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Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:

The Dispatch editorial on Thursday said violence would destroy the point of the protests. Ironically, the editorial itself was a direct attempt to destroy and misrepresent the point of the nationwide and worldwide protests.

The editorial sought to use the protests to push a political and anti-labor agenda. It blamed Democrats and labor unions. It trivialized the decades-old systemic racism that spans legal, health, education, law enforcement, judicial and economic lines. It told us how uncommon the problem is and it’s all about a relatively small number of bad cops.

Blaming Democrats ignores what Republicans have done to cut funding for public education and community programs intended to equalize the severely tilted playing fields. No mention of the Republican-controlled Department of Justice dismantling reforms intended to work through state and local law enforcement to heal and unite communities. Completely ignored are the racial differences in wage earnings, housing and employment opportunities.

Saying that police labor unions are to blame is akin to saying defendants don’t deserve to be represented. For far too long, police and other public employees were pawns in political battles. In a system of patronage, they could be disciplined or fired for not being loyal to the politicians in power. Prior to union representation, they had no recourse. If legal defense is at fault, should we get rid of defense attorneys and public defenders all together?

The nation and the world are erupting in protest because the system is racially unfair. From rates of COVID death to incarcerations to unemployment and poverty, the evidence is clear and unambiguous! Misleading editorials seek to hide the truth and breadth of the issue but the facts are indisputable. The knee crushing George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes wasn’t the entire point, it was horror that brought the world’s attention to the undeniable point: Racism still thrives!

Mike Hurley

Arizona City