Friday, 26 April 2019
Dear Mr President,
I’ve seen reports lately that federal agents have a list of “suspected activists, reporters, and lawyers” who are being detained and interrogated at points of entry. A list of suspected smugglers, traffickers, and terrorists would not be surprising, but those on the list don’t seem to be suspected of actual crimes, but just sort of…suspected.
One reporter was asked about his opinion of the administration, so maybe the suspicion is of people with bad attitudes.
I haven’t been an “activist” since I came back from Viet Nam and joined some other guys in protesting a war we had seen up close and ugly.
I have a bad attitude, as the letters I’ve written to you–this is my 228th–testify, so naturally I’m a little wary. I’ll be passing through a point of entry next month on my way home from an academic research trip related to 15th-century history. I suspect that some of your agents are made nervous by words like “academic” and “research” and “history”, so I thought I’d give you a heads-up.
I haven’t been an “activist” since I came back from Viet Nam and joined some other guys in protesting a war we had seen up close and ugly. But I gather that you shared our feelings since you found a way to withhold your support (and your body) from that war.
I’m not really a reporter either, though I have published those letters to you in the LA Progressive, which most of your border agents probably don’t subscribe to. And–full disclosure–60 years ago, in La Mesa, just outside San Diego, where most of your detaining goes on, I was the editor of the Highland Fling, the newspaper of Helix High, and I co-authored several radical editorials with Frank Bardacke, who later, while at UC Berkeley (which I also admit to attending) became one of the Oakland 7, who were tried (and acquitted!) for obstructing that war, which, as I say, you also opposed, so that shouldn’t count, even though I attended that trial, but only as a spectator and disguised as a graduate student.
I’m not a lawyer, but I can read.
Anyway, I’m not going to talk to them, so could you just tell them to leave me alone?
Received by the White House at 12:26 AM EST, 26 April 2019