Several fundamental misconceptions underlie Jim Bonner's letter of Aug. 25. Bonner criticizes several black leaders for denouncing the Rodney King verdict, which Bonner calls "very disagreeable and very possibly wrong." If it was wrong, why?
Would he then deny even the possibility of racism in that verdict? Certainly it was a process of law, but most people in the nation indicated they believed the process was flawed in this case.Bonner then charges that the mentioned leaders "inspired a violent protest against the law." This is an inflammatory statement that has no basis in fact. Had Bonner been in Los Angeles at the time, he would know that Mayor Bradley, after some early (and understandable) intemperate remarks, did his utmost to appeal for calm.
Providing for a peaceful protest? This statement evokes memories of the recent riots in Montreal after a rock group canceled a concert. Surely no one would argue that the citizens of Los Angeles had less of a right to protest than a few disgruntled youth. But in a city with a population in excess of 3 million, would Bonner have had the protesters file for a parade permit first?
The last and most egregious error on Bonner's part is his statement that "our people came from all lands to get away from such miseries." Assuming that by the word "our" he means any American, I say to Bonner: Ask any African-American if his or her ancestors came to this country to escape miseries at home. Bonner ignores a huge blot on the record of this nation in refusing even to acknowledge several hundred years of slavery.
One final suggestion: If you must learn something, it is best to just jump right in and start learning. Perhaps we in Utah should invite more minorities into our state and learn to get along with them. This way we could speak from experience instead of pontificating from afar.
West Valley City