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Murder and minorities

August 23, 2007

Re "Murder stalks minorities," Aug. 19

While pointing out that blacks and Latinos are murder victims far more often than other minorities, The Times leaves a large question unanswered: Who's doing all the killing? For the entire state, the 2005 figures from the California Department of Justice show that 73.3% of those arrested in homicides were black or Latino.

Jack Berkus

Playa del Rey


The Times' depersonalization of murder is curious and revealing. Murder is here portrayed as something outside of us, as a kind of unstoppable force of nature. We're even told that "adult males are [in the] the eye of the storm." Yet people commit murder. Murder is not a result of something outside of us but is born of chaos within each individual soul. Thus the locus of revolution is within each soul. Peace will come only when we radically confront ourselves, when we refuse any longer to blame poverty, "the system," etc., for this scourge of inner chaos.

Why depersonalize murder? Is The Times now so captive to the tyranny of political correctness that it can no longer face reality because that harsh reality might offend many? Does The Times no longer believe that truth is the best disinfectant? "Truth, the bitter truth," wrote Stendhal. It's time to swallow this bitter pill and confront ourselves.

Jackson K. Eskew


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