Letters for April 5, 2018
Posting while female
Re “Reporting While Black” by Kris Hooks (Essay, March 29):
Kudos for publishing Kris Hooks’ beautiful and crushing piece. I’m a white lady visiting your fair city from out of state. Like the clueless and harsh commenters Hooks mentions, I am cushioned from the horrific and unconscionable reality of American police officers’ repeatedly murderous, racist actions.
However, I too reported on wrenching subjects that affected me personally back in the earliest days of social media (back when we called it “virtual community,” circa 1992). Many of us are privileged in many ways. Nevertheless, my people are also murdered for being who we happen to be, often by partners or family members. We are beaten, discriminated against in the workplace, and over and over, we are sexually attacked.
Back in the day, we comprised a mere 10 to 15 percent of internet users. You can imagine how ugly the dogpiles got when the ladies dared discuss our experience, publish work about it, bring it up online much less demand equality.
To Kris Hooks, I just want to say: I’m sorry the commenters are such shits. Your piece made me cry. You’re doing important work.
But if you need to step back to recharge: Take a break. Self care, solitude, walking beside a river—these seem like luxuries in desperate times, but if we let the commenters and 24/7 social media cycle consume our hearts and minds, we lose our ability to fight the good fight long term.
T Lee Brown
Re “The whole world is watching” by Eric Johnson (Editor’s Note, March 29):
We have reached the point now where knuckleheads from outside Sacramento are here to use #StephonClark to create trouble and derail what is emerging as rare constructive dialogue about a very real and intractable problem. They are here to perpetuate a racial divide, NOT to fix a goddamn thing, just to keep it broken. Furthermore, I truly believe that their actions are as transparent and as concerning to the community, law enforcement and political officials sincerely working to find a solution. Sadly, the media will again make the knuckleheads’ false narrative the totality of the story. Very sad.
A ‘friendly’ homeless prison?
Re “Riverbed fellows” by Michael Mott (News, March 22):
The Woodlake community group stated the problem perfectly. “These people need a shelter or facilities, to keep them from camping and ruining the river parkway. Why does it have to be in our neighborhood?”
There is the biggest hurdle. The solution has already passed us by. Either or both air bases, closed years ago, could have been used as homeless facilities. Locked on the perimeter; free to move on the grounds. The homeless could have had housing, cafeteria, medical, schooling, job training and counseling. Not one homeless person, living on the streets, will ever be helped with mental issues, job training or life skills. They will always be on the streets and desecrating the public grounds.
I’ve heard the argument that some homeless choose to live on the streets. That is called illegal camping and loitering. Mentally ill people should be in a friendly institution, which could have been the former airbase. The problem will never be solved by shelters and soup kitchens. But good luck.
Musicians need money
Re “Live jazz lives in Sac” by Marcus Crowder (Feature, March 29):
It will only become a real jazz scene when musicians’ pay goes up and some of these so-called bands quit undercutting each other just to have a gig. I moved to New Orleans 19 months ago and haven’t looked back.