Neil Derry is right about one thing, a person cannot serve two masters, so in the case of Derry, he is trying to serve three masters: greed, racism, and the county of San Bernardino as a Board of Supervisor. If you noticed, I did not call him a racist because I do not believe he could or would go that far with his actions but based on his actions and colleagues he surrounds himself with, he seems like one.
Some of Derry’s first actions upon being elected to the board were to hire James Erwin as his Chief Of Staff, a person later indicted by the Grand Jury on 29 counts of corruption. Then Derry hired Joe Turner as his public relations representative, a person on the Southern Poverty Law Center watchlist of hate group activities in the country for racism toward Blacks, Jews and illegal immigrants.
Derry not only ran with greed and racism, he brought them into his office to represent him. Now Derry himself was indicted by the County District Attorney, Michael A. Ramos and State Attorney General, Kamala Harris just a few weeks ago on corruption charges.
Last week James Ramos held a press conference in front of the county building announcing his intention of running for the board of supervisors seat held by Neil Derry.
Before the announcement could be made Derry said, “there are serious legal questions” about San Manuel Tribal Chairman James Ramos’ eligibility to run to replace him on the board of supervisors. Derry is saying that because Ramos is Native American Whites will not vote for Ramos.
My late pastor Rev. William Jacks used to tell me all the time, you can’t run with the rabbit and buddy with the hound dog. When he told me that the first time, I said, “Rev. Jacks what do you mean?” He said, “rabbits have their own unique smell and when you run with them the smell rubs off on you. Then when you go and buddy with the hound dog, remember the hound has been trained to hunt that smell.” Well Derry has that smell of racism and I know what it smells like and the Attorney General knows what government corruption smells like and it is all over Derry from Erwin and Turner.
With a little forethought on Derry’s part he would have said to himself Ramos currently holds an elected position as a Community College Trustee and was recently re-elected by American citizens. A quick search on the internet would have revealed the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granting full citizenship rights to America’s Native Americans.
When I think about Derry’s actions of questioning a Native American's eligibility to hold public office over citizenship, I think of the movie “Cry Freedom” starring Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline under the Apartheid Law in South Africa. Steve Biko, played by Denzel went to visit his White friend Don Woods, played by Kevin Kline, in the middle of the night. Don said to Steve, it is against the law for you to be in a White neighborhood in the middle of the night without an escort. Steve replied, this is my country I go where I want to go. That is what Derry is trying to do with Ramos, regulate what he can do as a Native American.
James Ramos will not say it but I am. James can go anywhere, anytime and do whatever any citizen has a right to do. As a matter of fact, Ramos has earned the right to do more based on what his “sovereign government” has done for this area. Ramos and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians have contributed more than Derry has or ever will if Derry lived for a hundred years in San Bernardino. They have done it because that is the kind of people they are.
Another thing about Derry is he is taking a page out of his Tea Party section of the Republican Party. I say Tea Party section because the larger Republican members do not behave or believe much of this racism. The Tea Party section uses actions like “show me the birth certificate Mr. Obama” or run a photo with the head of President Obama on a monkey and say this is why there is no birth certificate. In other words, Derry is saying no Indian, African American, Latino or Asian has the right to hold public office in the county. Derry did not want or vote for Josie Gonzales to be Chairman of the Board even though she met all of the criteria set by others who has sat in the chairman’s seat.
Now members of the Republican Party of San Bernardino County have an opportunity to join with Dennis Hansberger, former Senator Bill Leonard, San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris, Redlands Police Chief Jim Bueermann, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, Yucaipa Mayor Dick Riddell and San Bernardino Police Chief Keith Kilmer who have said let us get rid of those who practice and use racist actions to get elected in this county. It has no place in a political party that helped President Lincoln abolish slavery in America. Let this county say we cannot control what they do in Orange County or Washington but in San Bernardino we will not tolerate these actions of racism or greed.
Let us elect James Ramos an outstanding citizen of this community. A man of tremendous faith in God and integrity. A man with a demonstrated commitment to serving and helping his fellow citizens. A man with the determination to help us find solutions to the county’s many problems. Ramos has the education and experience to understand the many issues facing a county with its diverse population, education and economic needs.