The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Letter to the Editor: O’Malley supporter seeks voice for candidate


letter to the editor graphic

To the editors of the Scarlet and Black:
First of all, I would like to thank you for covering my candidate, Martin O’Malley’s, event in JRC 101 last weekend. However, I wanted to voice my concern over the coverage my candidate received in the article written by Jon Sundby ’17 that you published last week.
As a member of Concerned Black Students, it should be clear that ending race-based police brutality would be a vital issue in my selection of a candidate during the caucus this year. However, I feel that my words were misused against my candidate and me in Sundby’s article. While it is true that I have not been completely satisfied with O’Malley’s comments regarding the Black Lives Matter movement thus far, Sundby chose to leave out what I said regarding the entire democratic field. Both of the other leading candidates on the democratic side — in particular Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders — have made the same “all lives matter” mistake. It is unfair that my comment was taken out of context of the greater picture and made to seem as though my candidate was the only one who had made the mistake.
More importantly, Sundby failed to write that I was very impressed with some of the things O’Malley had said earlier that day regarding race relations. This includes his plans for a civilian review for police and the practice of at least five percent of each police department having the responsibility of “policing the police.” (O’Malley put both of these ideas into practice successfully while mayor of Baltimore from 1999-2007, both of which were lost after his term ended.) In fact, while O’Malley was mayor of Baltimore, he brought down the number of police-involved shootings, lowered violent crime rates to 30-year lows and incarceration rates to 20-year lows.
I also thought it was unfair that Sundby wrote that O’Malley “had trouble answering a student’s question about his support of stop-and-frisk tactics during his time as mayor of Baltimore.” I felt that O’Malley answered this clearly and succinctly by citing his experience — as the only candidate with executive experience dealing with race, violent crime and public safety – and his in-depth criminal justice policy plan, which he put out earlier this summer.
Overall, I need to express my dissatisfaction with the one-sidedness of the article overall (evident even in the three to one imbalance of pictures of each candidate, in favor of Sanders), particularly as Sundby is a known Sanders supporter. Both candidates received crowds of near equal size during their visits and therefore deserved to have unbiased and equal coverage.
I hope that my above concerns are addressed but I would also like to commend Sundby and the Scarlet and Black as well, on their investment in politics and keeping the student body informed. Thank you again for your coverage at our event, keep telling people how important it is to get out and vote, and remember to be your whole voice!

Greg Margida ‘16
President of Grinnell College Students for O’Malley

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