Mike Royko, Voice of the Ruling Class | Letters | Chicago Reader

Mike Royko, Voice of the Ruling Class 

To the editors:

Mike Royko playing the innocent parvenu is not something I would have ever predicted, nor is it very pretty [Hot Type, August 17].

In his columns on the tiresome brouhaha surrounding the CTA's AIDS "kissing" poster, Mr. Royko has been operating at ever-ascending levels of disingenuousness.

But a new level of absurdity was reached with a column about Art Against AIDS' Annie Philbin. Ms. Philbin, in a statement solicited by the Chicago Reader, had referred to Mr. Royko as "a white privileged male heterosexual."

Most modern, thinking persons would identify this as fact, not opinion. As the wrenching civil rights struggles of the last 35 years have proven, to be white in America is to be privileged. To be heterosexual in a deeply homophobic society is to be privileged. And at very least, privilege alienates and can destroy those not so privileged.

But in his August 21st column, Mr. Royko responds to the Reader quote thusly: "I honestly can't think of any special rights, advantages, favors or immunities granted to me . . . I don't think I have anything that isn't currently available to anyone willing to break a sweat."

Good lord. Is this really the same hard-nosed reporter that gave us Boss?

Mike Royko's commentary has become exemplary of the ruling culture's arrogance and social myopia. Perhaps it is time to put him to pasture.

Steve Quinn

N. Beacon

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
April 30
Performing Arts
July 15

Popular Stories