Jun 022020
 

To the mayor,

I see you are still in office. Do you not understand how responsibility works? Especially after Sunday where RPD launched chemical weapons into a peaceful crowd with no provocation (spreading an outright lie to justify it), proceeded to antagonize the crowd for hours by repeatedly tear gassing them, escalating the situation until the crowd erupted in anger. Officers launching flash bang grenades at the owner of Ruby Deluxe was a nice touch too.

There were hours where the crowd was cohesive enough that the police could have declared an unlawful gathering and ended it Sunday before rioting started (or, you know, the RPD could simply have not antagonized the crowd in the first place): the blame falls squarely on your shoulders as the Mayor for this absolutely bungled response and I think proves the point of the protesters. Your police force picked a fight with the citizens they are sworn to protect, and outright terrorized the city Sunday.

Compare to last night when RPD showed restraint and at least kept their jackbooted thug contingent out of sight, giving the protesters room and allowing them time to peacefully disperse. I do hope the council reconsiders the curfew soon however: it will certainly be unequally enforced if it goes on long enough, and there will almost surely be an incident that inflames tensions again.

In addition to to your resignation and the termination of the chief of police, the city council must move forward and kill the half-assed police “oversight” board (where the oversight is the oversight) and replace it with one that has subpoena power, as our marginalized communities have been demanding for years now. It might be time to reconsider your position that “Sometimes, when you make nobody happy, maybe that is the best solution” and consider that listening to the citizens you represent and protecting them from brutalization at the hands of law enforcement is the best solution, and is your duty. Law enforcement is a job: if they don’t like having to respect citizens, good riddance. Citizens can’t choose the color of their skin!

Reinstating CACs until an alternative is researched would be a good show of faith too, although since the rest of the council except for Mr. Cox are also opposed to them I admit that’s a stretch. Just know you’re all unlikely to be re-elected unless you actually do something about this and really begin to LISTEN to marginalized communities instead of paying them lip service and waiting for them to be gentrified out of existence.

If you don’t understand why you as the mayor must resign over this, I leave you with a tale of inverted responsibility courtesy of Kierkegaard:

Although everyone wants to rule, no one wants to have responsibility. It is still fresh in our memory that a French statesman, when offered a portfolio the second time, declared that he would accept it but on the condition that the secretary of state be made responsible. It is well known that the king in France is not responsible, but the prime minister is; the prime minister does not wish to be responsible but wants to be prime minister provided that the secretary of state will be responsible; ultimately it ends, of course, with the watchmen or street commissioners becoming responsible. Would not this inverted story of responsibility be an appropriate subject for Aristophanes!

I know you were looking for a cushy prestige gig to capstone your career where you didn’t actually have to lead as it’s clear you have no leadership ability in you, but that’s not how this year turned out. Resign and allow someone competent to take your place before Raleigh goes down in service of your vanity.

  • Clinton Ebadi, Resident of District D

CC BY-ND 4.0 An(other) Open Letter to Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin of Raleigh NC by clinton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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