Police Should Serve And Protect

Dear Editor,

Just in time for Labor Day weekend the New York City Police Department has announced that it will use drones to monitor backyard parties and other large gatherings. Police departments should serve and protect citizens. Instead, many of them consider citizens to be “perpetrators” or “persons of interest.”

Chuck Mann


Re-Naming And Re-Re-Naming

Dear Editor,

Over the past decade, there has been tremendous pressure to change the names of many things.  However, as time passes, we end up in similar places for similar reasons.  We should then expect similar results.

For example, teams are not allowed to use Native American names or words as mascots.  Some states have passed laws banning Native American mascots.  At the same time, many schools have begun to rename buildings/halls and entire schools after Native American themes.  California now has Nipaquay Elementary School.  A Virginia college now has Kecoughtan Hall.

Individuals naming things after Native American themes today claim to be doing so out of honor, respect and inclusion.  After all, nobody names something after a thing they find embarrassing or wish to ridicule.  Of course, 50 years ago mascots weren’t named out of embarrassment or to mock either.  Individuals named these things out of respect just as much then as now.

The common argument for dropping Native American mascots is that the names are targeted by opponents in demeaning ways.  This can just as easily occur regardless of whether it is used for a mascot, building or school.  Don’t underestimate a mischievous school child’s ability to turn the name of a school or hallway into something equally offensive for infinite non-racist purposes.  As an example, opponents do not discriminate school names from mascot names.  We replaced “go random name – beat Seminoles” with “go random name – beat Seminole High School.”

Another issue is that over time, word meanings change.  Some words properly used 100 years ago are offensive today.  Similarly, words that were cruel back then are commonly used non-offensively for other purposes today.

We seem to support judging everything from the past by today’s standards.  We therefore encourage future generations to misinterpret today’s actions by currently unknown future standards.  Therefore, when this gets out of hand, which it will, they may judge these good-intentioned individuals as racist in the future?

Alan Burke