Dear Holmdel Township Committee Members:
I listened to the township meeting on July 14th. I hereby write this letter to emphasize my unequivocal support of the mayor's decision to keep the blue line to show support and respect to our local police.
I came to America 30 years ago to seek better education and a better life. I have lived in Holmdel since 1998. I view diversity as one of the most important principles in the society. I have supported, followed, and promoted diversity throughout my career, especially as a managing member in the telecommunication industry and a board member in some startup technology companies. I have worked with people from different backgrounds, become friends with people of different ethnic groups, and mentored an African American student to pursue her Ph.D. degree.
As a Chinese American, a person of color, my encounter with the police has been overwhelmingly positive for all these years that I have lived in this country. That is not to say that everything is perfect and there is no problem with the police. I recognize that there are issues with social injustice and racism. In response to the recent events, I do believe that reflections are needed, changes are needed, and reforms are needed. However, I am also a firm believer of law and order. Mayor Buontempo stated that the blue line in Holmdel was painted to show honor and respect to the law enforcement with no racist intent. Therefore, to remove the blue line is a symbolic move to disgrace and cause pain to the local police. It can also hurt the public who view the police as their heroes and safety barriers between the law-abiding citizens and the criminally inclined.
Those who argue to remove the blue line and see the line as a symbol to induce pain or a monument for injustice should channel their energy and passion towards real changes and improvements in our society, i.e., reducing poverty and providing better education for minorities.
Our country is facing a turbulent and challenging time, we need love, understanding, and tolerance to weather through it. Hatred, bigotry, and disrespect will never make our community better and move forward. As Mr. Santhana pointed out in a recent article: “Can we honor and show solidarity with our police and our fallen heroes of 9/11, while simultaneously being a model town for diversity and inclusion?” Let’s show Love, Understanding, and Tolerance!
United We Stand!
M. Deng, Ph.D.
Note: the author is a Chinese immigrant. After receiving her Ph.D. in Engineering Science at Harvard University in 1995, she started her professional career at AT&T Bell Labs. She has been living in Holmdel area ever since.