Wednesday letters: Happiness, lessons, leadership, Democrats
Redefining happiness in the Covid-19 age
Having enough toilet paper to last two weeks.
Having a minimal number of grocery replacements in my Instacart order for the week.
Not losing my son’s precious but short phone calls in one of the many dead zones on his trips through the valley.
Talking (actually talking) to an old friend (or relative) in my former state of Oregon without relying on Facebook or Linked In.
Receiving a real (rare) card or letter from a distant relative, without the impersonal quick click via cell or computer.
Having a solitary cocktail (delivered via masked, social distancing relatives) at the end of the day after 3 months of continuing quarantining.
Waking up on a sunny morning, still alive, in the comfort of an apartment with enough food to last a few more days.
(Maybe by now your readers have their own revised list. I would love to read.)
The lessons of Minneapolis
In the 2017 film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Woody Harrelson, portraying Ebbing Police Chief Bill Willoughby trying to excuse a subordinate who’d tortured a black prisoner, said, “If we got rid of all the police officers with the slightest bit of racist tendencies, we’d have only three cops left and they’d hate the (gays).”
That’s a gross overstatement, but the sad fact is racism is rampant in our law enforcement community as evidenced by the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and others in the past.
The company I worked for sent me to a racial sensitivity class. The instructor, who taught these classes all over the country, said the most fervent racists he’d ever encountered were Chicago cops.
Maybe because of my ponytail, I always seemed to get the police beat as a reporter. More than once I heard sentiments coming from the breakroom like, “If I know that n-word’s packing, he’s a dead man.”
The question is why are police officers so prone to these ugly thoughts? Are people with a case of the ass against black people drawn to this kind of work because they see it as an opportunity to get even or do they become racist because of constant negative contact with blacks? Probably both.
What to do about it? For starters, police officers should be among the highest paid public servants there are. The fact they’re paid a subsistence wage attracts the dregs of society.
The state police in the state I came from, Indiana, are required to have a four-year degree in something, not necessarily law enforcement. They must demonstrate an ability to learn. As a consequence, the Indiana State Police is an outstanding force that helps small town police departments deal with crimes they’re not equipped to handle as state bureaus of investigation do in other states.
An undergraduate degree in law enforcement with a concentration on a defendant’s rights should be standard for any officer, so they don’t let so many felons go free because they violated the suspect’s civil rights. Applicants should be vetted thoroughly so the bullies and the brutes can be gleaned out.
As for the protests, I’m from the Gandhi/MLK school of civil disobedience, so I disapprove of all the looting, burning, and destroying police cruisers. However, I can empathize. A Nigerian proverb says, “A child that doesn’t feel the warmth of a village will burn that village to feel the warmth of the fire.”
And, of course, as Ed Pratt of The Advocate writes, “Racism has always been around. Now it’s being filmed for all to see.” My father told me back in his day when a black person was killed it wasn’t even reported. As distressing as all this disruption is, it’s better than sweeping it under the rug.
Fred Malo Jr.
America is in critical need of a capable leader
Typically, citizens rely on a leader to calm them in times of strife. Trump chose to encourage violence, re-tweeting a video in which a supporter says “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” and “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Why is he doing this? Could it be that the protests have overshadowed the major stories that Trump perceived were damaging to his re-election chances: 1) Revelations published last Friday about his 2016 campaign team’s collaboration with Russian spies; 2) His idiotic response to the threat of the coronavirus which has now killed more than 106,500 American citizens, compared with 103 people in Australia, 22 in New Zealand… if you want the numbers, see Worldometers.info/coronavirus; 3) The horribly damaged American economy and skyrocketing unemployment.
The Associated Press reported, “As cities burned night after night and images of violence dominated television coverage, Trump’s advisers discussed the prospect of an Oval Office address in an attempt to ease tensions. The notion was quickly scrapped for lack of policy proposals and the president’s own seeming disinterest in delivering a message of unity.”
America is in critical need of a capable leader.
As usual, Democrats blame President Trump
A rogue, white policeman in Minneapolis is charged with murdering a black suspect. “Systemic racism,” the Dems and their media lap dogs cry. And as usual, they blame President Trump.
Somehow, the fact that the governor, attorney general, mayor, and police chief in this travesty are all Democrats, escapes our “unbiased” media.
And you “educated” liberals wonder why the president calls it fake news?
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