Another perspective

Published: 4/22/2021 9:07:14 AM

In his letter of April 16 Paul Abrahams questions the value of two slogans, ” Black Lives Matter,” and “Defund the Police.” I appreciate Mr. Abraham’s honesty about wanting to change the slogans, and I want to offer another perspective.

Mr. Abrahams wrote that “Black Lives Matter” gives a wrong impression, even though he does understand its intent. In his own words, “Black lives matter just as much” (as white lives). If the intent is clear, why not accept the slogan that arose from Black voices suffering the pain of not mattering? Assuming that Mr. Abrahams is white, as am I, I suggest that we listen to Black voices instead of correcting them.

Similarly, Mr. Abrahams captures the meaning of “Defund the Police,” and wants it stated differently. I confess that when I first heard it, I wanted to change it also.

Then I listened.

For some in the Black community abolishing the police is the goal, and they make good and cogent arguments for it. We white people may not agree, but again, we don’t face the same reality. We need to listen to why such a radical idea is echoing from the streets.

Meanwhile, Mr. Abraham’s alternative slogans, “regulate the police” or “end police abuse” are steps in the same direction — that of making our communities safe places for Black (and Brown) people — by their definition — not ours.

Sherrill Hogen


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