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Claude Brown on Gang Violence

June 01, 1988

I found Brown's article to be very well written and thought provoking. I must say, however, that the article suffered at the end when Brown lapsed into the very popular assertion that drug dealing and gang violence are always linked to " . . . The problem of excluding young minorities from a stake in the American dream."

Constant media portrayal of any group as cowering, helpless and hopeless "victims" only serves to fuel the fires of random violence and rationalize "us against them" mentalities. Each of us outside the ruling class must endure our share of discrimination at one level or another, and in order to affect change our response must reflect our own dignity and the dignity of all.

Mr. Brown, perhaps a better solution than rationalizing selfish and ruthless behavior would be to advocate, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did, "The need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression."

SUSAN IMISLUND-NUTTMAN

San Pedro

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