Council Votes to Move Homeless Services Out of Police Department, No Vote on Independent Public Safety Department

Mayor Partida accepting the letter on Monday

By Iliana Magana and Jordan Varney

DAVIS — At the April 6 Davis City Council meeting, council discussed and took action on the staff report generated in response to the nine recommendations of the Temporary Joint Subcommittee (TJSC) reimagining public safety in Davis. When the council opened for questions, councilmembers were able to voice their concerns to Davis Chief of Police, Darren Pytel. 

Chief Pytel spoke about the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) piloting the first model of Crisis Hub, a crisis communication hotline, that will allow less law enforcement involvement in cases regarding mental health crises. He stated “90 percent of the people that are in crisis don’t need an actual physical response at the time they make the phone call,” so therefore, he explained, mental health crises dialed to the police department, if not emergencies, would be diverted to Crisis Hub. 

Vice Mayor Lucas Frerichs questioned, “90 plus percent of non emergent mental health calls being diverted via usage of a crisis phone line…that seems high. How does that work?”

Chief Pytel responded, “A vast majority of people don’t actually need anybody showing up at their front door. What they really need is someone who is able to talk to them…and offer them services.” Chief Pytel mentioned that the hotline is able to have a clinician speak to the person in crisis and assist in scheduling future counseling appointments. 

Vice Mayor Frerichs expressed concern about the lack of human interaction with 90 percent or more calls being diverted to the hotline by saying “there is still a need for human interaction.” 

Chief Pytel mentioned that sworn personnel were still available to be dispatched, but that “people don’t need law enforcement showing up at their front doors and making the situation worse.” 

Councilmember Dan Carson spoke about adults needing healthcare. He mentioned how the county has “the ability to get people into medical services.”  He explained that “they’ve got the mechanisms to get people into, not just the crisis care, but ongoing healthcare that they need.” 

When speaking about the Crisis Hotline, Carson assessed it by saying that “this has the potential to divert hundreds and hundreds of calls away from armed response Davis officers to trained social workers and mental health clinicians.”

Chief Pytel added, “[W]e are really working with the county on the existing 24/7 crisis line to start diverting as many calls as possible, very quickly. That will happen in the next month or so.” 

Councilmember Josh Chapman wanted to know how a civilian can help someone in crisis, without having to be directed to a hotline. “How does that fit into it, if we only have one clinician coming on board?” he asked, referencing the current funding set aside by the City for a clinician position. “We need someone who can respond,” he emphasized, expressing concern about only one clinician responding to calls, mentioning that hotlines tend to get busy and people in crisis need to be able to receive help without delay. 

Chief Pytel responded by saying that each city, Davis, Woodland, Sacramento, would have their own clinician responding to calls made to the hotline. He stated that “each agency will have their own clinicians, West Sac receives the highest number of calls.” 

Mayor Partida inquired about the circumstances in which police officers conduct traffic stops and run plates. She specifically wanted to know if the department checks for patterns among officers in whom they choose to stop.

Chief Pytel explained that there are different instances in which officers check plates to make sure drivers do not have other stops or past crimes. He said “we didn’t see any outliers…we didn’t see anything that was statistically significant.”

Chief Pytel went on to say that officers check plates especially at night. His reasoning was that Davis has a car theft problem, and that similar models of cars are usually targeted. He said that “we have officers that go through apartment complexes and parking lots around town and run plates on cars that look out of place, meaning that they look like they have a punched ignition or look like they have windows broken.”

Once the council was done asking Chief Pytel questions, they moved on to voicing their positions on the recommendations at hand.

Mayor Partida thanked the committees and commissions that worked on the reports as well as the police department. She stated that she is “very interested in the success of these nine recommendations,” and that she would like to receive updates within six months of how much they have progressed.

Mayor Partida suggested that Recommendation 1 be reframed to “how to decrease racial disparities in arrest and recommended charges, because as the Chief mentioned, we know that the disparities exist, and some of that is due to racial bias.”

Mayor Partida emphasized the need to create safe spaces for people to come forward, especially people of color. She also expressed concern about how much could happen within the police department itself, mentioning a new department instead.

“I do have serious concerns around how much this will increase equity, safety, and better relationships with the police,” she said. She mentioned that in a new department, “without continued training and check ins…I see the old problems of equity and bias creeping into any new system.” 

Vice Mayor Lucas Frerichs noted how there have been numerous steps taken over the years in order to make Davis a more inclusive community. He expressed appreciation for the work of the TJSC.

Frerichs’ position regarding racial disparity was that he wants to use the tools that he has as Vice Mayor and policy maker to “improve upon, and fix this issue, so that people of color don’t experience issues like these in Davis in the future.” He also expressed his support for a new public health department to take over code enforcement, and be separate from the police department. 

Councilmember Will Arnold told a personal story about how his in-laws are nervous to visit Davis and that he benefits from white privilege and the privilege of being known in town. He indicated his dedication to addressing racism in Davis saying, “I am committed. I am ready to do the work to implement the recommendations of the Temporary Joint Subcommittee. I am ready to do the work to take bold steps in reimagining and improving how we provide public community safety for our community members.”

Councilmember Arnold also said he would like to lead the subcommittee on this topic by stating that this is what he is “incredibly passionate about.”

Councilmember Carson disagreed with the three previous councilmembers, saying, “I am very nervous about the idea of creating a new department that we don’t have the resources to sustain in the long run.

“To me,” he continued, “the county is, in a way… HHSA is a part of that solution.” He expressed, however, that he wanted the research to be done about a new department and he was interested in what the findings would be.

Councilmember Chapman said that he did not want to move things out of the police department if it was just for “optics.” He posed the question, “What are we trying to accomplish by moving those into a different department? What is the problem that we are solving by moving code enforcement out of PD, into a different department?” 

Councilmember Chapman suggested appointing one person to be in charge of public health issues, instead of creating a new department. 

After the council expressed their opinions on the TJSC recommendations and staff report, they discussed the motions they would put forward and vote on.

A few actions were eventually taken. Council voted to create two subcommittees—Councilmember Arnold and Mayor Partida are on a subcommittee that will investigate what current non-sworn functions of the police department can be moved to other city departments, while Vice Mayor Frerichs and Councilmember Chapman are on a subcommittee that will work with county partners and HHSA to implement social services programs. The council also discussed meeting with the director of HHSA as a full group.

Additionally, the council approved the recommendations and considerations from the staff report with some wording and slight focus changes. The police department’s request for $30,000 for “education reimbursement for staff” is among the recommendations being considered.

Possibly the most notable recommendation passed was to move the homeless services section of non-sworn personnel out of the police department and into the city manager’s office.

Council did not vote on the creation of a new independent Public Safety Department, which was the focus of public comment and the recent Open Letter.

Jordan Varney received her masters from UC Davis in Psychology and her B.S. in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd. Varney is co-editor of the City Desk for the Vanguard at UC Davis.

Iliana Magana is a student writer with the Vanguard at UC Davis


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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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30 Comments

  1. Ron Oertel

    Mayor Partida inquired about the circumstances in which police officers conduct traffic stops and run plates. She specifically wanted to know if the department checks for patterns among officers in whom they choose to stop.

    Gee, I can’t imagine the underlying implication behind this question.  🙂

    1. Bill Marshall

      There was a DPD officer who liked to ‘run plates’ (and reg stickers) on young white males, as well as others… pulled over two on suspicion of bank (credit union) robbery, even tho’ all credit union employees involved indicated that the pair as “young black males”… the officer was a jerk, and an a-hole… he eventually left the dept., whether by discipline, or resignation to avoid discipline… will never be known, due to privacy/HR policies… the officer was white.

      Some officers are biased not based on race, but on age, other factors, or are just ‘bullies’… in my experiences with DPD, there are a few (very few), but they have and probably still do exist.  They (the ‘misfits’)  are into “power/authority”, and like to find reasons to assert that…

      A metric that could be used is “what officers find reasons to make the most ‘stops/searches/arrests’ ?”, and THEN look at racial correlation… might find that the problem in Davis in ‘individuals’, not ‘systemic’… but that approach would not fit the narrative that some insist on… they have too much “invested” to make it ‘all about race’…

      1. Richard_McCann

        Both situations can coexist (and likely do) where there is both systemic bias, and bias by certain individuals that works a different way. The evidence gathered does point toward some degree of systematic bias. I have never been pulled over by Davis police and don’t even consider it, and that appears to be true for many of our same aged white friends, but I also know Black friends who do not have the same experience here.

        1. Alan Miller

          I have never been pulled over by Davis police and don’t even consider it, and that appears to be true for many of our same aged white friends,

          Jeez, really?  I’ve been pulled over many times by Davis police, and even had a couple of ‘more significant encounters’.   If you and your white friends have never been pulled over, I can only conclude from this that Davis Police have unconscious bias towards, and pull over in disproportionate numbers, Jewish people.  What do the stats show?  Fellow Jews, what has your experience been? 😐

        2. Keith Olsen

          I’m an old white man, my wife and I have been pulled over and ticketed several times in Davis.  Two of my children also have moving violations from Davis.

           

        3. Alan Miller

          I’m an old white man, my wife and I have been pulled over and ticketed several times in Davis.

          Yeah, yeah — but have you ever been arrested in your front yard for MWW (mowing while white) ?

          1. David Greenwald

            Keith: Do you recognize that when you post this stuff, it comes across as insensitive at best and to many people a good deal worse?

        4. Ron Oertel

          David:  You might want to consider your self-assumed role as the spokesperson for “many people”, “students”, “people of color”, etc.

          Perhaps they can be “brave enough” to post on here themselves, if they’re that insulted.

          Unless your purpose is to simply shut down others.

          Any similar anecdotal story is as valid as any other.  (I have one of my own, which I’ve previously shared on here. But I suspect that you might point out that it’s “insensitive or a good deal worse”, if I did so again.)  🙂

          1. David Greenwald

            You’re not defending people making valid and legitimate points and bearing witness to personal experience. You’re defending people making sarcastic and dismissive remarks about legitimate and longstanding complaints of racial inequity in our community. This isn’t about people expressing their views, it’s about people making a mockery if this issue, moreover, you’re not defending others here, you’re defending yourself as you are as guilty as they are about trivializing this issue and attempting to turn it into a crass mockery.

        5. Keith Olsen

          Keith: Do you recognize that when you post this stuff, it comes across as insensitive at best and to many people a good deal worse?

          What, my posting of my actual experience comes across as insensitive?  Or is it more that people don’t like it because it doesn’t fit the narrative?

          1. David Greenwald

            Because your purpose was to mock people’s legitimate concerns. I was pulled over for speeding the other day – fine. My concern, how much is this going to cost. A person of color worries if the cop is going to attempt to pull them out of the car, search their vehicle, and whether or not the situation will escalate.

            Not making this stuff up: https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/12/us/officer-traffic-stop-fb-post-trnd

            You have no parallel experience. Moreover the data here is overwhelming. So yes, I called you out and I stand by it.

        6. Keith Olsen

          You have people on here saying they and their friends who are white never get stopped in Davis.  I and a few others simply pointed out that we are white and HAVE been pulled over and/or ticketed in Davis and in my case I was also stopped and questioned while walking my dog in a Davis park because I resembled someone they were called out to investigate.  How is pointing out that the DPD does stop white people mock other people?  Should everyone just shut up and go along with the theme/narrative that the DPD gives a pass to white people?

          1. David Greenwald

            This is what I read:

            Alan Miller: ” If you and your white friends have never been pulled over, I can only conclude from this that Davis Police have unconscious bias towards, and pull over in disproportionate numbers, Jewish people. What do the stats show? Fellow Jews, what has your experience been?”

            Then you: “I’m an old white man, my wife and I have been pulled over and ticketed several times in Davis. Two of my children also have moving violations from Davis.”

            I think Richard and you and Alan all make the same error here. The answer is the data. The data doesn’t show that white people don’t get pulled over in Davis. The data doesn’t show that white people don’t get stopped, searched and arrested. So you can prove your point without making the annecdotal comments that I have been seeing for weeks here that get you in trouble.

            But what the data do show is that: “Black people are arrested at a rate 5.9 times more, and Hispanic people 1.5 times more, than their population share; when considering only Davis residents, Black people are arrested at 5.0 times and Hispanic people 1.4 times their population share.”

            Disproportionately stopped. Disproportionately searched. Disproportionately arrested.

            That’s the point. An anecdote is not singular for data. We should be discussing the data here. And we shouldn’t be making light of this stuff.

          1. David Greenwald

            Actually if you think it – the first thing I did after that incident was ask Pytel for data. It took from then until last summer to get that data. Now that we have it, we should be using that to inform us.

  2. Rick Entrikin

    I would like to commend authors Jordan Varney and lliana Morgan on their excellent report of the April 6, Davis city council deliberations, regarding the staff report in response to the nine recommendations of the TJSC.  It was so refreshing to read such a vivid, non-biased piece of actual reporting in the Vanguard.   Thank you authors!

  3. Sharla Cheney

    I wonder how this is going to work?

    For example, last week my neighborhood had some difficulty with a man approaching houses and peering into windows, trying to open doors in the middle of the night.  His behaviour was caught on ring cameras and police reports were filed.  I finally spotted him camping in the park in our neighborhood and called the police to let them know he was there.  Would this go to homeless services in the City Manager’s office?  Or do the police respond to the trespassing which was frightening to many in the neighborhood?

    I’ve called the police on situations with transients who camp in our park from time to time that have gotten out of hand – taking over a large section of the park to camp and spreading trash and human feces over a wide area, blatant drug and alcohol use, and even someone leaving the park after a day of getting high and walking into my house.  When I call, it is because I feel the behaviour has crossed a line and I feel is dangerous to me or the community.  What would be the response?  An offer of services that they can decline?

    1. Alan Miller

      Would this go to homeless services in the City Manager’s office?

      When you are labeled ‘homeless’, you get a free pass as a criminal (in Newthink).

      I’ve called the police on situations with transients who camp in our park from time to time that have gotten out of hand – taking over a large section of the park to camp and spreading trash and human feces over a wide area, blatant drug and alcohol use, and even someone leaving the park after a day of getting high and walking into my house.

      Sound similar to many experiences I’ve had.  But don’t fret – we are privileged because we have a roof.  So do your part and don’t cause trouble for those without roofs.  It’s an honor.

      When I call, it is because I feel the behaviour has crossed a line and I feel is dangerous to me or the community.

      Mee too. But you forget, they are our houseless/roofless neighbors.

      What would be the response?  An offer of services that they can decline?

      Depends on what the meaning of “defunded”  . . . . . . is . . . . .

      spreading trash and human feces over a wide area

      You might say this whole homelss thing is one big giant meth

    2. Don Shor

      This is a huge issue that needs to be addressed. All of the things you’re describing, so far as I can tell, would no longer be handled by sworn officers. The staff person sent out would not be able to arrest the person or enforce the laws. We’re talking about trespassing, disorderly conduct, etc. Nobody seems to wish to explain the procedures that will be in place when we have these situations.

    3. Edgar Wai

      In those treapassing instances, was it obvious that the treapasser knew that someone is in the property?
      I think the minimum standard is that if the caller is the direct victim and asks for a mental health expert, then the should send a health expert. The expert (now in line of fire) may then request support from police.
      The principle should that if you are in line of fire and you can reasonably protect yourself (someone is trying break into your home, it is unreasonable to expect you to go outside and watch on the street with nothing between you and the intruder) then you have a right to call the police as an extention to exercise your castle rule.  As in, if you are in a situation where you have a right to shot an intruder with firearm, you have a right to get help from the police to do just that.  Although once they have arrived, they would prioritize protecting you without shooting the intruder.

      1. Sharla Cheney

        Does trespassing require a knowledge that someone is at home?  I don’t think I need to know what is in the mind of someone who walks 80 feet onto my property and, without knocking on the door, starts peering into my windows or who goes up to people’s houses at 3:30 am or 4:30 am and tries to open doors to determine whether this is criminal behavior.  I believed his behavior was a police matter.  For people who live or work alone, it was upsetting and made people feel unsafe in their homes.  The fact that he is homeless is secondary.  My question is whether his homelessness would take priority and calls to the police for these kinds of behaviors are going to be referred away from the police department or will the police be asked to deal with the criminal activity as a priority?

        1. Edgar Wai

          My question was to distinguish these situations:

          A) The intruder is likely to hurt someone if not stopped immediately.

          B) The intruder is not likely to hurt anyone unless someone tries to catch them on site.

          In situation A, dispatch should send police, and health expert if mental health seems to be involved.

          In situation B, the responders have more leeway to talk to the intruder if it was a mental health matter. (Imagine you see an intruder into an open private field, threatening no one, or an intruder is trying to enter your house but you are on vacation or at work)

          For dispatch it matters whether someone is in the house.  They would ask you. They would tell you to leave the house if it is safe to do so.  By doing that you help deescalate the situation which would let the officers use less force.

  4. Bill Marshall

    You’re not defending people making valid and legitimate points and bearing witness to personal experience. You’re defending people making sarcastic and dismissive remarks about legitimate and longstanding complaints of racial inequity in our community. This isn’t about people expressing their views, it’s about people making a mockery if this issue, moreover, you’re not defending others here, you’re defending yourself as you are as guilty as they are about trivializing this issue and attempting to turn it into a crass mockery.

    Because your purpose was to mock people’s legitimate concerns.

    You have no parallel experience… So yes, I called you out and I stand by it.

    Ahhhh… clairvoyant and omniscient… the world according to David, who never overstates, never makes invalid assumptions, never ‘mocks’… always the realist, always the ‘truth-teller’, the ‘truth-finder’, who knows by ‘divine knowledge’ what motivates others, what the experiences of others truly are… and ‘call them out if’ your divination is challenged…

    A true voice of knowledge, wisdom, and truth…

    mockery – Bing

    Whatever…

    If it warms up a tad, it will be a beautiful Spring day… in our neighborhood, the trash, compostibles, recyclables will be picked up… and 95% of folk in this community will be neighborly, friendly, supportive of one another… have a great day…

    Update: they have just picked up the garbage…

  5. Ron Oertel

    Disproportionately stopped. Disproportionately searched. Disproportionately arrested.

    Data does not establish cause. Nor do the data even outline the scope of the problem. (How many, in terms of actual numbers, for example? And, why were they stopped in the first place?)

    That’s the point. An anecdote is not singular for data. We should be discussing the data here. And we shouldn’t be making light of this stuff.

    Your articles are full of anecdotal experiences. Seemed like there was quite a few experiences shared on here, by those pushing the city to establish a separate public safety department. Not necessarily from “people of color”.

    A person of color worries if the cop is going to attempt to pull them out of the car, search their vehicle, and whether or not the situation will escalate.

    Says the spokesperson for “persons of color”.  Now, if you said that some worry about that, that might be more accurate.

    In general, folks worry about a lot of things – some of which are realistic concerns, some of which are not. “Worry” is also not necessarily evidence.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Here’s another example of how data can be misleading.

      I recently posted data regarding assaults between different groups of people.  Some correctly pointed out that it was gathered/analyzed by a questionable organization (which I had not immediately noticed).  However, no one challenged the underlying data (or even the conclusions, for that matter). The data itself came from a reputable source.

      In any case, the data showed that some groups were much more likely to assault other groups, than vice-versa.  However, what the data did not show is that the overall risk was relatively low.  (I believe that you’re the one who noted that.)

      The same principle can be applied to the data you’re referring to.  That is, the data shows that people of color (depending upon “which” colors we’re referring to) are more likely to be pulled over, searched, etc.  However, it doesn’t tell you what the overall risk is (nor does it break it down by age or gender, for example).

      For that matter, some groups may be disproportionately represented in younger age brackets, which are also more likely to have interaction with the police.

      Bottom line is that the risk of experiencing a significant, negative interaction with police by any particular group may be extremely low (especially if they’re not actually committing any crime, or intending to).

      This is not to say that data should be ignored. But those who immediately come to conclusions regarding cause are likely contributing to the “worry” that you referred to, for example.

    2. Edgar Wai

      The role of anecdotes us to show a deficiency. As long as a deficiency exists it is valid endeavor to consider how to fix it.

      The solutions should be first evaluated based on whether it would help (regardless of cost, since, if it does even help, then it is pointless to consider cost.)

      Once helpful solutions are identified, then the order of consideration should be:

      1) Is the change worthwhile enough that money should be created to make it happen if you could create money?

      2) is some responsible for the situation and shall pay for the cost as their damage to society (was the response a reaction to a negative externality)?

      3) Is the people willing to let go of other services temporarily as the community finds more efficient ways to get a win-win without service loss? (Ultimately this is not about monetary budgeting but human or other resource allocation.)

  6. Alan Miller

    Definition:  sanctimonious

    making a show of being morally superior to other people

    Just sayin’  😐

    I, nor I believe anyone else here, is mocking the issue itself.  That is a low and unbecoming rhetorical trick you are using:  associate the comments of a person not to what they are addressing, but to a wider issue, and then accusing them of not being sensitive to the wider issue.  It is nothing but a derivation of the motte and bailey fallacy.  Consider yourself called out.

    I am personally concerned about the inequities raised.  I do not, however, by rote, subscribe to the theories of cause, nor, necessarily, the cures.  I am not a believer in socialistic cures, critical race theory, nor white shaming.  Yet I marched in a civil rights walk with my family honoring the memory of Dr. King  before you were even conceived, and my sister was a civil right activist in Davis — also well before DG was placed by God upon this Earth.

    I do not need to declare myself an anti-racist to be against racism and believe in equal rights for all.   I do not need to believe in equal outcome for all provided by the government (communism) in order to believe in equal opportunity for all and to strive (though never achieve) for a society without racial bias.  I can appreciate the increased societal understanding of structural/systemic racism that the BLM movement has brought, without aligning myself with the demands being made by a local organizational BLM chapter.

    One should also consider the effect this current movement is having upon those who are targeted as the victims.  I spoke at length to a person of color who is quite uncomfortable with the ‘special’ status given their racial group.  They say people treat them now as some exotic, and woke white folk ask them ‘what it’s like’ and other annoying questions.  They just want them to treat them as they would anyone else.  Personally, I can only imagine how annoying the world would become if there were some parallel “Jewish Lives Matter” movement.  NO! . . . . . thank you!      😐

    And then there was the time I was doing my best to explain cancel-culture/critical-race-theory/white-privilege/cultural-appropriation, etc. to two friends in their 40’s at a cafe in Eugene, OR.  I noticed after awhile that two persons of color had sat down at the table next ours and I was wondering if I had said anything “not P.C.” when one of them burst out, “I’ll tell y’all something, most of us brown people don’t give a f¨ck!!!  . . . and when I run into these woke white women telling me what’s right for us, I use my brown privilege to f¨ck with them!”  (We all immediately burst into laughter and struck up a great conversation).

    What is important is what is in an individuals heart, not in individuals being pressured by an on-line-based, ideological group-think with it’s own “speak”, and a terrifying similarity to cults and The Borg.  You may consider these ideas ‘old’, but I prefer ‘old-fashioned’ and still quite relevant — that is, until the last old-style liberal and the last baby boomer is pushed into the sea.

    Also, do not righteously whiteously continue to discount others ‘lived experiences’ (as they say).

    I have had a few serious encounters with DPD myself over the years.   Two were long-long ago and due to my own youthful stupidity and will not be elaborated upon!  😐   The other was relatively recent and involved what I thought was a traffic stop, but was actually a pullover due to a jack-arse security guard who called my plate into the DPD as ‘suspicious’, probably because he didn’t like that I talked back to him after he was going on-and-on being a complete jack-arse to me, when I was doing nothing more than sitting parked across the tracks from a property he was ‘guarding’.  I was actually concerned I was going to be shot, as the officer was yelling commands at me that I couldn’t understand through my closed car windows, so I didn’t know whether I was complying and what they would do if they perceived I was not — and why are you yelling at me at the top of your lungs for not stopping at stop sign (one I was sure I’d stopped at)?  I rather got it at that moment what that feels like . . . and yes, I get it, that is not the same as having that happen numerous times due to being pulled over due to the color of one’s skin.  There is no denying that happens in excess, nor is there any denying that is wrong.  And . . .

    I do not even begin to claim that I have suffered as many black, native, hispanic-Latin-a/o/x or Asian persons have in this country, nor their ancestors.  But I have been witness to numerous micro-aggressions (as they say) directed at Jewish people and one major, mondo macro-aggression that I forcefully shut down, potentially at my own peril.  An odd thing is that in a public setting anti-Semites (and just plain dumb jerks) will often assume all the lighterish-skinned persons present are WASPs and start spouting off some racist anti-Jewish drivel – whereas a racist might think twice spouting off similar drivel when there are persons of color nearby more easily identified, and who may not take kindly to racist drivel aimed at them.  Ancestrally speaking, just one generation before my own, lore has it that over half those with my Jewish family name were murdered in the Holocaust.  Little things like that.

    And yes, even white white people have their own lived (and ancestral) experiences that should not be lost or discounted in the current us vs. them cultural landscape.

    By the way, have your had your index finger examined by a doctor recently?  I understand that excessive and rapid wagging can lead not only to tendonitis, but in extreme cases (such as yours) the finger itself could fly off and impale itself in the left eye of an innocent bystander.

    I’d have that thing looked at.

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