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It is possible to support police and Black Lives Matter

To the Editor:

Writer’s note: I am writing in regard to a letter from Ron Jacobson published on Sept. 15, 2020. My thoughts will be spread out over two submissions. This is the second.

If Mr. Ron Jacobson is truly concerned about the bigger problem, as he appears to be in a letter published in the Daily Record on Sept. 15, 2020 in which he addressed Black on Black violence, I hope he (and others) will Google this issue: rethinking and improving societies’ response to bias.

A rethinking and improving response is exactly what our Ellensburg Police Chief Ken Wade is doing through workshops, training and lecturing on the nuance of personal bias. This takes time, energy, funds and compassion on his and all EPDs’ part. A prolonged look into these statistics/circumstances could assist the public at large, in realizing the true reasons for the misconception. This will not be the solution but it’s a start. Real change won’t occur until larger institutions saturate our awareness with “other” cultural norms, i.e. informational signage in Spanish, multi-racial billboards, newspaper and magazine articles of, by and about “minorities”. If our Washington state population is comprised of 31% “minority,” it makes sense to have that reflected in a visible, audible, commensurate, institutional presence.

Most of us can walk and chew gum at the same time … just as we can care for, support and respect our local law enforcement while, believing in, supporting and championing the Black Lives Matter movement. So, also it is, regarding the interpretation of racially polarized statistics: we need to open our minds to the third option surrounding all “either/or” conclusions.

Thank you, Mr. Jacobson for taking your time to write a thought-provoking letter. It’s obvious that you cared about the death of George Floyd and that you were genuinely puzzled by accurate though misleading statistics. Thank you, Chief Wade for spending an hour with me, sharing your “go forward” plan, and lastly thank you to my son-in-law (a graduate of CWUs’ Law and Justice Program) from whom I’ve learned much, including that until we get to know one another, most whites “look alike” to him and his black friends just as most “minorities” “look alike” to me and my ilk. I invite all of us to get out our chewing gum, our walking shoes, and support — personally — the same work our police chief is asking of our local law enforcement.

Karen Mattocks


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