For last week’s cover story, a journalist who was arrested while covering the J20 protests that marked President Trump’s inauguration wrote a personal reflection on his nearly eighteen-month ordeal.
Amanda Meier Shaffer, a former Triangle resident who lives in Washington D.C., responds: “This article is upsetting to read, at best. The truth of Inauguration Day for those who make D.C. their home was that several groups from both political parties came to town that day with the intent to create havoc. The D.C. police as well as the National Park Police both put out multiple statements in the weeks before Inauguration Day warning residents to stay away from the inauguration because several groups had indicated that there may be violence.
“There was. People fighting in the streets, millions of dollars of damage done, a car lit on fire. I have friends who live two blocks away from some of the worst of the violence, who were literally terrified to leave their apartment at all that day. The fact of the matter is, there were people affiliated with several groups who came to D.C. that day and acted in a dangerous manner. Keep in mind that D.C. is a town that is accustomed to protests. Literally hundreds of groups come to protest in our city every year, and we are glad to have them.
“If someone comes to any town and is affiliated with an organization that has participated in violent, dangerous, or illegal acts, it stands to reason that that person or organization may have charges pressed against them. In these times, part of being investigated for criminal charges is having your online presence examined. Yes, they are going to Google you and look at your social media. It is standard procedure.
“I am as left as they come, as is most of the D.C. area (we went 93 percent for Hillary, for crying out loud). And I am a big fan of this paper and have been a longtime reader. But I really feel that this article doesn’t tell the whole story.”
Also in last week’s paper, Sarah Willets wrote about the Durham Housing Authority’s plans to redevelop one of its downtown properties in the coming years. Sheldon Hayer argues that this is a bad idea: “Once again, another proposal has come forth by the Durham Housing Authority to begin redeveloping one of its downtown properties. There are several problems: Why build on land that has a higher market value to be used as low-income housing? DHA should just sell the property, thus generating more cash to be utilized in building units on lower-value land and repairing existing units.
“The whole concept of public housing needs to be reassessed. Over time, the failure rate of building, improving, and maintaining public housing is abysmal. The authorities for public housing are no more receptive to the problems than bureaucrats in other government programs. Cost analysis for projects is usually wrong, revenues fall short, employees want pay raises and better benefits, and inflation is never considered. I guess it is the taxpayers who pay more for less and less year after year.”
Going back two weeks, to our package on one hundred local dishes you should try, S Finch says we muffed one thing: “So many dishes we have never heard of from places we have never been to! We’ll remedy that soon enough.
“One problem: Your explanation of suppli is so wrong. The Italians don’t Italianize French words if they can help it. The name suppli is short for suppli di telefonotelephone wiresbecause when you bite into these delicious fried rice balls filled with melting mozzarella, strings of cheese drape from your mouth like the wires of a telephone line. Thus the ‘suppli.’”
Finally, a correction: An article in last week’s INDY incorrectly stated that Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center manufactured shea butter as part of a Nation of Islam program. It was part of a national project under the late Imam W.D. Mohammed.