Statues and meaning
EDITOR: If you think statues are benign, you didn’t live among them as I did in my youth in Virginia, Alabama and South Carolina. But then my parents took us to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, and I learned about Marian Anderson singing there in 1939. I was there myself in August 1963 when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called on us to examine the content of our character.
Support those teachers who haul your wild kids east to see the U.S. Capitol, or brave that trip yourself. Stand before Lincoln. Visit the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, and don’t hide those sudden involuntary tears.
Look around for the suffragist statue depicting Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott, which was dedicated in 1921 but only moved from the basement to the Capitol rotunda in 1997. Look at the Declaration of Independence. I mean stand there in awe of what it took from others just to give you such a good life.
Then come home, play some old Crosby, Stills and Nash, and get out the vote.
EDITOR: Emma Lazarus wrote a sonnet for the pedestal that would hold the Statue of Liberty. It says, in part, “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
Sonoma County has roughly 4,000 school- and college-aged youths whose families were guided by the lamp to the golden door of opportunity. All children have a right to a public education, but with the withdrawal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program we close the door of opportunity and end a critical protection.
These students embody the American Dream. They serve in our military. They serve as first-responders in time of crisis. These students are a vital part of the economy.
I wish to assure every parent and student that every public school is tasked with providing an equal education to students, regardless of immigration status. Numerous local school districts have further reassured students and families by becoming Safe Haven school sites.
Families can also ask their school for a congressional advocacy authorization form that will allow their congressional representative to advocate for them in the event of an immigration problem. This is an important first step to protect students who are working hard to succeed.
STEVEN D. HERRINGTON
Sonoma County superintendent of schools
Protecting the police
EDITOR: This is in response to the Orange County editorial in Tuesday’s paper (“Remilitarizing police isn’t the way to fight crime”). NPR says that, in 2015, 87 police officers were killed, 42 by firearms. In 2016, the numbers were 135 killed, 73 by firearms. This year the numbers are up 20 percent. Non-fatal police casualties are also increasing dramatically.
The editorial says “reducing police use of force ought to be the goal.” That is an admirable objective, but though it may work in Orange County, it doesn’t work in many places. Where is the data that show that when police don’t use advanced equipment to collar criminals or protect themselves the crime rate goes down?
Google “police use of military equipment,” and you will find hundreds of articles from all over the country that say how much surplus military hardware has assisted police, especially that used for protection and forensic analysis.