King would be uniting blacks today

If Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were still alive he would be involved in an intense fight and struggle with black leadership [Streetbeat, April 3]. These Groups claim to be for the betterment of black America, yet they are worse than “southern racists”. It’s a shame that, presently, the “Talented Tenth” has the power to help black America, but refuses to do so. They’d rather vacation at Martha’s Vineyard or Sag Harbor while reading, watching, and knowing that poor black folks are living in third world conditions. Next, Dr. King would have led major demonstrations to thwart record labels that allow young black men to degrade themselves and their race for monetary gain. Ordo ab chao (Out of chaos comes order).

Jim Allen
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Ticket racket unfair

I received a ticket in the mail stating that my car made a right turn on a red light at Foster and Pulaski [Red light violation. Fight it!, Arlene Jones, June 7]. There is no sign that says “NO TURN ON RED” but the ticket says “RED LIGHT VIOLATION.” It’s not fair that they have to bill people off of tickets to accumulate funds to afford to get the sign installed. I will go downtown and try to fight this. It’s just not fair!

Ivette Cano
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A wonderful establishment

Hello Salena [Burke fulfills dream with business center, March 27]. I met you last year. It was a great pleasure meeting you then, and I look forward to future patronage of your business whenever I am in town. I wanted to say that I really enjoyed myself while there. You and your staff have an extraordinary way of making every customer feel wanted, accepted and appreciated. Your atmosphere is really relaxed, very clean and the location has great curb appeal. Your life story is very touching. I am very proud of you for never giving up on your dreams. You are a true rising star. God Bless you.

Roderick Houston
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Boarding schools not a new idea

The first person to talk about public boarding houses for students was Charles Mingo, the former principal of DuSable High School, who is now in the Gary, Ind. school system [CPS launches board school, April 10]. It was not Arnie Duncan.

N. Thomas
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‘White skin’ taken for granted

I enjoyed reading Arlene Jones’ column [It’s time to start an honest discussion on race, March 27]. I agree with Ms. Jones-white people hardly ever have to think about the color of our skin; we just take it for granted. When I discuss race, many white people say, “I just don’t see color.” They mean to say that they aren’t prejudiced. But it’s certainly ridiculous to say you don’t see color because everyone does.

That’s exactly the point at which the discussions about race must begin; with an awareness of what it means to be an African American at this time in our society. When I think of my African-American friends-people who are college-educated professionals-I realize that they, like Ms. Jones, may be pulled over by a police officer or treated badly in a store or restaurant. One of my friends told me once that she gets stared at in stores, as if she might be a shop-lifter. Some of my African-American friends have had to overcome many obstacles in order to survive and succeed. Many of these obstacles are historically based, such as poverty, segregation and prejudice. Of course, many white people have had to overcome such barriers to success as well, but certainly it is not the same.

Thank you, Ms. Jones, for this column, and I am looking forward to more discussions.

Elizabeth Rexford
Oak Park

Acknowledgement deserved

Congrats Salena [Burke fulfills dream with business center, March 27]. You deserve it. Way to go!

Jean Jennings
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