Rules for police-citizen interaction
Any American younger than 80 years old has lived their entire adult life under a barrage of PC media propaganda promoting policies destructive to the America that I have loved and respected for 94 years.
Much of the focus of this media barrage has been hate, particularly hate of the police. This seems incredibly strange to me because the sheriff of my youth was the friend and helper of all, young and old.
That relationship could be true today with a one-page set of laws:
• The police officer will at all times be polite and helpful to the citizens of the community.
• Citizens will at all times be respectful of the officer.
• The officer may search and/or arrest a citizen any time he feels necessary for any reason.
• If a citizen resists arrest and is hurt, including killed, that is unfortunate, but not in any way considered the fault of the officer who must make life-and-death, split-second decisions.
• The case of any citizen arrested will be promptly formally reviewed and the citizen released or held as determined by that review.
• Any citizen who believes he has been mistreated by a police officer may register a formal complaint where it will be promptly reviewed and appropriately resolved.
The skeptic will say all this is an unrealistic utopia. Maybe. But it was true in an earlier day. If we were to make it true today, many of the anxieties facing Americans today would disappear.
Renaming forts and cities would confuse
It has recently been proposed that military bases currently named for confederate generals be renamed. It has been further proposed that the soldiers who served on those bases be asked for their opinions.
Well, when I was in the Army, I did two short stints at Fort Gordon, Ga. In neither case did I bother to ask for whom it was named. But I did consider it to be the hell-hole of the world.
So, thinking back on that miserable place, I would say that it certainly deserves to be named for a Confederate general.
On a serious note, I do not approve of honoring persons who have taken up arms against the United States. Nor do I approve, however, of changing the names of places on a map, because they were originally named for somebody who did something or stood for something offensive to someone else — be they San Francisco, Calif., King of Prussia, Penn., Cochise Co, Ariz., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, etc.
I know where Columbus, Ohio, and Fort Gordon, Ga., are and how to get there. But change the name of Fort Gordon, Ga., to something as inoffensive as N33.43-W82.13 and I would never find it. Not that I would ever want to.
Della Ratta showed common sense
Kudos to Niskayuna Town Councilman John Della Ratta.
His comments critical of the other members of the board regarding the handling of the Sebasta case show an intelligent understanding of racism and what racism actually is.
He addresses the question of Sebasta’s bigotry with the statement “one incident does not a bigot make.” Della Ratta is correct. There should be a pattern of behavior that appears racially derogatory and demeaning. I might add that there must also be present an intent to insult a race or class of people. Della Ratta, being a lawyer, knows that there is no evidence that Sebasta intended to degrade African Americans.
This has occurred to many people e.g. Kate Smith, whose “God Bless America” rendition was banned by the Yankee baseball organization because she recorded two songs as an aspiring young singer which now are deemed racist. Hence an American tradition gone. Sebasta’s life will probably never be the same thanks to a blundering Town Board which collectively showed ignorance and its own bias. We in Niskayuna are fortunate to have at least one intelligent board member who also has compassion and common sense.
Michael J. Palmiotto
New board to be judged on decisions
July 6’s (“Newly elected school board members want to improve family engagement”) was an excellent article concerning the new members of the Schenectady Board of Education. While I admire their concern and goals for Schenectady, that may not be entirely why they were elected.
A portion of the voters voted against the incumbents for their poor decisions. Going forward, the new members’ decisions will be viewed in the context of what is good for all students in Schenctady.