How ironic that Bill Nemitz calls progressives “the language police” (“Warning to those on Portland’s payroll: Keep your criticisms to yourself,” Oct. 8) when, in fact, progressives were responding to Robyn Bailey’s own policing of the language of others.

In her email to the City Council that was brought to the school board’s attention, Bailey calls for two charter commission members to be held “accountable” for their social media posts (saying they would be “done, gone, and trashed” if they were not people of color). If that is not policing language, I don’t know what is.

Nemitz also gets wrong why progressives object to Bailey’s letter. It is not that she “had the gall to question” the local progressive movement. Raising questions in good faith is welcome. The problem is that Bailey, a school administrator, minimized the problem of racial bias in Portland and attacked two women of color, claiming they were given a pass because of their race. One had referred to a city official as a “white supremacist.” Frankly, combating white supremacy is vastly more important than criticizing someone for using the term. The other woman had tweeted lightheartedly a couple of times about bodies and sex. So what.

Finally, it seems relevant that Bailey wrote this letter after her husband lost the election to the charter commission, and these two women had won. Nemitz might have delved into her motives for looking through their past social media posts.

Abigail Fuller
Portland

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