To the Editor:
We are grateful for the Hyde Park Herald’s coverage of the positive events being planned for Halloween in our neighborhood (“Block parties, youth groups set strategy for Halloween peace” published Oct. 7). At the same time, we feel that it is important to share our concern about the writer’s use of a racial description in his story.
In the article, the teenagers who come to Hyde Park from other communities on Halloween were described as “African-American.” The writer, Aaron Gettinger, did not use a racial description for anyone else named or described in his piece – not the Hyde Park residents, not the adults or teens who are among the organizers, not the political leaders, not law enforcement and not himself.
While this is most likely an unintentional error, we view this as an error nonetheless. Some of the members of our committee are black, as are some of the fine volunteers who are organizing their blocks and we are proud of that fact.
We are raising this issue to help us think about the ways that we do – and do not – use race in our language and in our opinions of people, particularly our youth. We thank Good Kids Mad City and others for their leadership and appreciate their willingness to work with us. We also thank and appreciate all Hyde Parkers for opening their minds and hearts as we work to build bridges across generations and communities.
Hyde Park CollaBOOration Night
Alysia Tate, Bennie Currie, Grace Chan McKibben, Michael Allen