Fox in a Bad Way

RECEIVED Mon., June 8, 2020

Dear Editor,
    Mayor Steve Adler is a fox.
    That’s not a compliment. He’s a fox in the sense Malcolm X meant when he condemned racist conservatives and liberals in America. The one, Malcolm said, was a snarling wolf: openly dangerous. But the other was worse, a smiling fox, kind on the surface but more destructive for its deception.
    Adler wrote a letter on June 7th entitled “The systemic killing of Black Americans must stop.” Who could disagree with this title? Liberal White voters, in normal times, would shame conservatives who didn’t lap it up. But normal is past. His words ring hollow now.
    Just days before, Adler voted to accept a $500,000 grant to fund “APD staffing.” This, amid enormous pushback against the systemic oppression of Black people by our national militarized police force. A central spearhead of the movement is to DEFUND the police. Adler’s move is at best tone deaf. At worst it entrenches the redlined status of our Black and Hispanic communities east of I-35.
    In Adler’s own words: “We can’t work on a more affordable Austin … without confronting our systemic inequities. Until the color of a person’s skin and their zip code is no longer a predictor of early death, we will be unable to make true progress on any other issue.”
    No, we can’t work on a more affordable Austin while the lion’s share of city monies goes to APD. Meanwhile, tiny slices of that pie trickle to underserved housing, health, and education programs in those neighborhoods. These would nourish and sustain communities, not punish them for the results of being undernourished.
    Mayor Adler would do well to search his motives. He doesn’t act in the best interests of all Austinites. And it’s on us to educate ourselves, make way for change, and call out foxes.
KB Imle
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