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It’s in the clothes
I’m writing in response to the Briefs item, which highlighted the Santa Fe Police Department’s use of militant advertising images to recruit new applicants. Deputy Police Chief Aric Wheeler defended the strategy of portraying local police officers in SWAT regalia as it has been more effective in attracting new recruits. THAT’s alarming! Do we really want police officers in our community who positively identify with being aggressive and heavily armed?
Alan Langer writes in support of Israel’s Gaza campaign: “By all accounts, in excess of 500,000 black Christians have been systematically annihilated by their Muslim brothers [in Sudan]. Their only crime being their Christian faith.” By all accounts? Not quite. I have been working in and reporting on Sudan for nearly 40 years and have written about the complex set of causes that has plunged that country into a series of civil wars for the last 26 years in my book The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars (which you won’t find in any of Santa Fe’s bookstores even though it has been reprinted four times since it was first published in 2003—I know, I’ve looked). The vast majority of Sudanese who have died in these wars are not Christians. They are Muslims actively opposed to the Islamist regime in Khartoum. The suffering of the all the Sudanese people deserves more consideration than to be used as a debating point in someone else’s conflict.
Douglas H Johnson
My sympathy goes out to Alex De Vore [Music, April 8: “Sonic Bust”]. I understand how traumatizing it must have been for him to experience music that failed to make his bottom wiggle mechanically. What else is music for?
Molly Sturges, JA Deane and The Late Severa Wires, it’s true, probably will not be signed to the Lovepump label. I’m only guessing, but I don’t think they care. They are all sincere and exceptional musicians, and the music they made at Warehouse 21 that night was thrilling and strong, and astonishingly subtle…if you pay attention, if you actually listen.
I’m not positive, but I think I know how that toilet paper ended up in your ears, Alex.
The right message
When Gov. Bill Richardson signed HB285, abolishing the death penalty in New Mexico, part of his own admission for signing the bill was his lack of confidence in the justice system to say who should live or die. The governor understood that the system is run by humans, therefore [it] will always be fallible (130 exonerated from death row across the country due to innocence). However, Richardson must not believe that the two men currently on death row, or the four pending capital cases (involving five men) will be judged by the system he lacks confidence in because he has publicly stated he will not commute the sentences of Timothy Allen and Robert Fry, and he has encouraged at least one DA to continue to seek the death penalty in a pending capital case [News, March 18: “Lethal Invective”].
Richardson and the participating district attorneys in the pending cases need to be reminded by the abolitionist community that continuing to seek executions in New Mexico after repeal is sending the wrong message to our neighboring states, which are considering abolition as well. We should not be in the business to say who should live or who should die. We cannot pick and choose based on a date on the calendar.
We must continue to remember the names who lives remain in the balance: Arturo Alvarado, Michael Astorga, John La Bombard, William Watson, Justin Romero (all pending cases) and Timothy Allen and Robert Fry (currently on death row). Abolition for one, abolition for all.
Campaign To End the Death Penalty
The Reporter welcomes original, signed letters to the editor. Letters (no more than 200 words) should refer to speci?c articles in the Reporter. They may be edited for clarity and space. Include address and phone number for veri?cation purposes; these will not be published.