The first problem posed for a reader of Myron Wallmow’s letter in the U-B of June 18 is deciding if it’s a parody, suitable for a comedy host — one mocking us benighted rustics. And then it dawns on you, the reader — this is not a parody of something, it is that something.
Let us count the ways, ways which divide according to what’s held in disdain by comparison with what’s unappreciated or unmentioned.
It holds our governor out as an executive misfortune rather than the great good for reasons easily named that he has been for us.
It holds willful disregard of his stay-at-home advisory to be rightfully moral rather than the indifference toward (among much else) life — lives within the entire community — that it is.
The letter holds protest to be not a right but an abomination (so much for Boston’s in 1773). It would seem to hold the murders of scores of innocent Black Americans (it has not one word of sympathy for what these current protests are about, not one) to be less calamitous than destruction of property during a portion of some of the protests.
It cites contemptuously and disingenuously Nancy Pelosi’s quote of an essential refrain for any democracy—“Nobody is above the law”—because the speaker has supported peacefully protesting the indisputable murder of unarmed Black Americans resulting from, in one instance after another, obscenely unrestrained police actions.
The letter’s final words are “All lives matter!” No interpretation of this banal truism is possible these days other than it’s one of contempt; any other is contemptible.
For these are the days in which thousands of us whites are finally, finally coming to grips with the atrocious, ghastly fact that Black Americans are and have been viewed by so many of us, their compatriots, with such awful indifference, or worse, they don’t matter, they’re disposable.
I’ll end, though, unexpectedly. Wallmow has a comment to approve. It’s true not all police are bad, to say the very least. We here in Walla Walla are able to second that motion nearly daily.
That is not to deny that defunding police is a purpose easily comprehended, to free up money that could go to better means for some of the problems police currently deal with, as well as to correct otherwise intractable bigotry extant among some. How to square such facts? How to find the wisest solutions?
Robert Arnold Johnson