Sunday, September 20, 2020


The Misguided Logic

I am responding to the July 30 letter to the editor “A Thin Blue Line” [by David Roberts]. The author is chanting a familiar trope whose logic is used to sow fear and divisiveness.

The trope goes something like this: Begin on a positive note we can agree to and be proud of (we are lucky to live in such a great place), go to the next step (those dangerous people out there....the ones who are not like us....the black and brown people, the immigrants, the “marauding mob” are threatening our way of life), then the next (our protectors will no longer be able to help us maintain our beloved community), then onto the link (BLM signs indicate support for “lawlessness”), and then the final punchline (we must stay vigilant and protect our property and way of life by keeping the marauders out).

This line of thinking has been used for centuries as the rationale for persecution and genocide. In this instance, racism masquerades as support for the police. Most of us respect and admire the police who are also respectful to us. When reforms are necessary, we go about enacting them as a community and will hopefully be better off for doing so.

As John Lewis said: “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.” I am deeply troubled by the misguided logic in the aforementioned letter and encourage everyone to challenge it.

Susan Smith