Your Views: Vice mayor should have disavowed destruction

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Your Views: Vice mayor should have disavowed destruction
Del Ray Business Association board member Bill Blackburn; City Councilor Canek Aguirre; Power Nectar Yoga founder Jane Bahneman and her son, Brady; Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker; Mayor Justin Wilson; and Power Nectar Yoga studio coordinator Vanessa Thomas cut the ribbon to open Power Nectar Yoga. (Courtesy Photo)
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To the editor:

So the legislative aide to Alexandria Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker was arrested for “assault on a police officer” in the District of Columbia’s Adams-Morgan neighborhood.

In commenting on Cassidy Ketchem’s arrest, Bennett-Parker referenced her assistant’s long history of anti-racist work and a desire, shared by both, to “live in a world where Black and brown people are not murdered at the hands of the police.” But why would Ketchem demonstrate these ideals by participating in the burning and destruction of a neighborhood that is predominantly Black and brown?

In her statement, Bennett-Parker could at least have acknowledged that destruction of what other people have worked to build, as well as assaults on law enforcement officers, are not good behaviors and only hurt the poorest and most vulnerable. Instead, she offered praise for her assistant’s actions and a broad condemnation of policing.

An assault on businesses and homes in Alexandria – and resulting conflict with the Alexandria police – would not have been so easily brushed aside. Sadly, Adams-Morgan might as well be on a different planet. Nonetheless, where these women stand and what they are willing to accept ought to be completely clear to Alexandria residents, business owners and police.

-Jack Lichtenstein, Alexandria

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