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Re: 'It feels like all the adults have left the room' [Village News, Letter, 7/9/20]

 

Last updated 7/23/2020 at 9:11am



We are being asked to believe that our free speech is hatred if we disagree or want to discuss uncomfortable subjects.

That idea is very vague. If we could know more about what kind of uncomfortable subjects you want to discuss, we could have a fruitful conversation as to why some people feel the way they do about those topics.

We are being asked to believe that White people are all inherently racist.

That’s not true. Black Lives Matter is a movement characterized by the demands of criminal justice reform and nonviolent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality against African American people. Nobody is asking you to believe all White people are racist.

We are being told to believe fewer White people are shot by police than Black people when it is statistically clearly untrue, according to Statista, the National Institute of Health, The Washington Post statistics and others. They all agree that twice as many Whites are shot as Blacks per year.

This information is true; however, if you talk to a BLM advocate, the key word is disproportionately. You cited The Washington Post so I checked this article, and what you left out is that “Although half of the people shot and killed by police are White, Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate. They account for less than 13% of the U.S. population, but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans. Hispanic Americans are also killed by police at a disproportionate rate.”

Which worries me as you are either not reading the articles you cite or are being purposefully dishonest.

We are being told by the BLM movement and a slew of high-ranking Democrats to believe that police departments should be defunded and disbanded, while muggings and shootings have increased every weekend for the last few weeks including the murdering of children in Chicago, New York and Atlanta.

I don’t disagree with this sentiment. As a society, we will need the police to prevent and resolve crime. But you’re leaving a massive stone unturned as far as what police work is. Even in cities notorious for their violence such as Baltimore, only 0.9% of calls police respond to are violent.

Even if we account for property crime, other crime and proactive policing only 42% of calls to police actually require police to respond. It means our officers are spending at least half of their time on calls that don’t require an armed response.

Responding to noncriminal calls, traffic incidents or medical emergencies could all be done better and faster by other workers. It would free up police resources to focus on solving those muggings and shootings and bringing justice to their communities. We do not need the cops to respond to municipal violations and bureaucratic infractions, it’s a waste of their time and could be done better by other city workers, which we could employ by adjusting bloated police budgets.

We should not disband our police forces; however, we have to rethink how we want to approach public safety.

We are being told that we need to reject our history. By who? Again, this idea is quite vague. Removing statues of Confederate generals and slave traders will not remove history. History is not remembered by statues, but by stories and books.

We are being asked to believe that people who are destroying public property and businesses are “woke,” morally superior to the rest of us and we should take our cues from them.

No one is asking you to believe this idea. We all think property crime is wrong. But more has happened within the last two months of protest with some violence than the previous six years of peaceful protests. You can disavow violence, and I will never fault you for that. But only a handful of riots among thousands of protests worldwide has put the issue of criminal justice reform on the national stage.

I disagree with the riots, but fundraising efforts are in place to assist those who lost property or were hurt or arrested as a result of the riots. Overall, these protests are a great thing for our country; you just need to see the nuance.

Do you know what happens when you are being asked to believe and accept things that aren’t true or you don’t believe to be real? Cognitive dissonance theory says it causes anxiety, mental illness and depression.

Precisely, Black Americans are told that the police exist to protect them, but our American history of slave patrols, sundown towns, lynchings, beatings at peaceful protests and shootings of unarmed men, women and children. What do you think growing up in this society does to a child’s mind? The cognitive dissonance of being told one thing and experiencing another? To feel not only at danger from criminals but the people assigned and paid to protect you. I sympathize with my fellow Americans who live with this truth, and I wish to help create a more just and safe world for them.

Some people believe that the truth sets us free, but we are also being asked to reject our Judeo-Christian God and principles where many of our ideas about freedom and individualism were born and where we learn love, forgiveness and tolerance.

You can exercise your love and tolerance by standing with your fellow Americans and Christians against police violence, instead of division based on falsehood or a perceived narrative of attack from honest Americans who simply want change. Jesus Christ was famously killed by law enforcement.

It also teaches us to accept the good, the bad and the ugly in ourselves and our history and learn from it. Shame is not helpful. Conviction is, but what should follow is action to keep fighting to make things right or better.

Exactly, so let’s begin by making society a better place for our fellow Americans by helping to alleviate fear and mistrust of law enforcement. Protest, educate yourself, stand in solidarity with fellow Americans instead of dividing them.

Zachary Parmeter

 

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