Neal Lester; Jeremy Brown-Gillett; Matthew Whitaker; Rashaad Thomas

Neal A. Lester, PhD, is a foundation professor of English and director of Project Humanities at Arizona State University.

Jeremy Brown-Gillett is an MFA candidate in performance at Arizona State University.

Matthew C. Whitaker, PhD, is a foundation professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Arizona State University.

Rashaad Thomas is a United States Air Force veteran and student at Arizona State University, majoring in justice studies and minoring in African and African-American studies and women and gender studies.

The letter (“Local African-American males speak out,” AFN, Sept. 15) written by the four African-American males in response to Linda Turley-Hansen (“Not racism, and not guns; it’s moral absence that’s doing the killing,” AFN, Sept. 16) is replete with even more extreme “assumptions, presumptions, and downright racist stereotypes” than they accuse Turley-Hansen of employing.

Like many commentators, Turley-Hansen improperly presented the merely plausible as factual. But, the authors only compounded the problem by replying with black-radical rhetoric, seemingly recycled from the 1960s. This accomplishes nothing.

Rather than wasting time insisting that others imagine the world through their eyes, the authors might consider engaging those others in rational debate supported by facts. This should not be too much to ask of scholars, especially those on the public payroll.

George Geri

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