The child crusaders of Oak Park

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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To the child crusaders of the "Royal Oak Park Youth Action League": 

Quit kidding yourselves. You have no power and no influence. You're being exploited by a small group of adult cowards who are using you as shields. Those people are right out of Dostoevsky's novel Demons where 19th-century Russians from a hick town like to play at revolution, as if they are in Moscow or St. Petersburg. 

Oak Park is a similar Podunk village, pretending that the two nearby "universities" have any significance, and that we're some Midwest cultural Mecca. When Oak Park speaks, the nation listens. After all, we're a Nuclear-free Zone, and we've had no bombs dropped. 

You claim that "Black Lives Matter" and you're being oppressed by the police, but they stop and question suspicious people only one-and-a-half times a month, on average. Most of the "protestors" at the Village President's home were white females too young to vote, or so the photos show. Then they went back to the safety of Mommy's house. Evidently, you've been deprived of a deprived childhood.

Has the Village President listened? There are 52,000 people living here, and he obviously can't talk to everyone. Why are you special? You wrote him and the trustees, and they voted on similar matters. You lost, and you won't be getting your way. The vote was 5-2, and those two have already made such jackasses of themselves by their behavior at board meetings that they may not be re-elected. As JFK said, "Life isn't fair. Get used to it."

Non-negotiable Demands. Any group that starts with "non-negotiable demands" has already indicated that it doesn't want to have a dialogue. Read some American History. Oh I forgot, we have a legislator who thinks that we should stop teaching history in the schools because it's all just white-biased opinion. Read Richard Hofstadter's book on Anti-Intellectualism in American Life and his book The Paranoid Style in American Politics. You might learn something. You are practicing the McCarthyism of the Left, and you find a white racist under every bed here. If we're not part of the solution, we're part of the problem (from Kwame Salter, who's simpatico with you)? Most of us, presumably including Black people, just want to get on with our lives, with no messianic urge to save the world by next Tuesday.

The Children's Crusade. You have done great damage to your cause, which is playing at revolution. Shame on the adults who use you. Quit imagining that Oak Park is Bogalusa, Louisiana in the '60s with police dogs, firehoses and Bull Connor as sheriff. We have a Black police chief. 

The Children's Crusade ended with the children reaching Marseilles and then being sold into slavery to the Arabs. You're halfway there already.

Kevin Peppard

Oak Park

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Reader Comments

6 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: September 25th, 2020 7:59 PM

I have lived in Oak Park for 35 years. No one ever listens when people talk about wanting property taxes to not keep going up insanely. So as far as not getting listened to, it is a very long line and has people of all age ranges and races in the line. Get used to it kids.

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: September 25th, 2020 3:49 PM

damn spell check; "field"

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: September 25th, 2020 3:49 PM

Well, as someone who DOES subscribe to WJ, agree or disagree, this op-ed isn't an attack on children. It's a criticism of some rather silly political diatribing by teenagers. . . One point of clarification. If I recall correctly, it's 1.5 filed interviews done per month, not people stopped on suspicion. Perhaps the OPPD brass or a spokesman can clear that up.

Marty Bracco  

Posted: September 25th, 2020 1:26 PM

Ms. Sackler, if you read the letter again you'll find this is not an attack on children. It's pointed criticism of their adult enablers, and is correct. My mother had a saying..."God answers all prayers. Sometimes the answer in NO."

Colt Wilder from Oak Park  

Posted: September 25th, 2020 11:49 AM

I don't see this as an attack on children but rather commentary to their focus. The perceived injustices that these kids have are no where near our beautiful town. Our police have always gone above and beyond for us. Yet we have trustees who shout about our Mayor being "too white" in regards to Halloween hours. These hours being presented as "racist" with no factual evidence supporting her claims. The same police department she called upon to protect her family from threats is also the one she wants defunded. Quit lying to our youth that the boogeyman is in a police cruiser.

Molly Sackler  

Posted: September 24th, 2020 11:05 PM

Dan Haley, why on earth are you publishing an attack on children? This "letter to the editor" is pure vitriol and racism. I'd cancel my subscription if I hadn't already done that.

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