Letter regarding Mano Amiga was misinformed
As the head of a local nonprofit I know how important it is to scrupulously adhere to the IRS guidelines that include not involving our organization in political activities of any kind or else risk losing our nonprofit status. However, as an individual, I have a constitutional right to have a voice politically, and I exercise this right by personally supporting candidates and working for voters’ rights, but never involving my organization.
I know the leadership of Mano Amiga and they operate as I do, as responsible, conscientious, honest people who carefully safeguard the resources and services that they provide to our community, and they do NOT involve Mano Amiga in politics. Moreover, they serve a vulnerable community of indigenous migrants who are now called “invaders” and hunted in this state alongside other people of color. This population would suffer greatly if Mano Amiga were disbanded.
These are frightening times, when we as indigenous people are being told to “go back to where we came from” or else risk getting shot. These are times when people must be very intentional in actions and speech – examining all information for undertones of negativism and damaging untruths. The letter "Time for Mano Amiga to do the right thing" in Sunday's opinion section was completely erroneous about Mano Amiga endorsing or supporting any political candidates. The writer furthered negativity by throwing out the challenge to “do the right thing,” implying that Mano Amiga was not functioning appropriately. Whoever misinformed the writer about Mano Amiga was obviously trying to damage the organization’s reputation.
We must all be vigilant about the normalization of lies and erroneous information being spewed into public forums. It is imperative that when we hear anything negative about someone or an organization, that the truth be diligently confirmed before spreading that information further; and even then, why spread negativity?
Maria F. Rocha
Indigenous Cultures Institute