Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Tue, Jul 25 2006

Local Brown Berets show bad manners

I was very disappointed by the Watsonville Brown Berets' behavior last Friday. I used to think of the original Brown Berets as a group of people who worked to increase public safety in cities where there were often not enough police to go around. If this local group's choice to voice their disagreements with Governor Schwarzenegger by heckling his wife is an example of a new Brown Beret mentality, it takes my opinion of them down several notches. Maria Shriver was in Watsonville last Friday to promote the use of food stamp puchases at open markets, where healthful fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful. Protestors found it distasteful that she would use the issue as what they felt was a photo opportunity to campaign for her husband in an election year.

It's good to remember that, along with being spouse to whoever is the current governor, it's considered quite common, and quite proper, for a state's First Lady to become involved in social causes that promote good health, safety and social welfare among state residents. Gray Davis' wife, Sharon Davis, was active in children's health (and other causes), promoting young peoples' abstinence from alcohol. If a First Lady's work points proudly to her husband's work in the state, should we criticize her or be surprised by her loyalty?

It's also good to remember that our current First Lady is not new to the world of helping people. She's been active in supporting Special Olympics and other programs for many years.

Maria Shriver is a veteran journalist in her own right, so I'm fairly certain she found a way to take last Friday's rudeness in stride. But it's embarrassing to think that she got such a misleading example of California hospitality from the community on the part of a few rude people who took it upon themselves to think to speak for all Watsonville Brown Berets and for the rest of us who live and work in the area.

posted at: 09:44 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

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