Letter: Human rights are not a political issue

Posted 8/5/20

To the editor:

This letter is regarding a letter sent in on July 29, 2020, by Brigadier General Richard J. Valente.

First off, I’d like to talk about what you said about people being too …

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Letter: Human rights are not a political issue

Posted

To the editor:

This letter is regarding a letter sent in on July 29, 2020, by Brigadier General Richard J. Valente.

First off, I’d like to talk about what you said about people being too offended by everything. I take this to mean that you’re upset that you can’t get away with being racist, homophobic, and judgmental without others chastising you about your remarks. 

Making Warren a better place means making it a better place for everyone, not just cisgender, straight, white people who have lived here for generations. If we want to make our community more open and thriving, we have to learn and make sure that we have created a safe space for everyone. I must admit that I admire what you’ve done for our community, but there comes a time where we need to pass the baton to the next generation so that we may progress as people.

Human rights are not a political issue. No life is worth less than another, no matter your political stance. There is no way that we’re “fixing something that’s not broken.” Warren, along with our country as a whole, has and will always be broken in some way.

In my opinion, your belief that the BLM flag should not be on the pole in front of town hall is nonsense. We as a community must pull up and show our support for our Black siblings. We are conditioned from a very young age that people of color, especially Black people’s, lives are worth less than white lives. This is a very toxic stigma and I believe that one of the best things we can do is unlearn these ideas and become better people by listening to marginalized voices.

In your letter, you also stated that you don’t see color when thinking about who you fought with. I get your intentions, but this is a dangerous idea that, by ignoring the color of someone’s skin, means you are ignoring the discrimination against those that are not white. You are also ignoring that police brutality is extremely targeted against marginalized groups. Black people are 3x more likely to be killed by police than white people, yet 1.3x more likely to be unarmed. In addition, Black people make up 12 percent of the U.S population, but they make up 26.4 percent of those killed by police. Now, I know you may be thinking, “Okay, but white people are killed by police too.”So you agree that police kill people? 

Did you know that 99 percent of police killings from 2013-19 went without the perpetrators (cops) being charged with a crime? Did you know that there were only 27 days in 2019 without a police killing? Did you know that there’s evidence that proves undercover cops started the riots and looting at peaceful protests? Did you know that Portland has been overrun by unknown military personnel who take people from peaceful protests and shove them in unmarked white vans and nobody knows what happens to them? 

This is a problem and by choosing to ignore it you’re making it worse.

Edda Petrillo

King Street

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