"Hater" is a synonym for jealous and resentful, in case you aren't familiar with the term.
Chaldeans are Catholics from the Middle East, most are from Iraq. Of the 50,000 Chaldeans in San Diego County, between 10,000 and 12,000 live in El Cajon. They have lived in close-knit communities since Islam arose from the Saudi Arabian peninsula and conquered most of the Middle East. If not for their community focus and hard work, they would have been swept away by the forces of Islam long ago.
Many Americans are not familiar with the struggles of Christians in the Middle East or the differences in cultures from that area of the world. Christians are under attack today in Egypt, Syria and Iraq. Mark Lewis' recent statements seem born from this fundamental misunderstanding. Arun Gupta of Progressive.org reported in the article Little Baghdad, California
Mark Lewis is mayor of El Cajon. Now sixty-four, he’s been in office since 1998 and grew up here. If he is any indication, cultural misunderstandings are abundant. He says single women have complained to him about not being served in Chaldean-owned establishments, and he’s warned them they must serve women. He says, “In our society the female is the same as the male. They haven’t got that through their heads yet.”Sarah is critical of Lewis' statements, "How does he know which kids are dropped off in Mercedes and which are getting free lunches? I never had a free lunch because my parents worked hard. Chaldeans live in different (financial) circumstances. Some have nice cars and some might be driving old Mercedes that they bought for $8000."
Lewis says some Chaldean schoolchildren who receive free lunches are “being picked up by Mercedes Benzes.” He adds: “First time, they come over here, it doesn’t take them too long to learn where all the freebies are at.” This, he says, causes “a lot of resentment in regard to veterans,” who ask, “Why can’t [the federal government] support veterans like they support minorities coming over here?” Lewis says this is creating “white flight.”
|El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis — U-T file photo|
“I was simply expressing my opinion that I believe that the limited social services made available to our residents in El Cajon should go to those most in need of them, including those within the Chaldean community.”Sarah is concerned that widespread abuse of social services is being unfairly blamed on the small Chaldean community. Some of the community is comprised of penniless refugees who have just arrived. The refugees were professionals who could afford to flee. Doctors and engineers who need recertified to work in the U.S. and who need assistance and understanding. Other Chaldeans have been working in San Diego for decades. Sarah's family fled Iraq when Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979. She was born in La Mesa, California over a decade later.
In a statement released to U-T San Diego on Thursday night, Lewis said his decision to resign is primarily due to health reasons, including what he described as a minor stroke in 2010, cancer and a dislocated shoulder.
“Unfortunately, at times, this has caused me some difficulties in clearly communicating my thoughts, including during the recent interviews that have caused understandable concern within our community and for which I have already apologized,” Lewis’ statement said.
Her family has owned several businesses in San Diego County and they never turn down patronage from "single women." Apparently, Mark Lewis' "single women" comment confused Christian Chaldeans with fundamentalist Islam due to his stroke. Here is a helpful tip, look for beards.