After seeing the Mountain Xpress cartoon poking fun at the Asheville police chief [“The Victim Here,” Randy Molton, Sept. 23], I thought of the three policemen I have known. All served honorably and worked as hard to counter poor policing as they did, for example, domestic violence. Community conversations around professional policing and domestic violence must continue in order for anything to improve.
Name-calling stops the conversation. Calling someone a snowflake, as the cartoon did, or a wop, or a bitch, or a whore, or a bastard, or anything, might feel fun and powerful for a moment. It can work temporarily to let off some steam, I’ve been there, but it eventually and inevitably makes us blind to the power of love, and we ourselves lose. I don’t think name-calling should be part of a community newspaper.
Change will come, and we can all contribute to positive change by pausing to make sure we mix a little compassion in with our anger or arrogance. It’s the only path to happiness, really.
And, more than ever these days, I am grateful for good journalism and specifically for the longtime contribution of the Xpress toward making Asheville a more perfect community.
— Anne Bevilacqua
Editor’s response: Thank you for your feedback. You make good points about name-calling. Yet we are talking about a cartoon, and cartoons tend to oversimplify the issues to make a point. In general, we hope that by focusing on local topics and people, we can encourage discussion and bring nuance and multiple points of view into the ongoing community conversation.