is for federal courts. I bet it would be many times cheaper to rent and remodel than to build a new county courthouse. The bottom line is we should be cutting property taxes to promote home ownership, and remove the tax barriers that keep home ownership out of reach for many.

Jake Longoria,


LNG ‘last word’

Since further debate between Auston Cron and I may be seen as quibbling, this will be my last response to his support of dangerous LNG plants in the Brownsville Port. In fact I would like to quote from his last letter. “The LNG installation is inherently more dangerous due to volatile gasses.” That, sir, is a comparison, which you say shouldn’t be made but with which I totally agree. I also agree that the regulations governing LNG plants are probably more severe than those governing chemical plants. However I have never seen, nor do you provide, evidence of such. Along that line the regulations governing the operation, location and safety of a nuclear power plant must logically be even more stringent. Yet on March 11, 2010, a Tsunami disabled the emergency generators at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in Japan. These generators should have provided power to control and operate the pumps necessary to cool the reactors. The resultant insufficient cooling led to three nuclear meltdowns, hydrogen-air explosions, and the release of radioactive material. Extreme, industry-driven precautions were found to be inadequate. Please note that similar extreme storm surges plus high tides routinely occur when hurricanes like Harvey hit the Texas Coast.

Finally, if I am in error in objecting to LNG in the ship channel, I will at least be content in knowing that my error is on the side of safety, conservation and the protection of thousands of people and hundreds of homes and businesses that already exist within the zone that could be affected by an LNG explosion. Please Google “LNG Explosions.” It’s all there.

Ned Sheats,