Stereotypes

I would rather not blog about work issues, but something happened today that got me a bit steamed. 

One of the many jobs I have at work is to produce a 60 second feature that spotlights local non-profits organizations. In the 3 years I've been doing this I haven't had any complaints. 

Until now…

The Sheriff's department has anti-drunk driving campaign called "Avoid the 25."  All good information about how you shouldn't drink and drive and what will happen if you get caught by a cop if legally drunk and driving a vehicle. 

Okay, nothing too controversial, right?  Well, I made a mistake by including a link on the station's website that offered information by some lawyer on your rights if you get pulled over and charged with drunk driving.  Since this "Avoid the 25" campaign doesn't have website for listeners to view, I just Googled "Avoid the 25" and the first non-newspaper hit was the website that wasn't "pro police."

My mistake is that I didn't read everything on that website before I put up the link. 

Then came an email from the Sherriff's department that was long, rambling and angry. They certainly had a right to be miffed, but it was toward the end of  the email that things got really unfair. Here's part of what he wrote:

 "Maybe there are some liberal type's in your company that dont like us police officers doing our jobs by arresting drunk/impaired drivers So few truley understant our job at all."

Forget the spelling and grammar problems for a moment, the final kick comes at the end:

"I really dont know what else to say, I feel as if I have been manipulated and used." 

Amazing!  He's a victim who was manipulated and used by the "liberals"  because he didn't agree with a website.

Back in the 60s and 70s, some people used to call the police "pigs" (which, of course, they didn't like).  For the past 20 years or so, the word "liberal" has come to mean many negative things — like people who seem to hate cops arresting drunk drivers (????) — but it's mostly used by bigots to stereotype people they dont' agree with.  And since I hate bigots, I really had to restrain myself and remain professional in my reply to this cop. 

Here's part of what I wrote:

"Your email clearly indicates that you are very passionate about this program, but resorting to name calling and stereotyping the intent of people who work for our organization is just unfair. KKDV is committed to serving the communities and organizations that we broadcast to, and the talented people in our company work very hard to provide music, entertainment, and information that appeals to those who reside in the Diablo Valley. However, honest mistakes can be made in the course of our programming. If a correction can be made, we will do so with all deliberate speed (as we have done with the contact information for the "Avoid the 25" campaign). If you feel the content of the 60 second feature is also inaccurate, KKDV can certainly pull the spot and feature another organization for this week.Please let me know your wishes as soon as possible."

I'm still waiting for a reply…

[Update!  The guy called after my email and was very apologetic about what he wrote.  I didn't talk to him directly, but he left a long voicemail message where he said "I'm really sorry for what I wrote" about 15 times in about 45 seconds. Sounds like he got his butt kicked by his boss — who was cc'd my email. Sweet justice!] –PK

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