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The Post and Courier provides a forum for our readers to share their opinions, and to hold up a mirror to our community. Publication does not imply endorsement by the newspaper; the editorial staff attempts to select a representative sample of letters because we believe it’s important to let our readers see the range of opinions their neighbors submit for publication.

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Letters: Police reform bill must include accountability

America Protests Congress (copy) (copy)

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., accompanied by Republican senators, speaks at a news conference last summer to announce a Republican police reform bill. 

A bipartisan group of congressional negotiators has been working on a police reform bill for almost a year, but no legislation has been crafted to date.

Lawmakers seem confident, however, that passage of a bill will happen in June.

The principal stalemate in their discussion on reform is accountability, which I think should be nondebatable.

We teach children from an early age that actions have consequences, and they must accept responsibility and be held accountable for their actions.

So why should this axiom be different for adults, especially professionals, who, by virtue of their profession, should be held to a higher standard of reasonableness and prudence than we hold children?

The Marshall Project, a nonpartisan organization that focuses on criminal justice issues in the United States, collects comprehensive data on police misconduct settlements.

It recently reported that misconduct settlements have cost taxpayers, police departments and municipalities in 31 of the 50 cities with the highest police-to-civilian ratios in the country about $3 billion in the past 10 years.

Taxpayers should be alarmed.

When we consider the human and financial costs surrounding police misconduct, passing sensible reform laws and policies that include ongoing training and accountability should be a no-brainer.

GERALD MACKEY

Harborsun Drive

Charleston

Left-lane drivers

We recently drove from Summerville to South Padre Island, Texas. We consistently found slow left-lane drivers on Interstates 10, 20 and 50 and some Texas highways

What we found universally was telephone use. People drove in the passing lane so they would not be bothered by on-off traffic or slow trucks that they are hesitant to pass because they are only half aware of driving.

The way back was the same story.

All should beware.

GERALD WATERS

Dogwood Ridge Road

Summerville

More on Grimkes

Kudos to tour guide Lee Ann Bain for drawing attention to a more complete story of the Grimke family’s generational fight for social justice, and kudos to The Post and Courier for covering it.

But there is a further twist to the tale. Angelina and Sarah’s nephews, Archibald and Henry, as men of color, certainly faced prejudice and fought valiantly against it for the good of all.

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Their battle was taken up by the next generation, too, but it is not often recalled.

Archibald’s daughter, Angelina Weld Grimke (1880-1958), the abolitionists’ great-niece, as a black lesbian feminist, faced major obstacles in her struggle to live free.

Her writings brought her prominence in the Harlem Renaissance as “Rachel,” her anti-lynching play and a rebuttal to the racist movie “Birth of A Nation,” won her recognition and a place in theatrical history.

But her love poetry and love life were condemned by both her family and her society.

This particular Grimke was silenced for her sexual identity.

Her story, and others like hers, cry out for acknowledgement.

Not until all our tales are told and our LGBTQ heroes and heroines are included as well will we have acknowledged our full history.

The more we know of our past, the more inclusive our future can be.

HARLAN GREENE

Chapel Street

Charleston

Rein in growth

How long will our public officials approve new housing projects before they destroy all of the area wetlands?

It has already gone too far. It is overwhelming to learn that 4,500 homes will be built close to Bees Ferry Road.

All of this building forces wildlife from their forested homes.

Summerville has already turned into a traffic disaster.

Why do folks have to leave home an hour ahead of time to get to work? If you live in North Charleston and beyond and are headed toward downtown Charleston, you can bet there will be a wreck.

And a recent accident involving three tractor-trailers on Interstate 26 scared me.

But it seems no matter how people fight the huge housing developments that are taking wetlands, they have a group of lawyers to help them win approval.

I am not against progress or new homes, but soon there will be no more forests or wetlands.

DOROTHY L. RAKOWSKI

Shadow Lane

North Charleston

 

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