Code Words | Letters | Chicago Reader

Code Words 

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To the editors:

Don Rose, in his "Political Atrocity Awards for 1988" [December 23], neglected to list one of the biggest atrocities of the year: Tim Evans' cynical wrapping of himself in Harold Washington's burial shroud and his equally cynical use of the word "progressive" as a racist code word for "black."

Could it be that Rose overlooked these items because he is on the Evans payroll?

Disclosure (at the beginning of his list) is no excuse for lack of fairness and integrity; what a jerk!

Rick Steinberg

Evanston

Don Rose replies:

I can't deal with Mr. Steinberg's problem with African American candidates--not a major worry in Evanston--but his concerns about use of the word "progressive" are misguided. If "progressive" were a code word for "black," Tim Evans would not include Larry Bloom among the "progressives" (as he has) and he would include Eugene Sawyer among those who are "progressive" (as he has not). In short, Evans has consistently used the term "progressive" as a political, not a racial, designation. Finally, I would hope that Mr. Steinberg's characterization of me as a "jerk" would be considered a political, rather than a racial, religious, or sexual designation.

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