A Plaintiff Responds To Rotan's 'Cracker' Op-ed

Posted: January 09, 2006

AS ONE OF THE plaintiffs in the recent successful verdict against the School District of Philadelphia, I take issue with some of the points that Rotan Lee made in his Dec. 28 op-ed, "In Defense of Carl and the Cracker Slur."

I have no problem with Mr. Lee's defense of Carl Singley's outburst as "venting." What I do resent is his contention that there was "backslapping jocularity between the plaintiffs and the jurors."

First of all, Mr. Lee wasn't there in the courthouse and wouldn't know firsthand what transpired. Second, there absolutely was no communication between the jury and the plaintiffs. Unlike Mr. Singley, we followed the judge's instructions and made certain we were never close to the jurors outside the courtroom.

Mr. Lee's statements are offensive to the plaintiffs and our lawyers. They are probably more offensive to the jurors, who performed their civic duty only to be accused of racial bias. It appears that, in Mr. Lee's opinion there is no such thing as reverse discrimination and that our going through the three-year ordeal of preparing for a fair trial should not count because we are "white folks."

Jack Zubris, Holland, Pa.

Mummers coverage

Well, it looks like another year where the TV coverage was horrible! Too many commercials.

And the commentator! Every time a comic club or string band or even fancy came on, they talked through the performance, then the camera kept moving around so that you couldn't even see the whole drill. If the camera would just film from above the parade and just keep still, a person might be able to see the whole performance.

Now let's get to the convention center. The convention center is big, so a person watching the TV should be able to view the drill. Forget about it!

Maria Smith, Philadelphia

Accentuate the positive

Re the Wu-Tang dance craze:

I'm sure my daughters and other girls around the city are seeking ways to get involved in what is already a violent art form. Thanks for the exposure a small group of dancers could not do on their own. Why not promote more positive things like the re-opening of Freedom Theatre and the many positive programs they offer to our youth in the city?

Rodney Houston, Philadelphia

Beyond a reasonable doubt?

I thoroughly enjoyed Christine Flowers recent op-ed, "Dover and the Cult of Science," because it proved one of my favorite Mark Twain quotes: "Better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it an remove all doubt."

Brendan Skwire, Philadelphia

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