To the editors:
Gee whiz! An old-fashioned newspaper crusade. Let's once again wallow in pathos and self-incrimination.
I think Mr. Miner has been overintoxicated with Clintonmania. The two Sun-Times features he praised in his Hot Type column for January 22 are examples of the excesses of gooey, liberal journalism. Why pick Dantrell Davis? The answer is: that it justifies their daily body counts, allows them to pontificate on what new form of self-imprisonment people will accept, pushes their antigun political agenda, and sells papers.
Sun-Times editors would have us believe that we can "retake our city" by mouthing platitudes and "sharing our pain." Actually, they, and to a greater extent TV news, compound the problem by glorifying punks, pimps, teenage killer sluts, entertainers, and anyone else rich or evil enough to be shameless. No wonder teenagers don't know the difference between fame and infamy. Children crave attention and, as any parent knows, often do stupid and antisocial things to get it. Printing gang organizational charts was especially irresponsible. Publicity gives gangs credibility and inspires young wannabes.
The gun chart was more overkill. Excellent gun magazines with glossy pictures and technical data are available in every supermarket. If you ever do have one of these "rods" pointed at your nose, maybe you can defend yourself with a rolled-up Sun-Times.
As far as "The Great Divide," five-part study of racial attitudes, is concerned. This extravaganza of the obvious was just a cheap way of filling pages; much like the "My God we had a snowstorm" stories. Most Afro-Americans live in their own neighborhoods, just as do most Asians and "white people." Actually, lumping all white people together is an insult in itself. White ethnic groups such as Italians, Germans, Poles, etc. form their own separate communities. This preserves cultural diversity as well as political representation.
Polling people by phone and printing call-in phone blurbs is lazy journalism at its worst. A better question would have asked what we admire about each other. A better story would have analyzed the many multicultural and multiracial neighborhoods in Chicago getting along. Maybe headlines like "Millions of multiracial Chicagoans enjoy Taste of Chicago without rioting" or "Thousands of multicultural Americans boogie together at festival" don't sell papers; but, that is the reality and America's success story. In contrast to the ethnic and tribal wars going on in the rest of the world, we in the USA usually murder each other for good old-fashioned lust and greed.
The Sun-Times should be commended for at least making an honest effort at local reporting--it's just that when you come into our neighborhoods, bring respect with you. Our fine volunteer organizations and their accomplishments are virtually ignored by the media. Do we have to guarantee a racial incident or shooting to get any play? The inner city is not Baghdad--stop treating it like a foreign country. Stop sending in journalism school clones and bring your own editorial asses to the masses. You might learn how happy, tolerant, understanding, hardworking, and God-fearing most Chicagoans really are.
Casey J. Korolenko