Whites' decision to leave Austin shouldn't be judged as 'stupid'

Opinion

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I began reading Dan Haley's column, "After abandoning Austin, whites mourn their church," and began to identify with much of what he wrote. I was, however, stunned by his assertion that those who moved out of Austin during times of changing demographics were "afraid and stupid and racist."

I was a child during those days and my parents, like so many others, had difficult decisions to make. They had to consider what was in the best interest of their family and decided based on the information at hand. They did not have the benefit of cultural sensitivity training, diversity programs and social justice forums to help them decide rightly.

As Mr. Haley points out, "block busting" and "evil politics" won out. But to blame the people of Austin and disparage them as a group is as evil as anything I can imagine.

Perhaps we need to consider Oak Park's own response in the recent past to demographic changes along its borders?#34;cul-de-sacs and blocked streets along the Austin Boulevard border. Could the status of the North Avenue boundary be far off?

Before this paper and its editor pass judgment on people who were forced into making decisions that they were never prepared for, you may want to search your own soul.

Thomas A. Mulcrone
Chicago

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