Response to a letter writer

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Yes, many African Americans still live in poverty and have been unable to find their way to a better life. But we should not turn a blind eye leaving them to injure and kill each other in these crime ridden communities in order to avoid offending any of them for fear of making them feel persecuted. If making that statement makes me a ranting racist and an embarrassment to society then I am guilty.

What the letter writer doesn’t know is that I have personally known, worked for, admired and hired men and women of all races and skin color during my 59 years on this earth. Each is unique and each has made choices in their lives that either caused them to achieve their goals and find happiness or have kept them from doing so. In nearly every case those who took personal responsibility for their actions, good or bad, were capable of holding their heads high. Those who looked to blame others for their misfortunes always seem to be stuck in the same place and could never place blame on the single person most responsible for holding them back — themselves.

Mr. Kleiman, I recognize and respect your effort to put your thoughts in print and for speaking up when you disagreed with my position. Under normal conditions your letter would not have been published were it aimed at anyone other than me, but since I’ve chosen to put my views on display it would be unfair for our editor to withhold your views. This country faces many problems and we stand a far better chance of addressing them if we are civil with each other and seek solutions not based on prejudice but on achieving results. I would also be happy to publish your suggestions on solving the violence in many of our troubled New York City neighborhoods and how you would address the racial differences in our country.

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