Royko Had It Coming | Letters | Chicago Reader

Royko Had It Coming 

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To the editors:

The Hot Type article defending Mike Royko [August 17] is skewed and uninformed. The fact is Mike Royko has spread misinformation about the transmission of AIDS in the past. Mike Royko, for years, has trivialized gay people and gay issues.

Almost always the attacks on gay people come when he is not writing about gay issues at all. For instance, he ridicules San Francisco athletes or citizens generally by adding a reference to what happens in San Francisco when men bend over. He has often ridiculed others by implying something homosexual about them.

Hot Type makes light of Royko's glaring mistake of not even knowing what the poster said.

Hot Type did not even address Royko's desertion of the right of free speech. No matter how conservative or middle-America Royko has ever pretended to be, this stance from a newsman is noteworthy to say the least. His alliance with Alderman Shaw--one of the true cretins of the Council--is another odd thing for Hot Type to ignore.

Perhaps it is excusable for Hot Type not to understand, as any gay person would, the connection between AIDS and Homophobia. The two phenomena are so interrelated as to be truly un-knotable.

People aren't tarring over the poster because of the wording. They are tarring it over because of the visual message which is--"It's okay to be gay. It's okay to be lesbian. Gays are not criminals."

The attack on Mike Royko by ACT UP and many other gay and lesbian people has been mild. Mike Royko deserves far worse. Calling Mike Royko " . . . sexist, anti-gay, AIDS illiterate, bigot" is easily validated by reading his articles over the years. ACT UP is showing admirable restraint.

I encourage ACT UP to stop this restrained pressure on Royko, and get vicious. In the next poster, label Royko a "suburbanite."

Al Wardell

N. Wilton

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