OPINION

Letter to the editor

Chad Frey
The Kansan

Disappointed in Mattivi

I recently returned to my beloved Kansas from a trip to the east coast, and catching up on local news, I came upon the column by Tony Mattivi, Republican candidate for Kansas attorney general. What an alarming re-entry. Even though the author has Kansas roots, he seems intent on imprinting his homeland security/prosecution experience and philosophy on Kansans.

What I found most disturbing were the countless racial dog whistles he employed, when addressing criminal justice in Kansas: "defund the police;" "peaceful protesters" (his punctuation); "looters;" "lawlessness;" "disrespect for authority." Not being a person of color, it is my responsibility to call out this racist, hateful speech.

Regarding the increase in murder rates, he does state that "The KBI concluded that finding a common circumstance surrounding these murders is difficult." However, he goes on to say that the problem should be viewed from a societal perspective. He fails to mention drugs, the pandemic, resultant unemployment, increased domestic violence, etc. While these factors are not an excuse for violent crime, they are certainly contributors.

Instead, he urges Kansans to "fight back against these forces." While there are serious issues surrounding criminal justice in general, race being the most important, the last I looked, no one was storming the Bastille. Instead, for over a year, and the murder of George Floyd, Kansans of all backgrounds have exercised their right to peacefully protest racial inequality in all areas of our society. Mr. Mattivi needs to take a deep breath, listen to all Kansans' concerns, and not assume that he has all the answers.

—  Donna June, Hesston