Debate team protesters should show respect
Years ago, I was on a high school debate team. It was a great experience, and learning to think on your feet is a fine skill to acquire. It's hopeful that so many young people in Baltimore are involved in this team culture. It is something the city should be supporting and funding.
However, their "welcoming committee" at the Kevin Davis City Council hearings had nothing to do with rhetorical talent . . . How sad these young people don't understand protocol and decent behavior. I'm glad we have a "new sheriff in town," and I wish Commissioner Davis luck, he's going to need it!
As a resident, taxpayer, and property owner in Baltimore, I found nothing positive about the disruptions caused by City Bloc and Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. I've attended plenty of City Council meetings and have spoken at many. There are rules and they are to be obeyed. As in a debate, time limits exist for a purpose—so these kids had no reason to protest. It's time they learn the guidelines apply to them as well as everyone else.
Another thing the City Hall demonstrators should figure out is that they don't dictate police tactics, nor should law enforcement be required to be "more tolerant of lawbreaking, like throwing water bottles" (as was quoted in The Baltimore Sun). Endangering the safety of anyone is a serious crime. It boggles the mind such a request was even be on the table!
City Hall has rules about trespassing. You can't get into the place without showing picture ID, signing the register book and passing through a metal detector. The place is not a sleepover crash pad. All the demonstrators holed up in the balcony of Council Chambers should have been rounded up and ejected immediately once the meeting ended. The fact that they were allowed to stage a sit-in until the early hours of the following day illustrates we're intimidated by them, and so they require and receive special treatment.
And the language skill Charm City's debate champions use needs cleaning up. If Towson student, John Gillespie, was in a real debate, by using a phrase like, "Do you love me? If you really fucking care, you will stand for something bigger . . . " he would be disqualified.
The confirmation hearings of our new police commissioner were a disgrace thanks to a bunch of spoiled, raucous kids. It's sad to see their talent betrayed by City Paper's gratuitous praise and respect!
Rosalind Ellis Heid
From the Web, Facebook, and Twitter
Don't send a god damned vegetarian "food critic" to a restaurant thats not vegetarian!! So fucking hipster of you to send a "food critic" to ANY restaurant where they're not allowed to fully experience all of the menu. God you people are amazingly dumb.
—"gmatt208," Oct. 21
The passion for justice in law enforcement from the citizens of Baltimore is monumental. Vigilance is the strongest deterrent in repeating past mistakes. The people should assemble and construct a watch group. Keep representatives in all parts of the city to document police intervention and provide transparency. Davis is a public servant. He works for you. The citizens have the power. I pray they don't lose sight of it now when the city needs it the most.
—"Lisa Landsman," Oct. 20