EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a few of the letter that have come in support of Jonathan after his latest column in WON and his blog on this site. The response was overwhelming, and due to room constraints in the newspaper, the letters are being put on this blog for readers. None were edited.
I just read your article and I needed to express how outraged, disheartened and sorry I am. We met you and Jill at Long Beach. You were both absolutely gracious . I am the one who said we have a house near La Fortuna and asked for a recommendation for panga’s out of San Jose. Itvis inexcuable for anyone to treat you, your wife, or anyone the way you have been treated . Sadly racism, egocentrism, and elitism appear to be growing here in the United States. One could blame the economy, the media, or a growing consevatism. No excuse!
Following a lifetime of public service, as an educatior, if anything, I have learned to accept that when dealing with people there will always be malcontents and people who behave poorly. It is always painful to me to see how the local Mexicans people judge the United States and most Americans by the few Ugly Americans that they meet.
As you know, most people are fair and gracious, but the ignorant, rude people are the people who form our opinions and are the people who we remember. Do not become dicsouraged by others’ poor behavior; you, your wife, your business , and column provide an important service and help to balance out the good from evil. You have many, many more lovers than haters my brother!
My family and I visited La Paz and your fine establishment in Nov. 09 with my good friend Brian Harnack. Unfortunately you were in the states on business during our stay and I did not get to see you. I have actually spoken with you at two different FHS', just a quick few words to say how much I love your writing. The service we received while in La Paz was incredible, even in your absence, which speaks volumes about your operation.
It's sad that you and Jill have had to undergo this very unfair treatment, obviously coming from ignorant people. My wife is from Hondura's and luckily we have never had one word of racism directed at us or our "mixed" children. It's amazing that in 2011 there are still people who assume a person of color is NOT an American. Keep up the good work, the ignorant racists are a small and shrinking minority.
I also wanted to thank you for writing Brian so many nice letters and wishes. It means a lot to him and he holds you in the highest regard. I wish those hate spewing cowards knew about what a kind and caring individual you are, and of all the time you have taken from your busy schedule, to sit down and type out words of encouragement to a man who is dying from such a terrible disease. You are the best!
Jonathan: I saw your story, and while I'm not surprised at racist comments, I was taken aback by the number of them. I have noticed that ever since Obama was elected racism has become stronger in America than it has been since I was a teenager in the 50's. I hope that bringing it out into the open as you have done may cause some of those bullies to back off a notch, and that you don't encounter any more of that crap. We'll stand up for you anytime, pal.
Hang in there
Bill Roecker (Oceanside)
Bill Roecker Fishing Videos
It makes me ashamed of people. Frightened is one thing but prejudice is another. That is pure ignorance. The fact that they would confront you in a threatening way makes me sick. They don't know you, or anything about you. Again, ignorance. This makes me think KKK or White Supremist. Where the heck do you people think your ancestors came from? Native Americans were here first, but, wait! You would be prejudiced against them too.
They made it personal. That's just wrong. Makes the term "ugly American" come to mind.
We love you both and will continue our treasured trips to La Paz for many years to come.
Read your story about the sad,pathetic simpletons that gave you guys a hard time. Just want you to know that me and friends that fished with you consider you to be Exactly the kind of people we want to fish with and be friends with. I know you are frustrated by those numbskulls...To give you a little perspective, I recently travelled to Paris and was amazed how many locals wanted to invite me to sit with them, only to be told how many ways the US is screwing up and how we get it wrong all the time. Then without fail they would stick me with the check! True story. Anyway, wanted to send you a "what's up?" and let you know you have lots of people who want "people like you" to call friends and fishing buddies.
Bill Richmond in Denver
I could hardly believe what I was reading. You two of all people had to listen and take that crap. It’s a good thing I wasn’t there overhearing that because I would have had a hard time controlling my temper like you described you did. That is complete bull. What right did they have stereotyping you based on what, appearance, race, creed or color. .. To have to take that verbal abuse is just anti- American. .. I hope that it never happens again. I for one would not have hesitated to write that story like you were advised to. I do understand that it may have been bad for business until all the shows were done but that was just wrong of those people bashing you guys like that. It’s hard to forgive something as harsh as that and I know you’ll never forget it. Pretty tough to just “ let it go” as someone suggested. As a fellow American I am so sorry that you two had to go through that. It’s hard to turn the other cheek when there are those kind of people in the world today.
Today I read your article for Western News Mar. 24 edition. I’m sorry your article had to bear this type of news because it shows the many ignorant persons that exist within our great American society. At the same time, this article had to be written. There may be repercussions to it, but, I believe you are doing the right thing. I support you all the way. I’m sorry you had to persevere these experience along with Jill.
One thing this article has done for me is to re-kindle an urge to return to La Paz and to “hookem-up” again. . I’ll release my anger by hookin’ a Dorado or Yellowtail, se Dios quere.
Best regards, Gil Almanzan, Rosemead, CA
Of course I am saddened by your article but it doesn't surprise me. Jane and I were traveling through Wyoming a few years back and almost got run off the road and then got the BIRD flipped at us as the truck passed full of young men, presumably because we had Calif. license plates. . . .I'm glad you wrote that article, however, I believe we all need to just turn away from these people and situations. There will always be people like that in this world and once we start giving them power is when we are in trouble!
Charles "Stix" McGhee
Jonathan, it was good talking with you at the Portland show, and hope you were treated well in the NW. I just read your latest column, and let me be the first to apologize for the few ass-holes you've had to deal with on the road shows. I guess there are always some in every state, and it's something you have to adjust to. Not all Americans are like that. The drug wars in main land Mexico are frightening, (down town Chicago is frightening!) and we do have a problem with illegal aliens coming into our country. None of which have anything to do with you, or most of the people in Mexico.
I haven't fished with you, (yet) but have fished out of La Paz, Loreto, East Cape, Los Cabos, and Zihuatanejo for the past 5-6 years with my wife and fishing friends and have always been treated well. We've always felt welcomed and safe where ever we were. I'm grateful the Baja is still a wonderful place to visit, and we always look forward to our next trip down there. Don't let a few people get you down.
Hey Jonathan,??I read your column. You did a very good job of writing about those assholes that you encountered at your shows this year. Just reading about it pissed me off. If it had happened to me I don't think that I could have been nearly so restrained as you were. I think that writing about it was definitely the best thing to do. Incidents like that shouldn't be ignored or swept under the rug.??I just want to tell you that my trips to La Paz have been one of the highlights of my retirement. They are something that I look forward to all year long. And, it's not just the fishing, as good as that is. . .The city of La Paz itself has always been a welcoming and friendly place with a relaxed atmosphere. I've really enjoyed fishing . . .with the captains. You always feel like all of them are doing their best to make your trip a good one, whether you catch a lot of fish or not. It's also been great to meet other people and often see them each year when we're in La. The whole experience is just fantastic. ?Don't let the jerks and assholes get you down!??Rod Brown?Wrangell, Alaska
Great article and I know you showed much restraint, sorry you had to experience the underside of any civilization.
Blue fly Cafe Fishing
I read your March 24th article and it really angered me. I have experience this type of behavior from early child hood. I am 55 years old and tagged Hispanic or in the older days tagged as a Mexican. It is hard to believe negative connotations of some are still alive today. The attitude of certain people assuming because of their heritage and skin color gives them a right to demean individuals. It is fear, ignorance and insecurity that drives this thought process. This type of behavior is not restricted people south of the border but throughout the world. What is the best way to deal with it? I don’t really know, the way I deal with it is one person at a time. That is to treat them with respect and educate them that you deserve the same respect that which was given. As a parent I have made sure that my son is who is of mixed heritage (Mexican & Japanese) is well educated in the ignorance of these type of people. He has be taught to grow up as an individual and should not attached any type of stereotypical heritage tag on him and to be open minded about other cultures.
I have met you at one the shows you did in up Seattle and was very impressed with the knowledge, passion and professionalism you showed me. My only regret is that I have yet to book a trip to La Paz and fish with you. Hopefully, sometime in the near future but meanwhile do not let these few negative encounters with these ignorant individuals taint your soul. Think about all those thousands of positive encounters you have experienced at your shows and those fishing clients that you have made so happy in La Paz.
Best of luck from one of “Those People”
So sorry you had to meet the stupid people & be hurt so much. We have e-mailed before I live in Puerto Escondito. We come back to the States every three months for Meds & to see Doctors. The first question out of the doctors mouths is are you safe? Nothing will get better until Mexico arrests or kills all the drug dealers they know who they are. You guys make a lot of people smile love your weekly report. My name is Ed Hoffman.
I read your blog, unbelievable but I’m not surprised. I’ve seen this coming now for quite some time. As hate radio continues to vilify others for some of our own problems, the situation is probably going to get worse before it gets better. It really is easy to blame and hate others for our own inadequacies. I commend you for speaking up, and more people need to do the same. We’ve seen this movie before, let’s just hope we can come to our senses before it’s too late. Take care and I’m looking forward to our trip.
Long Beach CA
Just read your most recent article.?How disturbing.. .fortunately these people will never be your customers. If they were, nothing you could ever do would please them.? When I worked as a fishing guide I classified them as level 4's and never invited them back and was always booked when they tried to return.?Mark Marcus
Salt Lake City UT
How sickened I felt to read your article about how you were treated by a vocal minority at the fishing shows. I felt as if my family had come under attack! Intellectually, I know you can deal with the small number of folks who are, in general, frustrated and looking for some way to vent their frustration at the economy, at perceived threats fostered by the sound bites, at anything that is outside their narrowing and unrealistic perceptions of how the world should be (or should treat them). I am grateful for your patience, as strained as it was, because these slugs don't deserve the attention of a concerted response from you. Wave them off as you would a small cloud of "no-see-ums" and move on with the fine service you offer to the many.
As a knowledgeable boss of mine once said to me, when I was misperceived and attacked based on those misconceptions, "Llew, your career has accumulated for you an enormous pad of fat on your ass; let them chew off a bit, because you'll never miss the bit that's gone."
You have my best wishes for all future success and for freedom from the inane responses of those who rely on the reports of others to determine their particular hatreds for that day.
Prof. Llew Williams
(formerly Las Vegas NV)
I read your column and it, unfortunately, happens too often to too many
good people. It is amazing what fear can do to peoples thinking. I know
people have told you that these kind of people are jerks who talk to you
like that but it still hurts when they talk to you like that. Yes they
are jerks but they are also people that live only in their little world
and need hate to help them get through the day. I have found that
people who do not travel, do not see other parts of the world, and don't
meet other people, most likely will act like jerks. Each country have these
kind of people. All you can do is shrug them off and hope that a knuckle
sandwich is not needed to get through to them. How can someone judge someone
else and not even know them. It is a shame. There always will be jerks. Let's
hope the two of you don't have to meet too many of them.
My best, always,
Jack Mc Guire
Santa Ana CA
I recently read your blog. I have to say that the entry was pretty disturbing. I went back and read it several times over the past day and a half and it got worse and worse to me. First off, I just wanted to say that I am sorry that you ever had to experience that. Second, I think it says worlds about you and Jill about how you carried yourself.
I thought about what you wrote, I am at a complete loss. I cannot begin to understand or comprehend what you were approached with numerous times. As you articulated very well, this was not a one time thing or a dirty look or some other situation that could be read into. I commend you for the restraint that you displayed. It is one thing to defend yourself , but is another to defend the honor of a loved one. Anyone can can roll around on the floor and get separated by a few in the crowd. Ultimately nothing gets solved by that. It is clouded by the dust in the air and the blood on the floor. But you feel better to get it out of your system.
The trouble that I have is that someone that can approach you and Jill and say the things and then walk away. How does someone go to the (sport shows) , which have vendors and guides from all over the world, and not expect to see anyone from another country? (I know you are American). Regardless, I feel like I am going off on a tangent.
I am glad to see that you took the high road. ... it hurts me to read how people have treated you. So for that I am sorry. I wish I was there to roll around on the carpet with you, or for you. But I am sure you handled the situation in the best way.
And I am sure you don't want their business anyway. Burning crosses and big white hoods would make horrible pictures with the awesome yellow tail that you have been catching lately.
Hope to see you soon
Mike Van Velzer
Hey Jonathan,just got my weekly issue of WON today and read your column.Sad you had to go through all that insanity. Especially with your wife there as well, jeeze ! Amazing how a handfull of knot-heads can ruin a fun time. I wasn't sure if I should cry, or get real pissed off. Think I did both.
I just wanted to let you know. Keep up the good columns at WON and all your hard work down there.
, Rick Calkins-San Miguel,CA-US of A.
Jonathon: Bravo to you and Jill for keeping your cool as well as you did when confronted by idiots!! I have traveled extensively in Baja and mainland Mexico, all for the purpose of fishing. During the past 5 years I have flown into Mazatlan or Culiacan to fish El Salto always with Anglers Inn. Never have I ever felt unsafe or threatened in any way. I respect the Mexican people and these warm, hard working people extend me the same respect. I feel as you do, there are places right here in San Diego (where I have lived my entire life) where I know it's not safe to be...same in Mexico. If you're smart, you stay away from those areas. I'm truly sorry you and Jill had to endure the wrath of such ignorant people.
God bless you both,
Spring Valley, CA 91977
Makes me mad to read about your experiences. I have never once in the year and a half I've been in La Paz had a Mexican tell me to go home, or convey any intentions besides ones that would make our world smaller, not divided.
La Paz, Mexico
I read your (Jonathan Rolan’s) column in the and I feel for you and your wife. I’m not sure if you remember me, but you have been in my store in the past. I have a fishing tackle store in Upland, California. We've been here for 16 years.
What you encountered at the shows that you were at was a sad example of how discriminatory people can be. My parents experienced the same kind of animosity during the second world war. Being Japanese-American, and born here in the United States, they were treated like the enemy and interned in relocation camps.
Unfortunately, there will always be people that are naive and uneducated like the ones you ran into at the show. But I think you can still appreciate that most of the folks that went to the shows, didn’t feel the same animosity towards you as the others did. Please hang in there, and take it with a grain of salt. You are an ambassador for our sport, and for fishing in Baja. Without your input in each article you write, less people would be thinking about that trip to Baja.
Kenny's Rod and Reel