Letters, May 7
My encounters with APD
Belatedly, I responded to the April 11 cover story about the community relationship and the Ashland Police Department. As I checked down the list with very positive options on the categories, I realized it was creating a lop-sided picture.
No, I have not suffered by any negative interaction with APD, nor observed one. I also choose not relay on any stories by others about their negative interactions, credible as I perceive them.
When I got to Item 12, asking for “any feedback, thoughts, or concerns about the relationship,” I discovered I do have feedback to share. This troubles me very much. I am happy to pass all this along to NYU. However, I’d also like to see a new dialog startup within Ashland on this subject.
My survey comments:
I am a self-sufficient cisgendered white male. I feel unwelcome when encountering downtown police street patrol units. Perhaps eye contact may be disallowed by department regulations, for whatever reason it is unobtainable. I chanced upon them walking two or even three abreast. They continue walking without even offering a bit of room for a gray-haired man with a cane. Yes, I get a very distinct and clear message.
I am not downtown any more than just a few times a month, but this experience occurs virtually every time!
Were I a person of color, I cannot begin to estimate how much more offensive, hostile and threatening that behavior would seem. The APD is 100% white. Other than the chief, it may be 100% hetero-normative as well.
I have my undeserved, yet considerably powerful, white privilege at my back. What about my far less-privileged fellow citizens? I have no reason to assume, based on my personal experiences, that they have any reason to feel anything but apprehension at any direct encounter.
Too many bogus calls
Our family phone number (482-xxxx) is being bombarded by way too many call-center solicitations. Among others, Microsoft is getting a pretty bad rap.
I used to think I was clever by blocking those phone numbers. Well, my plan went south yesterday. The Caller ID listed my phone number as the scammy caller. Now I can’t really block that number, can I? What’s to be done?