Change who we let in law enforcement
I heard the news of Derek Chauvin’s conviction on all three counts against him.
But what I was hearing was that this is only the beginning of the changes needed to make our country’s police officers act in a more civilized way toward the Black and Brown American population.
I’ve been thinking about this for some time and have reached at least one conclusion.
Consider the term “law enforcement.” The important word in the phrase is “enforcement.”
The core of that word is “force.”
My sense is that as things stand now, the kind of person who is most likely to be attracted to police work is one whose world view centers around the use of force to solve problems; who sees the use of force as appropriate in many, if not all, situations.
The implications of this are many, but among them is this: Until we can attract to our police forces people who see force as a last resort rather than the usual, the problem will not end.
Everyone is talking about better training. But all the training in the world will not change people’s basic mindset. All the training in the world will not turn a carnivore into an herbivore. The fox is never going to become a rabbit, nor will the rabbit become a fox.
Until we do a much better job of attracting the right kind of people to police work, we will never be able to avoid with consistency killings like that of George Floyd.
David D. Furman, Jr.
Cuomo must take real steps on climate
Gov. Andrew Cuomo claims that he is a “climate leader.” Yet, Cuomo has approved 16 times as much new utility-scale gas capacity as new wind and solar, which currently only makes up 5% of New York’s energy generation.
The Public Service Commission (PSC) Cuomo appoints still has no real plan to get the state off of gas, or to force utilities to comply with the climate law, which requires New York to get to 70% renewable energy by 2030. In fact, the PSC has made it harder for clean renewables to take off by passing complex policies that devalue renewables while shelling out billions of our dollars in subsidies for fracked gas and nuclear energy.
And now, they are hearing another proposal from National Grid to raise our rates to pay for increased profits and more gas infrastructure.
While Cuomo did ban fracking in New York, he’s ensuring that our state will be reliant on importing fracked gas from other states for decades to come. There is also a well-documented revolving door between the Cuomo administration and fossil fuel — companies like Williams and National Grid.
It’s time for Gov. Cuomo to “walk the talk” on climate. He should reject National Grid’s rate hike proposal and all new fossil fuel infrastructure, because fancy rhetoric alone isn’t going to save our planet.
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