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Letters: Put social justice ahead of social order; Who will pick up slack if school partially opens? | READER COMMENTARY

Put social justice ahead of social order

Over the last few days we’ve heard writers viewing with alarm the “Defund the Police” movement, saying that the idea is dangerous because we need the police to keep order. Obviously any society needs some order to function. But who gets to define social order?

Generally social order gets defined by the wealthy and influential, who wish to maintain the status quo that has enabled them to be wealthy and influential. In a healthy society, this coincides with the needs and desires of most residents. The problems arise when many of the populace are poorly served by it. These then look for social justice, that they, too, be allowed to prosper.

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Our society assumes that people are individually responsible for their own well-being. That people can do this has never been entirely true in our country. Our wealth is based on our land and its resources, and if the people here before our ancestors objected too strenuously, then heads were broken.

That theme has continued throughout our history, and all too often the police have been called in the name of order to suppress people who are asking for a change in the social order. The targets have been wide ranging: early immigrants from Europe, unionizing workers, women who wanted the right to vote, and of course, non-Caucasians, particularly African Americans.

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Today the job of police remains primarily maintaining order. Justice remains secondary, sometimes distantly so. The laws they are still largely created by the wealthy and influential. This is why a bank robbery merits time in prison, but those in a large corporation can defraud millions out of their entire life savings and only get a slap on the wrist, as some of those in finance in 2007.

The “Defund the Police” movement is a call for social justice for those who have clearly been pushed out of our social well-being. The logic is that better funding for police will never result in a society with more equitable opportunity, so some of that money spent policing should be spent achieving that justice. Putting social justice ahead of order, the movement is sometimes unruly. And it has been met sometimes with measured efforts to retain order, and sometimes with broken heads to suppress the movement.

I note that our founding fathers chose to put social justice ahead of social order. That’s why it was called a revolution.

Alan Stottlemyer

Westminster

Who will pick up slack if school only partly opens?

In response to CCPS officials assessing options for the fall, once again child care is left out of the loop. It’s time someone realized that if school is only in session for one day a week, child care will be left to pick up the slack while parents are at work. We will be teaching children to keep them learning. We will need to have the tools to do this. Our numbers need to stay the same: we cannot take in more than our allowed numbers of children. So who is then going to take in the overflow?

Nanci Franzese

Westminster

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