Start the Conversations
To the editor:
When I was 12 I began to sit in on civil rights protests every Saturday with our local NAACP Youth Council. On Monday evenings we met at the AME church to learn about nonviolence and how to respond if we were touched.
At those protests we were called names, spat upon, stepped on, felt on, and shock-sticked by the police.
I integrated every school I went to (except for fifth and sixth grades), and endured abuse from my classmates and their parents, with no adult intervention. I paid my dues.
This is an important moment in the life of this nation. All of us have known about the mistreatment and death of black people at the hands of some police. Each time, it has bothered you for a week or two, but did not rise to the level of real change.
The killing of George Floyd was a travesty. It was a perversion of justice and democracy that we all saw. But this time our children will not let us unsee.
This event has created a chasm. In my 75 years, I have learned that such a chasm presents an opportunity to make a huge leap forward.
This is the moment for white people to listen and try to understand what historic slavery has done to us and to you. This is the moment for white people to talk to each other about white privilege and all that it means.
This moment needs you right now to do whatever you can to be the change that needs to happen. Get up and start the conversations. Start to do the work that only white people can do, to ensure that we can move forward together. So we can live our lives and figure out together how to save our democracy and this planet.
Eight Is Enough
To the editor:
Commercial Street is easily one of the most popular streets in the country. But it’s long been described as a disaster waiting to happen.
A narrow one-way street with cars, delivery trucks, distracted pedestrians, campy drag queens, bewildered tourists, bikes going both directions, kids on skateboards, and people walking their dogs…. What could possibly happen?
Rather than make the solution complicated, confusing, and contentious, how about we keep it simple 24/7, 365 days a year? Change the speed limit to eight miles an hour.
It’s not as slow as it sounds on such a narrow busy street. (We just tested it.) Drivers can better enjoy the sights while driving safely. If someone really needs to go faster, they can take Bradford and cut down a side street closer to where they’re going.
The posted 20 mph speed limit is dangerous. Eight is enough.
Reconsider the Edicts
To the editor:
For a town that survives almost solely on the tourist trade, Provincetown administrators are doing everything they can to discourage people from coming to our formerly welcoming community by restricting parking and making unneeded mandatory mask rules.
How are any businesses supposed to survive in an atmosphere like that? There needs to be some clear and sensible reconsideration of these edicts.
I walk every day on Commercial Street from my home on Pearl Street to the West End parking lot and back, and so far this year I have not encountered one instance when social distancing would be a problem at any time of day.
You can buy a takeout meal, but if you’re a visitor for the day, where do you eat it? If you sit on a bench or the curb you have to remove your mask to eat.
It’s clear that the people who make the rules do not see what is actually happening. We need some rethinking.