I found Daniel Hefner’s letter [Nate Rouse’s misguided actions, Viewpoints, April 8] beyond disheartening. The difficulty it raises is how to address its content without simply increasing the anger and resentment Mr. Hefner and others like him feel.
Hefner first quotes the dismaying black-on-black crime statistics in Chicago, which have been extreme, as he points out, for decades. His point? That if Nate Rouse has never organized meetings to protest or address this problem, he can only have organized a meeting now, concerning police discrimination and brutality against our own young people, in order to, as Hefner puts it, “gain notoriety.”
One hopes that very few of our Oak Park African-American kids are involved with gangs or exposed to that sub-culture of violence. But they will all be driving cars, walking the streets, or even, God forbid, wearing “hoodies.” And we Caucasians can no longer deny that, when they do so, they face potential threats — to their self-esteem, to their pocketbooks, or even to their physical well-being — that we do not.
Rouse may or may not have used good judgment in calling a blacks-only meeting to discuss this reality. But he surely does not deserve the kind of vitriol and assumption of foul motives for having done so that this letter contains.