Letters to the Editor

Talking through a gray issue

The African-American community and the Modesto Police Department want to look at their relationship as a black-white paradigm. One is right, the other wrong. However, the issue is more a shade of gray. Neither entity has presented a concrete method of fixing the problems for one simple reason -- they don't talk.

The response has so far led to little appeasement for the African-Americans who believe they are being targeted because of their race. The crises, including the hyphy debacle last year, have only put the two groups on the defensive, with no apparent desire for a permanent resolution.

If both the police department and the African-American community can come to an understanding that there are recondite differences between them, then maybe discussions can begin. When the African-American community can understand that the police are trying to do their job, and the police can understand that African-Americans feel targeted, then both parties can find a middle ground. This would be a middle ground where police can do their duty, and African-Americans can feel like they are treated equally. Only by finding this middle ground will there be any progress in preventing the problems.

Hyphy does not cause anarchy, as Chief Roy Wasden stated. People cause anarchy. But the anarchy that has persisted in this community can be fixed through cooperation and understanding.

JORDAN DICKSON

Davis High School

student body president

Modesto

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