Home News Readers sound off on apolitical policing, genocidal violence in Darfur and Duane...

Readers sound off on apolitical policing, genocidal violence in Darfur and Duane Eddy

It’s democratic policing, not capture the flag

New Hope, N.Y.: How does a democratic republic built for nearly a quarter-millennium by diverse immigration parse out its message of inclusion? One way is by being as neutral and non-partisan as possible, and appearing that way, in every aspect of how it provides services to the communities it serves, including police.

The case of the protesters at Columbia University and the mission to remove or arrest them is within the legal and normal bounds of American policing. The police displaying an American flag while doing so, however, begs the question, “Why?”

Mayor Adams offered this answer: “That’s our flag, folks. No take over other buildings and put another flag up. That may be fine to other people, but it’s not to me. My uncle died defending this country, and these men and women put their lives on the line. It’s despicable that schools will allow another country’s flag to fly in our country. So blame me for being proud to be an American. I thank [Deputy] Commissioner [of Operations Kaz] Daughtry for putting that flag back up. We are not surrendering our way of life to anyone.”

Adams’ reference to the flag was chilling in terms of democratic policing and its obligation to remain non-partisan and neutral. It is not the responsibility of the police to express their opinions by words or symbols while carrying out a professional duty. Those words from the mayor were particularly distressing, and made more so by how little alarm they raised to those present. Peter Mancuso, former assistant director of training, NYPD


Omaha: Per the national news media, student protests were months in the planning. Just where was any law enforcement entity? Tom Dahulick

Sanctified speech

Providence, R.I.: Re “Painful memories reignited” (column, May 5), where Leonard Greene points out that “people should be able to protest peacefully without being tagged as ‘outside agitators’ ”: Protests you don’t like to see / help to keep our country free / You may be distressed, it’s true / but it’s not all about you. Felicia Nimue Ackerman

Support within reason

Manhattan: Recent demonstrations at universities around the country are a response to Israel’s war with Hamas, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 34,000 innocent civilians. Protesters have publicly urged academic institutions to divest from Israel-linked companies. But the students have been less vocal in addressing other pivotal issues, such as Washington’s unconditional support for Israel, and President Biden’s apparent inability to reason with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which makes Biden seem ineffective. Biden has leverage, since Israel is scheduled to benefit from $26 billion in military assistance approved by Congress. Biden should convey to Netanyahu that the amount of funds in the future could be influenced by Israel demonstrating more respect for the sanctity of life in Gaza. If Biden can pledge a policy of support for Israel that is nuanced and equitable, he will enhance his reputation with young voters and, to some extent, supporters of the Palestinians. Darryl P. Miller

Don’t deny us agency

Manhattan: To Allan Chernoff (“Blacks & Jewish Americans retain a common bond,” op-ed, May 5): You portrayed the African-American race as betraying Jews because some Blacks support the Palestinians. Some Jews owned Black slaves and didn’t support civil rights, but we don’t condemn all Jews. And Blacks at Donald Trump rallies do not represent all Blacks. Your article is a soft racist dog whistle and divides Blacks, Jews and Palestinians. You smeared Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s name and cheapened his cause. I’m a Black combat veteran, and I’m offended by your lecturing the whole Black race on betrayal when thousands of non-combatant innocent Palestinian women and children have been slaughtered. You saying some Blacks are not free to choose who to support is akin to enslaving us all over again. Leonard Marshall

Financial demands

Yorktown Heights, N.Y.: I will bet that after causing havoc on college campuses, these pro-Hamas protesters are going to ask that their student loans be forgiven. Anthony Vegliante

Campaigning commentary

Tarrytown, N.Y. To Voicer Paul Feiner: Re your latest disguised free political ad in our midst, I suggest that all candidates for public office (you are town supervisor of Greenburgh, N.Y., and according to your official bio, “the longest serving chief elected official of any municipality in Westchester County,” yet that never gets mentioned in your comments here) be required to include a statement of how they would react to an anti-transparency attempt or expression of disinformation in the press. As you would require of college students to react to a hypothetical situation involving hate speech, would a politician like you be a follower and go along, or double down and lie and deceive even more? Isn’t it time for you to submit your self-serving words to “Your Turn” op-ed columns and not take up space meant for the rest of us non-politicians? Steve Ditlea

The bigger story

Brooklyn: For the last 10 days or so, news outlets have been dominated by the campus protests. Not one story about the killings of women and children or the leveling of homes, towns and hospitals by Israel in Gaza. I’m just thinking they may want to pump the breaks for a bit so we can get back to seeing the killing and leveling of houses that our tax dollars are paying for. Jim Carney

Electoral urgency

Rochdale Village: To Voicers Sarah Alboher and Michael Hooker: After reading your respective letters, I could not help but be in total agreement with your assessments of Donald Trump. Like you, I am of the opinion that #45 was an absolute disgrace to this once-proud nation during the four years he served, and he can not (né, must not) be given a second chance to perpetuate even more catastrophic harm to this country. Indeed, if it was up to me, this buffoon would not be allowed within a 500-mile radius of the White House. This is why I say to all those out there who may be on the fence, so to speak, about voting, get off your laurels and vote like your very lives depend on it. Because they do. Carlos R. Edwards

Warmer weather

Suffern, N.Y.: Donald Trump is complaining about how cold the courtroom is. Where he’s going, it’s plenty hot. Rick Sinclair


Stockholm, N.J.: Is there any truth to the story that when Stormy Daniels and The Donald finished, they sat up in bed, looked into each other’s eyes and both said, “$50”? Nat Saraceni


Belvidere, N.J.: Newsflash for Voicer Cathi Venis: Voicer Bob Pascarella is speaking correctly for these weird times in America. Never before did a “person” get pregnant. Of course, it’s sort of redundant to identify that women get pregnant. But that’s how it’s been for centuries, everywhere in the world. The definition of people: “human beings in general or considered collectively.” Today’s bizarre society reclassifies the two sexes (male and female) as malleable as silly putty. Dan Arthur Pryor

Mass suffering

Jamaica: A civil war in Sudan caused by a power struggle between two generals has been raging since April 2023. Eight million people have been forced from their homes. Measles, cholera and other preventable diseases have spread. The Sudanese Armed Forces have prevented humanitarian aid from entering the Sudanese region of Darfur and members of the rival Rapid Support Forces are looting humanitarian warehouses. Entire villages have been burned down and their people massacred. Women and girls as young as 14 have been raped by the RSF militiamen. RSF advances in Darfur have been accompanied by widespread violence against non-Arab minorities. The total number of dead in the civil war is unknown. In 2004, genocidal violence in Darfur killed 300,000 people. Ebere Osu

Worth a tribute

Wallingford, Conn.: I find myself writing to Voice of the People once again regarding the passing of guitarist Duane Eddy. He was a rock and roll legend who needs to be remembered and respected. He was a guitarist who influenced many youngsters with his playing style, and he sold millions of records. Again, your newspaper neglected to mention his passing. Get with the program and honor him as he should have been. RIP, Duane Eddy. I’m sure he has a seat in God’s rock band. Ed Gerosa


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