News, June 3: “Black Lives Matter to Santa Fe”

Defund police

Recently, the city sent out a survey to residents, asking us a series of impossible questions. Did we want to give up trash pickup? Would we rather close the libraries or close the recreation centers?
A look at the proposed budget for 2020 shows us that these are false choices, and also offers other opportunities. Expenses for the police department account for nearly a quarter of the total general fund budget. Instead of cutting services that the people of Santa Fe depend on, let’s cut from the low-hanging fruit.
Across the country righteous anger at the overreach and violence of police departments has boiled over, and we’re seeing exactly how unhappy people are with the police.
Our own police force is no stranger to these same charges. The 2017 shooting of Anthony Benavidez continues to cast a pall over the department, and has still failed to bring any resolution or justice for his family.
The city of Santa Fe does not need the police as much as we fear. We do need libraries and parks and buses and recreation centers. I urge the mayor and the council to prioritize cuts to the law enforcement budget over cuts to services.
Johnnemann Nordhagen
Santa Fe

Movies, May 26: “‘The Lovebirds’ Review”

Not made for you

Respectfully, I think [Alex] De Vore entirely missed the point of Lovebirds. This was the funniest movie I’ve seen so far this year and I’m sorry not to see it get the box office hype it deserved. The most powerful film I saw in 2019 was Lena Waithe’s Queen & Slim— also premised on two people of color on the run from the police, and a more fitting comparison than the all-white Date Night De Vore cites. Perhaps it’s already more clear, from the revolution in our midst since your review ran, why a movie dealing with people of color running from the police that is not a tragedy is so necessary, radical and cathartic!
Lovebirds gives us the chance to see two of our favorite melanated comedians as goofy, action anti-heroes. Certainly, I concede that the substance of their bickering is “dumb”—duh, we’re meant to root for them as a couple. This movie delivers all the LOLs and feels you hope for in a rom-com, with the added healing power of celebrating an interracial couple being free. De Vore reviews a ton of content thoughtfully, but I encourage all white men seeing content by/for non-white/non-men to stop and consider, “am I the intended audience for this?” before offering comment.
Áine McCarthy
Santa Fe