2016-09-09 / Letters

Here’s the problem with arguement

To the editor:

Every time I read a letter to the editor penned by the inestimable Mr. Michael Pock, I inevitably end up rolling my eyes, shaking my head and sighing in exasperation. How someone who has sat as a city councilor – and has again tossed his battered cap into the political ring – can be so woefully (or willfully) ignorant about the bigger picture that exists in our society, is a sad indictment of our current political situation, and reflects the twisted circus conducted by ringmaster, Herr Trump- Drumpf, and our very own Maine-iac clown, Gov. Le Plague.

Granted, Mr. Pock’s political life was birthed on a whim and 180 votes, winning by an overwhelming majority of two votes. And it was ushered out the following year by a sound trouncing from his challenger, Claude Morgan, who gained the incumbent’s seat by a near 2-1 win. Yet Mr. Pock hopes to re-attain his seat so that he can continue his obstructionist ways … and carry on quoting his hero, John Wayne. Mr. Pock’s little anecdote about his truck breaking down on the Casco Bay Bridge, followed by Officer Steven Corbett’s aid, is an ostensibly harmless, albeit rather ingratiating, moral fable. However, he prefaces this story with his woefully (or willfully) ignorant headline: “Black or blue, everyone’s lives should matter.”

Mr. Pock, all lives matter – yes, every single human being’s life matters. There is no disputing that statement. But your woefully (or willfully) ignorant dismissal of the Black Lives Matter movement, and its inherent humanistic appeal, shows a callous disregard for our country’s need to address the ugly and frightening rise of nativism and racism.

Before you have to dust off your ill-used dictionary, Mr. Pock, so as to learn the definition of ‘nativism,’ allow me to first illustrate, in the simplest way possible, the not-so-subtle meaning of Black Lives Matter.

First off, implicit in the slogan, is the word “also” – Black Lives Matter, also. Now, most woefully (or willfully) ignorant types choose to ignore this, opting to smother the message with the blanket rebuttal of all and/or blue lives matter.

Imagine, if you will, Mr. Pock, a dining table, around which is seated a family enjoying dinner. Every family member, but one, has a full plate in front of him/her. The one who has no meal looks around at his family all chowing down, looks back at his empty plate and states, “I should have my fair share.” His dad looks up, mouth full, and smugly says, “Unh-unh, son, everyone should have their fair share,” and shovels in another forkful.

This woefully (or willfully) ignorant dismissal of an appeal for fairness, although true, does nothing to address the fact that the son still does not have his fair share. So, too, the residents of color in our country do not have their fair share of what is on offer to those of a paler hue. A local South Portland resident, who enjoys advertising his woeful (or willful) ignorance to the world at large, has a poster adorning his house that depicts two Labrador dogs, one black and the other blond. Placards are placed around the labs’ necks, with the first stating “Black labs matter,” and the other retorting “All labs matter,” (roll eyes and shake head sadly. Sigh).

The Trump-Drumpf carnival has witnessed and encouraged the rise of nativism, and its attendant incestuous cousin, racism. By the way, Mr. Pock, nativism is the policy of protecting interests of native-born or established inhabitants against those of immigrants, and a return or emphasis on traditional or local customs, in opposition to outside influences. These dark ideals foster and engender hate and intolerance, and are diametrically opposed to the virtuous statements and admonitions found in our Constitution, as well as on the base of the Statue of Liberty.

We need to rid ourselves of the woefully (or willfully) ignorant carbuncles who inhabit the Senate, Congress, and Blaine House, and ensure others of their ilk, like Mr. Pock, find themselves earning a more, or less, honest living, rather than seated on our city council.

Please get out the vote in November.

William Duffy South Portland

Return to top