Opinion

Charro rider deserves apology from state

Víctor Valenzuela is an immigrant from México who is living the American dream: He is a successful building contractor from Wilton; graduated from California State University, Sacramento; owns a Mi Sueño, a ranch where he hones his horse-riding skills; and, involves his family — wife and three children — in his passion for sharing the tradition of the Mexican charro with others.

Someone at the state Franchise Tax Board, however, does not see the same Valenzuela we see. Apparently, someone was not happy to see Valenzuela and his horse group participate in last September’s Chili Cook-Off and Happy Trails Parade in Winton. For the record, Valenzuela and his group, as always, flew the U.S. and California flags in appropriate formation as well. The foundation that sponsored the event got an e-mail from an employee at the state agency suggesting it get rid of Valenzuela and his group.

“You seem to be sympathetic to the flood of illegal aliens who are stealing our identification to commit income tax evasion. As you know, there is a stiff penalty for those who knowingly hire illegal aliens. I suggest you remove this foreign flag from your parade and apologize to the patriotic citizens of the community.”

The only apology in order here, we believe, is from the employee first, and then the state for allowing racist remarks to be sent from the employee’s e-mail account. According to a Sacramento Bee story by Susan Ferriss, a tax board spokesman said the employee’s action was inappropriate but did not say if any disciplinary action had been taken.

Perhaps an apology from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, himself an immigrant like Valenzuela, will help fix this wrong.

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