I write in response to Jack Cerminaro's letter of June 17. As a 62-year-old Tehachapi resident (Oak Knolls) of 15 years, I applaud the teens, tweens and "park vagrants" that Mr. Cerminaro denigrates and insults for being interested in the world around them and the injustices that have long been perpetrated on people of color. Mr. Cerminaro wonders why the death of George Floyd (and Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Dion Johnson ... the list is seemingly endless) is relevant here in Tehachapi.

The young (and old) folks protesting, holding signs, and chanting for justice know why the death of anyone at the hands of the police and power structure of the USA is relevant to all of us. Should (God forbid) the police in Tehachapi ever commit a crime such as the one perpetrated on George Floyd in Minneapolis, I fervently hope and believe that protests would occur both here in Tehachapi and elsewhere, calling for justice for the victim.

With respect to Mr. Cerminaro's insulting hormonaly unstable kids (how will he insult the adults and elderly that I also see around town holding signs and protesting injustice, I wonder?) with a claim that "Our crime rates are lower than my IQ score," I will say this — I don't want to guess at what Mr. Cerminaro's IQ score is, but the violent crime rate in Tehachapi was 6.6 per every 1,000 residents and the property crime rate was 22.7 per every 1,000 residents.

This data was obtained from: https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/tehachapi/crime

I don't know that I would be bragging that my IQ score is higher than either 6.6 or 22.7.

In any case, with respect to Mr. Cerminaro's claim of: Last I checked, this community was as tranquil and friendly as can be. (In other words, the polar opposite of big-city living.)

We can compare the crime rates of Tehachapi with that of New York City — the quintessential "big city," which had a violent crime rate (in 2016) of 5.9 per every 1,000 residents (11 percent lower than Tehachapi) and a property crime rate (again, in 2016) of 15.2 per every 1,000 residents (33 percent lower than Tehachapi). Apparently having an IQ above 22.7 doesn't give one the ability to check their claims against the actual facts.

Lastly, I will argue that these protests, in contrast to Mr. Cerminaro's view of them as being an invasion of the social justice warriors and "big city attitudes," are an indication that even in a small, beautiful, peaceful town, young and old people alike realize that we are all connected, and that suffering and injustice anywhere is a problem for caring people everywhere.

Marc J. Zeitlin, Tehachapi

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