Reader: Question: Is The Californian advocating the defunding of the police?
The Californian obviously does not pay much for the editorial cartoons. They usually are poorly drawn and from an unknown cartoonist.
The cartoon for Feb. 6 drawn by Wevant was classless. It shows a teacher asking a young Black boy: “What do you want to be when you grow up”? He answers “Safe from Police.” My wife and I and many other people thought this was a terrible and decisive cartoon.
With Black Lives Matter, Antifa and others advocating defunding the police, this cartoon is an example of that radical movement. Since the George Floyd incident, many large Democratic cities have reduced their police budgets. This silly cartoon is decisive and should not have been published in The Bakersfield Californian. You can do better.
— Gary. L. Williams, O.D.
Peterson: The Californian is not advocating the defunding of police. The Californian is, as it has for at least decades, including a variety of perspectives on the Opinion pages.
This particular cartoon was produced after five fired Memphis police officers were charged with second-degree murder and other crimes in the killing of Tyre Nichols. The Black motorist died following a Jan. 7 confrontation with five officers, who are all Black.
Just this week, the Associated Press reported that newly released documents say the officer who pulled Nichols from his car never said why he was being stopped.
"The Memphis Police Department blasted Demetrius Haley and four other officers as 'blatantly unprofessional' and asked that they be stripped of the ability to work as police for their role in the Jan. 7 beating, according to documents released Tuesday by the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission," AP wrote.
Political and editorial cartoons are created off current events and news, whether that be President Biden's State of the Union address, Kevin McCarthy's rise to Speaker of the House, China's spy balloons, the price of eggs or LeBron James becoming the NBA's career scoring leader.
Obviously not everyone agrees with the point of view of every cartoon, just like not everyone agrees with the points of view expressed in every column and every letter on the opinion pages.
Yes, editorial cartoons can be decisive, and divisive — I think that's the word you meant. They take up controversial issues that already exist.
As a victim of crime, I am thankful for the Bakersfield Police Department officers and Kern County Sheriff's deputies who responded. I am thankful for the compassionate Delano Police Department officer who stopped on Highway 178 years ago when I had a terrible tire blowout, moved my car to the shoulder, stayed with me until a tow truck arrived and assured me I was going to be OK, all after he had just driven all the way to Bakersfield to drop off an inmate at Kern Medical.
That's far from a call to defund police.
Reader: Please inform the woman who wrote the commentary "What's in a name?" that there is no such thing as a pregnant man; therefore, you cannot state that there was a "pregnant couple."
Only the woman can get pregnant.
— Anne Grogan
Peterson: Thanks for the biology lesson. My vote on this: to each their own. If a couple feels so close to and in love with one another and their baby that they see themselves as a "pregnant couple," is that really a problem? Maybe it's even good.
Reader: I haven’t seen any articles in The Californian by Robert Price recently. Is he still writing for the paper?
Thank you for continuing the Sound Off tradition, I enjoy reading it on Saturdays!
— Carrie Ontiveros
Peterson: Price generally writes each Sunday, but sometimes takes a break for a vacation, etc. Maybe your note, Carrie, will remind him he has a following and be the inspiration for him to write every week.