Letters in Times of Crisis

Using my finest personal stationary, and feigning the kind of polite and aristocratic tone that Miss Manners has cultivated so well, I hired a professional calligrapher to write and mail this letter to two people in positions of power in my home city.  I’m including their addresses, in case you want to take a crack at it.

I’m hoping the pen really is mightier than the sword. I’ll point out all the subtle features of this letter, in case you missed them.

Calligraphy was done pro bono by Morgan Wilson. Check out her calligraphy services, here.

Dear Sir,

I understand that you and the NYPD feel under siege right now.  May I give you my point of view?  I am exactly the sort of person that you do such a great job of serving and projecting.  I am a quiet, no-nonsense white woman.  I have been an honest and upstanding citizen of New York City since moving here in 1979.  I always smile when I see an officer, secure in the knowledge that they mean my safety.

calligraphy by Morgan Wilson

But that has changed.  I was willing, for too many years, to believe that a few “bad apples” were the ones performing infrequent acts of violence.  I thought that justice would always prevail.  Now, I see that I am like a woman in an abusive relationship, lying to herself and willfully forgetting past acts of abuse, believing against all evidence that they will not happen again.

I can’t be blind any longer.  I can’t sit by and watch the sons of my good friends live in fear every day of their lives, or people being attacked for exercising their right of assembly and free speech.  When will this end?  Why don’t people in power, such as yourself, do the right thing? If you purge the city’s police force of racists and killers, it will not make us weaker – it will make us stronger.  What you may believe are shows of strength are quite the opposite.

Thank you for listening to me.  I hope that you will use your power and authority to fight for true justice for all people in our great city.  I ask that you take to heart the words of the Declaration of Independence: 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Sent to:

Mr. Dermot Shea
Police Commissioner
1 Police Plaza,
New York NY, 10038

Mr. Patrick Lynch
Police Benevolent Association
125 Broad Street, 11th Fl.
New York, NY 10004-2400

One comment

  1. […] As a White Woman of a certain age, I know how to write a letter.  I know the value of expensive stationary.  I have a box of ecru 100% cotton personal stationary embossed with my name just in case I need to look extra-classy.  And no, I’m not saying black folks can’t do this too, so get over yourself.  Anyway.  Take your classy stationary, use your best handwriting (I had to hire a professional calligrapher), and write a well-worded, quietly damning epistle to people in power.  My example is here. […]

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