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Comparing arrests to ones of yesteryear

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Bill Oxford

John J. Ferrante, in discussing the arrest process, fails to address the cause of an arrest. Any protester’s actions are subject to an officer’s interpretation. I come from the days of a cop dragging an unruly kid back to his parents and not to jail. But it sometimes depended on what the kid looked like.

My best friend, who died in the line of duty, had a son who was very tall for his age and Black. He would continually be stopped by local police and asked why he was hanging with white friends, who happened to be older than him. As a public servant for almost 28 years, I have seen and experienced how differently many arrests were made in the day. I’m proud to say our service to the citizens was not prefaced on where they lived or what they looked like. Every one of my men risked their lives without hesitation, no matter their personal bias.

Anthony A. Bruno,


Editor’s note: The writer is a retired FDNY battalion chief.

This view of fascism is quite different

I read with horror Cathy Young describing one person’s account of detention: “he was released without charges about 90 minutes later . . . That doesn’t sound very fascist".

Has she ever been detained without her consent? I have, and it was traumatic to my very bones. The weapon I faced was a knife so I can only imagine how much more horrible it is to face guns. And adding the military aspect with no identification nor clear intent is stunning. I don’t think the point of this war game was to “disappear” people, rather it was to intimidate and traumatize. Mission accomplished.

What happened to me was 40 years ago, and I still feel its effect. The Portland actions are fascist to their core and need to be challenged.

Janet Rudolph,

Rockville Centre

Blame no-mask policy for chaos

I’m disgusted with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, governors, Congress, et al.! The lack of a consistent mask policy has caused chaos and enabled the COVID-19 spread to places that had little disease two months ago. A simple directive to wear a mask entering a closed space or in close proximity to others could have helped prevent the recent virus surge.

Now, adding to the confusion, some misguided national discount chains are not requiring masks, although this does not apply to our state. These stores, in generally lower-income areas, are the last stores that shouldn’t require masks. Especially since these areas, due to overcrowding, lower income and workers being essential, need to have strict mask policies to prevent spread.

I see our government’s failure to use basic health care rules to protect us as inexcusable. If top officials won’t protect us, who will? It’s left up to individuals. We see how that’s worked. Many believe they have rights not to wear a mask, not to social distance, to spread a deadly disease, to increase the potential for health care workers to get ill. To me, a false political narrative has pushed all this in interests of a reelection, not in the interests of Americans.

Michelle Urso,

West Babylon

This is what ‘white privilege’ means

I had a very similar upbringing as Joe Ruszczyk did.

However, I am white (Hispanic) and see the poorer Long Islanders’ plight. I believe that many white people, with good jobs, health insurance and affordable housing, have a sense of entitlement. It seems that almost a denial of many minorities’ woes as “not our problem” exists. Just look at the wealthier big-boat, golf country clubs where I believe the norm is a “let them eat cake” mentality that is rampant with disregard for those less privileged.

Just this past weekend in Montauk, and at country clubs and at exclusive resorts, Trump signs are all over yachts among the boating crowd. At least the progressives have fought elitist white privilege on behalf of the have-nots for better wages, health insurance and freedom from discrimination for decades.

Lucy Protosow,

Mount Sinai

I am replying to the letter writer who asked for a tutorial on the phrase “white privilege.” As a white woman, it’s likely that I’m not the best qualified to respond. But since I care about the issues of the day and try to keep well-informed, I thought I’d take a stab.

To me, white privilege means that because of the color of my skin, society will usually give me the benefit of the doubt. Shop proprietors do not follow me around, so I have never felt like a criminal when I enter a store. When looking for a home, I can count on Realtors showing me everything in my price range, rather than steering me to areas they deem “less desirable.” I have never had to give the “talk” to my children to keep them safe from unprovoked attention from a police officer.

White privilege does not mean that white people do not have to work hard to achieve their goals. It simply means that opportunities to achieve them are not equally conferred.

Mary Packard,