Evans and Cokely | Letters | Chicago Reader

Evans and Cokely 

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To the editors:

According to Doug Cassel [March 17], Tim Evans was the one black public official who had spoken out "appropriately and immediately" on the anti-Semitic rantings of Steven Cokely. "I abhor any statements or any comments that are anti-Semitic," said Evans.

I don't know who Cassel is trying to fool, but I suspect that it's the voters. In the days (and days) between the Trib's publicizing of Cokely's statements and Sawyer's firing of Cokely, the papers were full of quotes from Black public officials (including Mayor Sawyer) making mealymouthed statements about the siblinghood of humanity: quotes like this statement from Evans which so impresses Cassel. Evans didn't call for Cokely's firing until 3 days later. While this may have made him first in line among Black public officials (although still somewhere behind the Black newspaper columnists and Robert Lucas), it hardly makes him the one black public official who had spoken out "appropriately and immediately." As Achy Obejas (who, unlike Cassel, managed to get the facts straight) wrote in the calendar in the same issue of the Reader, Evans has "a lot of explaining to do."

B. Levine
W. Schubert

Doug Cassel replies:

It was not I but the director of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs who said Evans spoke out "appropriately and immediately." She was correct. Evans denounced Cokely, left town for a municipal finance convention in Atlanta, and then immediately upon returning to Chicago called for Cokely to be fired.

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