No, Dorner was not abused and deprived as a child. He led an exemplary life that had him wanting to serve not only his country, but also his community as a police officer. I feel for the loss of life, but they should have been able to live safely under Dorner's watch, not murdered after he was pushed over the edge by an out-of-control police force.
I will also condemn this nation's conservatives for continuously fanning the flames that encourage police brutality. Not only can they never let go of their hatred of blacks and Hispanics that prompt them to support bad police officers who have killed innocent people, but, as we see in the Trayvon Martin case, they now also wish to transfer that support to ordinary citizens who are doing the same thing.
Regardless of what Chris Dorner did, the issues he had are valid and need to be addressed. If they are not, we will see another day when someone will lash out.
As we all live in a city that raised a statue to a mayor known primarily for his brutality in enforcing the law, we should know this better than anyone.
Daryle Lamont Jenkins
Regarding Hugh P. McGonigle's reactionary piece on Joe Paterno (letter, Feb. 13): He said, "Why is it that we destroy the images of people who are of exemplary lives?" Based on such a subjective, faulty, racist and pejorative philosophy toward life, we should never have imprisoned O.J. Simpson.
He goes on to use Presidents Washington and Jefferson, both of whom had enslaved Africans, as example of wrongdoers who have committed crimes but are still worthy of their status being upheld. First, let's be very clear: Sally Hemmings was being raped, abused and kept enslaved by George Washington. She was skillfully doing what she could to stay alive during that hegemonic era. No cooperative relationship ever existed!
Moreover, is the writer implying that his deification of Joe Paterno is more important than the enslavement of African and African-American people? This paper should not allow such doltish and racially insensitive comments to be published. I'm sure that the readers and publishers of this paper would not allow me (a black man) or anyone else to ever express any type of anti-Semitic rhetoric. And rightfully so! So why allow such anti-black/African-American rhetoric to be published? It is for these same reasons and more that African-Americans are viewed so disrespectfully in this society.
For true justice and racial healing to ever become a reality in America, and not some dream once eloquently annunciated by some preacher from Atlanta, we have to first excoriate and challenge racist sentiments. Remember, to dream, one has to be asleep. I will still support and purchase this paper, however, I cannot tolerate any racist rationalizations about life.
The Paterno Era
Since the late Penn State coach Joe Paterno resigned in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, much damage control has been done, to little or no avail. Gov. Corbett argues that the NCAA's penalties against Penn State are too harsh. Paterno's widow was recently interviewed about her late husband's knowledge of the scandal.
Beside the scandal itself, I also find it disturbing that Penn State is erasing a part of the university's sports history by leaving out the Paterno era. This action would be like saying that it never occurred. The 1919 Black Sox Scandal is still part of the Chicago White Sox as well as the Cincinnati Reds (then Red Stockings) histories. It is a dark spot in baseball, yet it hasn't been brushed aside as if it didn't happen. This is not to say that scandal and the PSU scandal are the same.
Penn State should reconsider this action by not ruining its great sport history by acting as if the Paterno era - which gave PSU two undefeated seasons, two national championships and numerous bowl appearances - did not matter. The students, as well as the athletes, deserve better.
Arthur W. Pfeiffer Jr.