Grave Mistake | Letters | Chicago Reader

Grave Mistake 

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To the editors:

The March 24th feature article on skinheads is a bewildering display of the editorial policy of the Reader. Twelve pages devoted to perpetrator(s) of violent crimes. Who is Bill Wyman and where did he study journalistic ethics? The article is biased, irresponsible and uninvestigated. Mr. Wyman seems to be enchanted by the feats of Dwayne Thomas. Portraying him as a leader of a worthy cause, regardless of his tactics, someone who you would support and want on your side. Don't you feel any responsibility to your young readers? Those who may be as easily influenced as Mr. Wyman, looking for a place to belong, a group of friends to hang out with that will make them feel as tough and confident as the described skinheads.

"Solidarity of the scene"? Why would anyone want anything to do with them? It is a solidarity built on defense, arrogance and an unacceptance of anything but their truth. Dwayne said, "there are no good gangs. . . . you're going to go far in life doing that." I fail to see the difference, he simply left one gang to join another. He shaved his head, got some kicking boots and some new friends. But nothing really changed, he is still doing stupid things that he should regret his whole life. Why glamorize a lifelong commitment to bullyhood? Mr. Wyman may find him charming, but I do not know anyone who does. I didn't need to know anything more about Dwayne Thomas than I already knew, but now I've been on a tour of his apartment, learned of his poor sportsmanship in high school and that he has always been violent but finally found a cause, in his eyes, to justify it.

I am sure that they are all beaming, having been covered in a Reader feature story, but they have gained nothing and most certainly not respect from anyone I have spoke to. I hope the editorial staff of the Reader realizes what a grave mistake they made in printing such a horribly irresponsible article.

Name withheld

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