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Jeff Napolitano: Disappointed Gazette would print such a column

To the editor:

To the good people of the Daily Gazette, I am puzzled and disappointed that the Gazette would run a piece such as “Zimmerman jury delivered correct verdict”. It is hard to not describe this editorial as racist and offensive, and certainly not worth the printing in my hometown newspaper.

It is particularly puzzling to me that the Gazette, whose editorial board has been on the right side of many issues, would allow an offensive piece space in your paper by a sports editor from a national news service.

It is one thing to print an opposing but thoughtful point of view, but Clay’s piece is a screed that contains bigotry quite explicitly.

He conflated racialized fear of being a victim of violence (cab drivers not picking up black males) with a justification for a man to essentially hunt down a young black man in the street.

Even worse, Clay stated that “Different groups of black teens dressing and acting in a certain way recently had been burglarizing apartments and homes in the neighborhood,” and that “Trayvon Martin was a black teen dressing and acting in that certain way.” No one claimed that Trayvon Martin was “burglarizing” a home when he was shot by George Zimmerman, this is simply a racist assertion made by the author of this article.

I beg the Gazette to reconsider the publication of this piece and the harm (and anger) you have caused by putting this into the discourse of our community. Certainly we deserve better than this.

Jeff Napolitano

Director American Friends Service Committee of Western Massachusetts Cell

Northampton

Related

Zimmerman jury delivered correct verdict

Monday, July 22, 2013

The verdict is in for the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case. What did we learn? ∎ Being a vigilante is a dangerous hobby. ∎ Juvenile bravado can get you killed. ∎ Mark O’Mara is a hell of a defense attorney. We also learned that the jury had no choice but to vote “not guilty.” The prosecution didn’t prove its case beyond … 4

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