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Letter to a Bigot: Dead But Not Forgotten

Letter to a Bigot: Dead But Not Forgotten

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Letter to a Bigot: Dead But Not Forgotten

ratings:
4.5/5 (38 ratings)
Length:
24 pages
20 minutes
Released:
Oct 22, 2020
ISBN:
9781094412900
Format:
Book

Description

With the publication of her electric true-crime memoir Mean—hailed by The New York Times as “a pair of brass knuckles disguised as a book”—writer, artist, and activist Myriam Gurba flouted expectations, of genre and style, tone and intention, and signaled a refusal to behave according to anyone else’s rules. She learned early in life, growing up in a mostly white coastal California town, that the rules are rigged, made by people who do not have her best interests as a queer Mexican American woman at heart. One man in particular schooled her in the distorting, painful effects of bigotry, using Trumpian tactics long before Trump ascended to power: George Hobbs, who served as mayor of her hometown, Santa Maria, California, off and on from 1966 to 1994.

In this direct address to Hobbs, A Letter to a Bigot: Dead But Not Forgotten, she chronicles all the ways in which he turned the bias already afflicting her community from a simmer to a boil and made her coming of age a struggle for survival. In the summer of 1990, when Gurba was only thirteen, Hobbs gave a speech before the Santa Maria Valley Economic Development Association in which he declared that the region had a “Mexican problem,” advocating for “U.S. financed colonies” for immigrants at the southern border. Calls for his resignation were no match for the support he received, and within months Gurba would experience firsthand the emotional and physical violence to which Hobbs had given license. In high school it only grew worse, and she became expert in recognizing not just the overt expressions of racism and sexism around her—the slurs and physical menacing—but the subtler expressions of it, too, as in the local papers’ debasing coverage of Indigenous people living in their region and in her English teacher’s critiques of her writing. When she was assaulted again, this time by a man who went on to murder a Mexican migrant, a woman who still haunts Gurba to this day, there was no longer any space between the political and the personal, no room for excuses for “leaders” like Hobbs or Trump and the power structures they depend on and that depend on them, no condoning the scapegoating, hate-mongering, and hypocrisy they practice. Her trauma and pain became her fuel, irreverence and rebellion her art.

Like her memoir, this timely and unnervingly candid Scribd Original is a rallying cry to shatter the status quo, from a woman who has a hard-won understanding of the costs of complacency. She’s long been acquainted with the adversaries of hope and progress, and, like the fury she channels, that indeed she has become—“una diosa furiosa,” cheers author Luis Alberto Urrea in tribute—she’s taking those adversaries on one by one, dead or alive, without apology, without politeness.

Released:
Oct 22, 2020
ISBN:
9781094412900
Format:
Book

About the author

Myriam Gurba is a writer and artist. She is the author of the true-crime memoir Mean, a New York Times Editors’ Choice. O, The Oprah Magazine ranked Mean as one of the best LGBTQ books of all time. Publishers Weekly describes Gurba as having a voice like no other. Her essays and criticism have appeared in The Paris Review, Time.com, and 4Columns. She has shown art in galleries, museums, and community centers. She lives in Long Beach, California, with herself.


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Letter to a Bigot - Myriam Gurba

guidance.

George,

Given that I’m writing to you now, some might find it odd that we never met in person. But wasn’t it predictable that our paths never crossed? For thirty long years, you served as mayor and council member of Santa Maria, California, the smallish agricultural community where I was born and raised. In that time, you not only avoided people like me; you made a political career out of persecuting my community. You treated immigrant families like mine as pawns.

You, George Hobbs, are lucky we never met in person.

Your face would’ve made a great target for my cigarette.

You’re dead now, and while your poison continues to flow through our body politic, your allies have worked hard to sanitize your legacy. The Santa Maria Times participated in this process, playing it coy with your 2006 obituary. It characterized you as plain-spoken and gave your defenders ample space to redefine your communication style as blunt and not politically polished. When your cronies spoke to reporters, they oozed with nostalgia about your thirty years of municipal rule. Long-serving city council member Tom Urbanske told the Santa Maria Sun that your No. 1 goal was to see that the community was run right.

Urbanske failed to explain what running Santa Maria right meant to you. Your preferred political strategy was scapegoating minoritized people, and because your rule shaped my coming of age, the rhetoric of Trumpism rings way

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What people think about Letter to a Bigot

4.3
38 ratings / 5 Reviews
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  • (5/5)
    Never thought racism in the United States is this bad.
  • (3/5)
    You could add fat, ugly, eyeglass wearer into the mix and cover a
    lot more bad treatment.
  • (4/5)
    Awesome novel. I love it. You can join in NovelStar writing contest with a theme "WEREWOLVES" Prices are amazing! https://author.starlight.ink/essay/index.html (PC) http://app.novelstar.top/index/index/special/id/87 or email any of the following editors; hardy@novelstar.top joye@novelstar.top lena@novelstar.top app.novelstar.top
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I really love how expressive Myriam was in writing this. There's a lot to be said, what more? There's a lot to think about.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This explained very well why Trump won first time and even second time he competed almost neck to neck. Mariym has portrayed the issue with very strong language. You will really feel the heat while reading her words.

    The "Trump Problem" is not solved it still exists in full force.

    1 person found this helpful