Monday, March 2, 2009
Today I almost ended up on The Ron Reagan Show which airs on AirAmerica radio. The producer wrote me and asked if I would be willing to talk with them about the Malika Calhoun story and, presumably, the accountability problems in Seattle and King County which enabled deputy Paul Schene to beat up a 15-year-old girl in a SeaTac holding cell.
Well, I'm a modest and very soft-spoken person, especially since I was assaulted and then mistreated by police here in Seattle. That, plus the brain injuries and PTSD from that event affect me still and have all but crumbled any of the self confidence I ever had. This, of course, makes it difficult for me to do interviews, especially live interviews or any public speaking.
It wasn't always that way. In school I had a deep, resounding voice which landed me, for better or worse, in the role as narrator in any school play or choir activity and often had the theater teachers begging me to try out for roles.
But that changed after I became a victim of misconduct, so when I replied to the Ron Reagan show's producer I told her the truth; that I might not be the best pick and I gave her a lot of names to check with instead.
Sure, I still offered to step in if they couldn't get anyone else to represent the victim's side of the debate, but I was honest when I told them I get nervous doing interviews and might not do well live instead of just jumping at the chance and saying "yes".
I wasn't able to listen to the show, but I did pop in to their chat forum for a second to see what the audience reaction to the interviews they did would be.
I knew they were having the King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg on, which I thought would be ok since the man has the unenviable task of trying to prosecute a police officer in a city that, up to now, has been eternally unwilling to convict one.
But, apparently, instead of any of the people I suggested, they appear to have had a member of the police guild on instead, which seemed to really infuriate the listeners as this ended up being an utterly one-sided story in favor of Paul Schene... again, at least judging by the chat members' reactions to the interviews.
...Disappointing. But, ultimately... entirely my fault.
I've always said here that I know I'm not the best suited person to write this site, but despite my flaws I do happen to be the only person willing to do it and that someone has to do it.
...the life lesson is that I must apply that line of thought to all aspects of being an advocate for victims of police abuse and detainee mistreatment.
Next time, if there is one, I won't be so mamby-pamby about it and I'll do whatever interviews that are offered with all the conviction I can muster.
Even though I deserve heaps of derision for not speaking out when I had a chance to do so. All I ask is that, if I still don't live up to the task, please don't be too hard on me for trying to be a better advocate for police misconduct victims when others wouldn't.
After all, someone has to do it, even if that only someone is as flawed as me.
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