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Hate-Crime Drama Opens Up Big Questions

March 21, 2004

Re "Claremont Hate Crime Called Hoax," March 18: I am fascinated by the curious turnaround in the matter of the vandalism of Claremont professor Kerri Dunn's car, with the police falling back with the accusation that she ruined her own car. They threaten to prosecute her for that supposed lie to them.

What is most fascinating is the fact that, if a citizen lies to his or her own police, that is a misdemeanor or felony. When the police lie to their citizens, a regular occurrence, however, there is no punishment. And if higher-ups in government lie to their citizens, they demand reelection. Whatever the truth about Dunn's car, it is time for a searching reexamination of the relationship between citizens and their government servants.

Michael J. Kennedy

Palm Springs

*

Is it possible that life is imitating art? The Laguna Playhouse produced the Southern California premiere of Rebecca Gilman's acclaimed play "Spinning Into Butter" in September 2001, about how hate letters throw a small liberal arts college campus into turmoil, prompting sympathy for the victim and a campus forum on racism. In the play, the victim is discovered to have written the letters himself, upturning political correctness and knee-jerk public reaction.

Sound familiar?

Richard Stein

Executive Director

Laguna Playhouse

Laguna Beach

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