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Lawyer misspoke in describing black kids



Published: Tue, January 8, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Lawyer misspoke in describing black kids

EDITOR:

I recently read that a well known attorney, in defense of a teen-age killer, said, "A black kid growing up in the city" has only "two choices." The first choice being to carry a gun and eventually go to prison. The second choice being not to carry a gun and to end up "in a cemetery." The attorney is quoted as saying these are "facts" that "people in the suburbs don't understand."

As a fellow attorney and a fellow suburbanite, I am troubled by my friend's harmful comments. My hope is that he was caught up in the zeal of his representation and will soon retract those statements. They are the type that create stereotypes and continue to keep our communities divided.

Clearly not all of our African-American children "live or die" by the gun. Indeed the vast majority are responsible young people who enjoy life and are striving to become the best person they can be. If my attorney friend needs evidence of this & quot;fact, & quot; we can visit a few families, attend a few church services and partake in a few activities held in African-American neighborhoods.

It is true that a few young African-American males will carry guns and, on occasion, will use those guns. At times, white suburban males will also use similar methods of intimidation and violence. Perhaps it is time for my attorney friend and I, along with all who have a heart for young people, to examine the roots of these problems and see if anything can be changed.

LEONARD D. HALL

Boardman

Argentina has minimal history of democracy

EDITOR:

Under the heading of "How We See It" on Jan. 1 is a second banner that says "Turmoil in Argentina is like something from the Third World." The point of this editorial is that economic policies, at least since the '90s , have created economic chaos in the nation of Argentina. That is a fair, if debatable, point. The article goes on to point out that there is "rioting and looting" and many citizens ("scores") have been killed in this rioting. The paragraph concluded with the statement: "Its banks are under virtual siege."

The second paragraph states that Argentina is not a "Third World country." And it goes on to say that "It (Argentina) has a strong history of democracy, and it is the richest, most industrialized nation in South America." To the contrary, Argentina, does not have a "strong history" of democracy and more important it does not have a long history of democracy. Nor of democratic institutions. As recently as the Falklands War it was run by a military junta. This is the land of Peron and "Peronistas." Argentina does not have strong norms or commitments to democracy.

RICHARD R. THOMPSON

Beaver Falls, Pa.

Torch bearer showed what disabled can do

EDITOR:

I was delighted to see Twain Clark on the front page of the Jan. 3 Vindicator. Twain who has cerebral palsy proudly carried the Olympic torch one-fifth of a mile without the help of a wheelchair. He looked so thrilled holding the torch.

As the mother of two autistic daughters I know that people with a disability, regardless of the type, have to work extra hard to complete a task that we often take for granted.

I am proud of The Vindicator for showing this true Olympic hero, and I want Twain to know that his community is proud of him.

SHELLY SHARPLESS

Youngstown




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