Letter: Name-calling stops the conversation

Graphic by Lori Deaton

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.


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3 thoughts on “Letter: Name-calling stops the conversation

  1. bsummers

    I too have known police officers that were good people, hoping to serve the public honorably.

    I have also encountered police officers that were barely-constrained sociopaths.

    The fact that the good cops protect the bad is something they have to deal with, if they want to be treated fairly. IMO it’s impossible to move forward until the “blue wall of silence” is torn down, and good cops expose the sociopaths in their midst.

  2. Piney Woods

    I don’t think the term “snowflake” even remotely belongs in the group of ethnic and gendered slurs/insults you provided!
    If you think these words are equal or even closely equivocal in terms of hate…then YOU may actually be a snowflake.

  3. Lou

    Let me tell you about the policeman I knew…my dad. He was a drunk who beat my mother, insulted every person of color he saw (in front of his kids), and slept with his partner’s wife, after which his partner shot and killed his wife and himself. In my opinion, too many cops become cops because they lack something, sometimes many somethings. The bad cops need to be weeded out and we need to hire more women and minorities AND we need to pay them equitable wages. Many do put their own lives on the line and should be respected and paid accordingly, BUT just because a person dresses in blue does NOT automatically mean they deserve anything. Respect is earned.

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