Letters for July 21, 2016
A fix, but no solution
Re “Black Monday” by Kris Hooks (SN&R News, July 14):
Here is a simple idea to help protect targeted groups from life-or-death situations in traffic stops: When you get in a car, put your ID and registration on the dash. Get into the habit of doing this. This prevents having to reach into any pocket for anything. This is much safer for both the driver and the officer, who doesn’t know if you are going to pull a gun. The antiquated system of pulling a piece of paper out of a pocket for an officer is really dangerous for both parties and needs to be changed. We need digitally scannable IDs/registration that can be held up to a window or scanned through the windshield. If the ID matches the car owner, no one needs to open a pocket or glove box or open a window. Hands can be in plain sight at all times. This doesn’t address the inherent racism in all of this, but this a very practical way to protect people right now.
Re “After Dallas” by Dave Kempa (SN&R Essay, July 14):
I very much appreciated Dave Kempa’s essay. It was a thoughtful piece and much needed in this violence/revenge-is-the-first-resort age. Violent protests are a lose-lose proposition for everyone.
Thank you and thank you to your paper for continually keeping our local politicians’ feet to the fire—particularly your efforts in the Kevin Johnson situation. I admire you. Good investigative journalism is hard to come by (and not easy) nowadays.
Re “Fighting Words” by Ngaio Bealum (SN&R Essay, July 7):
Ngaio Bealum’s invective relating to the clash between neo-Nazis and anti-fascists needs to be reined in. The CHP issued a permit after making the presumably tough call that the gathering would not stoop to the level of terrorism. Correct or not, such decisions do not give citizens the right to be violent. Bealum does not get to decide who is the terrorist here. Terrorism is defined in the courts and should be acted on by the responsible authorities. We must also take care not to sweep up as terrorists all those who have had a blemished record of racial justice. In fact, many groups which today work courageously for racial justice have come out of a sad history of intolerance. Bealum notes that people get fired for saying stupid, racist things. But such firings result from due process, and not from the decisions of individuals. In a democracy, citizens help guide policy. When individuals make ad hoc policy, we have an anarchy.