Outsiders can't bring peace to troubled inner-city areas...


March 24, 2001

Outsiders can't bring peace to troubled inner-city areas

In "Endless killings, no moral outrage" (March 18), Lawrence Jackson chastises law-abiding citizens for not being outraged by murders in his drug-infested inner-city community. He parallels our indifference to these murders to society's indifference to slavery 150 years ago.

I'm not sure what Mr. Jackson would have us do. Almost every program and economic effort to invigorate inner-city communities or elevate inner-city residents has been resisted or ignored.

It's way past time for people to start taking responsibility for their actions. Until parents begin to accept responsibility for guiding and disciplining their children and stop blaming society for their shortcomings, Mr. Jackson will never see a positive change in his community.

I personally reject any blame for the problems of the inner city and, as a police officer for more than 28 years, I know that as a white man, I would not be welcomed in Jackson's community.

Mr. Jackson refers to a 14-year-old drug dealer who he is "powerless to save." If he can't help, what the heck can I do?

Bob Russell, Gambrills

Outrage over killings is apt; defaming public servants isn't

I appreciate Lawrence Jackson's article on the lack of outrage over murders among Baltimore's underclass ("Endless killings, no moral outrage," March 18).

However, trashing police and paramedics by saying "the victim was removed from the scene with as much ceremony as is shown for a dead rat in an alley" defeats his purpose.

We all need to show respect for each other. Libeling our public servants is no way to start.

Catherine Hudson, Baltimore

Letter menacing jurors didn't belong in print

It was both sad and repulsive to read the letter "Stennett's jurors should be next victims" (March 15). I feel it is irresponsible for a city newspaper to give space, dignity and public airing to such repugnant and dangerous comments.

It is sad enough that citizens would think of such horrific consequences for others who served the community as well as they could under the circumstances.

It is far sadder, however, for a paper as distinguished as The Sun to sacrifice valuable column inches to the kind of comments that only incite further violence within our too-violent community.

The Rev. Kirk Alan Kubicek, Ellicott City

New laws aren't needed to stem hate-based murders

The letter "Orientation-based bias is just as dreadful as racism" (March 17) seems to imply that if West Virginia had legislation regarding hate crimes against gays, a conviction of two white teen-agers charged in the killing of a young man would be assured.

If there is evidence these two teen-agers killed a young man (whether he be black, white, straight, gay, Christian, Jewish, whatever), they ought to be tried for that crime. If convicted, they ought to be put to death or spend the rest of their miserable lives behind bars.

The hate in the minds of the people behind this despicable act might be of interest to sociologists or psychologists, but it should not matter to a court of law.

We can debate whether legislatures ought to pass laws banning discrimination because of sexual orientation. However, to assert we need these laws to prevent a person from killing another person because of his or her sexual orientation (or skin color or religion) borders on the absurd.

I bet even in West Virginia it is against the law to kick a person bloody with steel-toed shoes while he begs for his life, then run over him with a car four times.

This isn't discrimination; it's murder.

Stephen Nobles, Baltimore

How will we survive four years of Bush?

It is obvious that the irresponsible fiscal policies of the Bush administration are eroding the confidence of both business and the public.

And the almost-daily destructive pronouncements on the environment, religious integrity, abortion and foreign policy are a recipe for global disaster.

How will we endure four years of this?

Florence S. Silverman, Baltimore

Only a moratorium can save the bay's crab population

Will someone please explain to me how a $5 fee will rescue the depleted Chesapeake Bay crab population ("Hard times for hardshells," editorial, March 15)?

The only solution is to completely shut down all crabbing and oystering for at least two years. That worn-out argument about this ruining the watermens' occupation doesn't float. What will they do after the last crab and oyster has been taken from the bay?

Steel workers, auto workers, shipyard workers and others have all lost jobs and had to seek other employment. Watermen should be no different.

You can't make a living in a dead sea, anyway.

Carl Justice, Baltimore

NAACP's leaders out-of-step with people of color

Julian Bond's response to Gregory Kane's column "NAACP must take steps to speak with one voice" (March 7) shows how much Mr. Bond and the NAACP are out of step with most people of color in America, including most African-Americans ("NAACP's leaders never going to be silenced or divided," letters, March 14) .

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