Opinion: June 3, 2020

Plus letters to the editor

Sean Davis’ band CODE III brought the rap-metal crossover sound to the Santa Cruz music scene in the early ’90s.

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the protests that have sprung up nationwide in its aftermath have us all thinking about the media narratives around people of color in this country—or, at least, they should. There is a long and ugly history of reductionism, ignorance and discrimination, a shameful failure to understand and report on black lives that has directly contributed to the lack of understanding among so many white people of why the very phrase “Black Lives Matter” is so important.

Sometimes there is malicious intent, yes, but sometimes there is something less nefarious and more insidious—not a purposeful deceit, but a lack of context or an oversimplification. This storytelling shorthand is more ubiquitous than ever in our current clickbait-obsessed media landscape, but I think Ryan Masters’ cover story on Sean Davis this week demonstrates how important it is to tell someone’s story in a holistic way. I don’t think there was anything “wrong” per se in the retellings of Davis’ story in the national media after his son Ashtyn Davis was drafted into the NFL in April. But they didn’t tell the whole story, and I think it’s appropriate that the community newspaper in Santa Cruz rectifies that to reflect how important Sean has been to so many people in the Santa Cruz community.

Also, be sure to read our coverage of the protests in Santa Cruz and Watsonville in this issue, as well as online. With so much going on that our readers need to know, we’re continuing to deliver daily coverage of everything that affects Santa Cruz County at, so follow us there.


Letters to the Editor

Leaders Who Actually Lead

Andy Mills’ full participation on Saturday with a couple of other officers, in response to a woman’s individual initiative for the community to gather at the town clock, as a citizen and a person of faith was a distinct act of citizen leadership, as was our mayor’s. Mills’ critique of the current state of policing in the United States was a beacon of wisdom, truth and hope in the abysmal moral void in the U.S. White House. It is a clear call from one of the best of his profession to overhaul the entire concept, practice, and institution of policing. 

The 400 years history of all the little compromises spawned by the “Great Compromise” on slavery by which we established a very tenuous union have resulted in a body of punitive and inequitable laws, courts, economics and policing practices that we must all do our part in the overhaul of every public and private institution of health, education, housing. I rejoice any time one of our public leaders shows up and speaks up where and when it really matters. 

Having said that, there is always the distance between where we are and where we still need to go. 

Darrell & Karen Darling | Santa Cruz

More Work to Be Done

Thank you for your cover story about Pride (GT, 5/27). I came to Santa Cruz County in 1998 and knew no one. One of my first actions was to involve myself in the Diversity Center. I was fortunate enough to be selected to serve on the Diversity Center Board of Directors in 2003. I served for three years. I have supported the DC with time, money, physical effort and serving in a variety of appointed positions to promote our agenda. 

Last year, I was honored to be selected as a “hero of the community” in Watsonville at the Diversity Center Gala in October.  

I worked very hard to overturn Pajaro Village’s homophobic practices and remove two members of the board of directors. 

Earlier this year, I took hundreds of signatures from Santa Cruz County residents to the Board of Supervisors to ask them to establish an LGBTIQ public commission. So far, it has been eight weeks and I have heard nothing. 

If this county is to be truly diverse, and show true pride in our GLBTIQ population, we need a forum to advise the five white, straight males on the Board of Supervisors about our community’s needs, concerns and health issues. A commission would accomplish just that. 

With all due respect to the board, they have not lived a GLBTIQ life, and have little personal experience with our issues. They are not aware of the personal struggles our population has with the Covid-19 virus due to the fact that many of our members have compromised immune systems.  

And, on a personal note, the fact that I could not even get a return phone call or email from my doctor as I suffered through the Covid-19 virus alone in February made me realize that many of us are really alone in our struggle for survival. 

Create an LGBTIQ public commission so we can advise this not-to-diverse board of supervisors to treat us with dignity. Contact your county supervisor to help us make this a reality. Let us make 2020 the year of vision for the needs of all people in our community.

Steve Trujillo | Watsonville

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