Carter case stigmatizes all black malesFor the last month...

the Forum

February 01, 1993

Carter case stigmatizes all black males

For the last month you have focused on Dontay Carter and the inconvenience this young black male has caused the public, the courts, the state guards, the governor and white America.

I am not making excuses for the Dontay Carters of the world, nor am I advocating on his behalf. I am speaking of all the other young black males who want desperately to have a chance at the American dream without the label of being a "Dontay Carter."

I am a young black female who is concerned about the constant emphasis on crime that causes people to subconciously fear all young black males. White America and black America have been brainwashed to believe the black male is a public enemy.

My heart goes out to the victims of Dontay Carter and their families. However, we cannot forget that Carter became notorious because he went after white middle-class victims.

If Carter had killed another black youth on the street or even a black professional man, his case would not have garnered half the attention it has gotten.

The constant publicity about Dontay Carter is a slap in the face to young black men. It tears away at their minds, takes away their strength and breaks down their hope.

As one young youth expressed to me the other day: "Why should I go to school? I will not be missed, and who cares about me anyway?"

We as citizens have to offer some other way of dealing with our troubled youths. The media are out to make money, and negative stories about young black males apparently are what the public wants to hear.

It is too bad Dontay Carter turned to a life of crime, because I believe given different circumstances and opportunities he would have done something worthwhile with his life.

Amy Dunnston

Baltimore

They weren't all gate-crashers at the White House

This letter is in response to your story of Jan. 22 about the White House open house. The story noted that "Dozens of gate crashers were ignorant or disdainful of the previous arrangements." This statement couldn't be further from the truth.

Yes, I, a close friend and five children ventured to the White House ticketless.

However, I did my homework before leaving on our trip. I called the White House and asked for the tour office and was greeted by an answering machine giving me the following information:

There will be no tours on Jan. 13, 14, or 20. However, tours will resume for the public on Jan. 21, no tickets are necessary. This is a quote from the White House tour desk.

I thought it would be a good idea to check once more before making the hour-long trip, so I called and asked to confirm this information with a human, and to my delight the information was confirmed.

Off to Washington we went on Jan. 21, hoping to see the president and the White House. We parked with no problem and were greeted by many people who still were celebrating the inauguration.

Soon we came upon the White House gate for visitors, only to see a crowd of 30 to 40 people complaining that the Park Service would not let them in.

I talked to a Park Service representative and was told the same. I then spoke with a Secret Service person who was kind enough to check into the matter further.

After an hour, a Park Service person appeared and asked our group, now with complaint signs in hand, to line up two by two so we could be counted to be admitted.

Our dreams had come true. We were given a piece of an index card that had been numbered and were told not to lose this, as this was our ticket into the White House.

After 3 1/2 hours of waiting, we were announced and spoke with President and Mrs. Clinton, Vice President and Mrs. Gore.

What a thrill this was for all of our school-age children. They were very gracious and listened to all we had to say. It was truly a pleasure to meet them.

We walked through the five rooms we were permitted to visit and were overwhelmed, to say the very least; we were so very proud to be a part of this special day.

I wouldn't classify this as gate crashing, I would say The White House possibly forgot to check everything thoroughly.

Make no mistake. This was the chance of a lifetime, and we will forever tuck away our memories from the day.

Melody L. Wayne

Randallstown On the Other Voices page of Jan. 25, P. J. Wingate pitied poor Bill Ellen.

I say, too bad. Bill Ellen and his employer exhibited the arrogance of money, doing what they pleased with property described by law as a wetland, with the attendant rules and regulations.

Those rules, while perhaps not totally clear, certainly dictate that a conclusive dialog be conducted with the responsible government agencies before a shovel of earth is turned. Ellen and his employer were certainly aware of that and went ahead anyway.

My only regret is that Ellen's employer is not there in the slammer with him. If they didn't like what the law said, let them argue it in the courts like everyone else.

James V. McCoy

Phoenix

Jail fun

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