Growing up, my father could not be there for me. I was lucky, however, to receive love and guidance from my grandfathers: Frank Little and Richard Grogan. Both passed away this year and the loss bares heavy this Christmas. It is nothing but human to reflect during the holidays on loved ones no longer here to celebrate.
Appreciation for this aspect of our humanity makes the pain suffered by Theresa Smith at the hands of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce apparent to conservatives and liberals alike. Ms. Smith lost her son, Caesar Ray Cruz, when he was fatally shot by Anaheim Police on December 11, 2009. Nobody can deny the heartache she must feel during the Christmas season. As such, we can all understand why Ms. Smith asks for our prayers and holds a candlelight vigil on each anniversary of her son’s death.
This year, Ms. Smith’s pain was senselessly made worse by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce when the lobby’s hired-hand mocked Ms. Smith on its media outlet the day after her ritual vigil. The Chamber’s agent posted a photo depicting a memorial site wherein a defaced teddy bear was lying next to a Virgin de Guadalupe candle. The post was left up for days and the Chamber’s responsibility is undeniable.
The purpose of the post was to discredit Latino leaders calling for electoral reform and police oversight. It was just one of many on the topic that personally attacked people in the community that the Chamber considers its enemies. The Chamber is motivated by its desire to maintain its dominant and lucrative position in Anaheim politics. Allowing Latinos to have a voice, it fears, will forever frustrate its near total control of the City Council.
The Chamber mocked the vigil hoping it would divide Anaheim and undermine the growing bipartisanship around Latino issues in Anaheim. To this end, it was willing to target a grieving mother during Christmas. Ms. Smith’s pain at the Chamber’s hand has not gone unnoticed. Her pain has resounded like a trumpet throughout Orange County. It can no longer be denied that Anaheim is under the thumb of the coldest of cold machines. This is not a Democrat or a Republican issue, nor is it a labor or business issue. Anaheim is struggling with a most human issue; one that can no longer be ignored by Orange County’s political elites.