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Police Association flyer did not mention race

I am writing in response to the two letters that dealt with the flyers recently distributed by the MIT Police Association ["Police Association flier has racist undertones," and "Police union members deliver stunning insult," Oct. 27]. The letters assert that the portion of the flyers describing Cambridge gangs was a racial attack by the Campus Police and, as one letter said, "a stunning insult to the Institute's minority community."

I assert that this accusation is totally false, and, furthermore, is itself an unwarranted attack on the Campus Police. I ask the authors of the letters, "Were you at all aware of the origin of the information about the Cambridge gangs?" In fact, the descriptions printed by the Campus Police came directly from the Cambridge Police Department, and were first presented to the Campus Police during roll call as a report from the Cambridge Police Department. Does this change your view of the "racial undertones" any? If not, then you should confront the Cambridge Police Department and call them racists.

What is most amazing about this whole ordeal, though, is the fact that there was no mention of race in the entire document! Nowhere were we told to discriminate against any race (or, for that matter, anyone at all) solely on the basis of the clothes they were wearing. In truth, the flyer was a reminder to the MIT community to be cautious when traveling in Cambridge, and a warning that a confrontation with youths of any race who are wearing the clothing listed in the flyer could be dangerous.

Now that the facts about the flyer are clearer, I would like to speculate about the motivation of the two authors to label this document "racist." There was no indication whatsoever in the Campus Police flyer that a specific race or races were involved in the Cambridge gangs. Why, then, has this suddenly become an issue of racism? I contend that the cries of racism are nothing more than disreputable political tactics employed by the two authors who are attempting to turn the MIT community against the Campus Police and their recent negotiations for a new work contract. Such underhanded tactics are reprehensible. I find this a "stunning insult" to my intelligence and to my belief that the Campus Police are dedicated, hard-working individuals who perform an invaluable duty of keeping the MIT campus safe for student life. Any attempt to denigrate their reputation in the interest of politics is offensive and should not be permitted.

Daniel Wambold '92->