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.

In reply to the “Local African-American males speak out” (AFN, Sept. 15). These four self proclaimed “community leaders” harshly criticize Linda Turley-Hansen’s (“Not racism, and not guns; it’s moral absence that’s doing the killing,” AFN, Sept. 6) factual, if blunt, article on the death of Chris Lane, in a long diatribe that has too many racially charged slants and accusations to answer succinctly. No one is elected or appointed a “community leader.” Being highly opinionated and putting out lots of racially motivated editorial pieces does not make one a leader of anything.

They say they are not “invested in the white guilt trip,” but launch into the “slavery, stealing land, and exploiting immigrants” diatribe. They claim “America’s history is one of brazen attacks on black male bodies,” and “black social ills continue to be tethered to white supremacist notions, policies, and practices.” How did they ever become successful with all that working against them?

These four “community leaders” dismiss Turley-Hansen for criticizing those “African-American leaders” who preach “entitlement and hate (sounds a lot like Al Sharpton), instead of preaching to stop having 70 percent of their babies out of wedlock.” Babies who grow up without fathers to guide them. These “community leaders” claim to “know well the Turley-Hansen world, but she needs to borrow their spectacles for a closer look at theirs.” They claim many blacks and whites are “desperately striving for racial healing,” yet fan the flames of racism. They are hypocrites.

These four “community leaders” should listen to Larry Elder (a black radio talk show host), who says that blacks are more racist than whites and that black boys with no fathers are too often headed to crime, jail, and repeating the cycle. But they would probably think he (and Bill Cosby) are “Toms.” I would say the extremist elements on both sides are just as racist. We need less of that, not more.

One of the four “community leaders,” Mr. Lester, claims he actually teaches a course on “the ‘N’ word.” Really? That’s an accredited college course at Arizona State University?

Louis Zajicek

(3) comments


What is it with people like Turley-Hason and Zajicek?

They hear something on the radio and they feel like that makes them an expert?

If you nice white ladies have spent years studying the history of race relations in America, then by all means, let's hear it.

Show you credentials or please stop sharing your ignorance.


What exactly is a community leader and why are there no white community leaders? Why do we have black history month but no white history month? There are dozens of examples of somehow acceptable black racism against whites. Most racism today is perpetrated by blacks and perpetuated by black community leaders.


Everyone who organizes a Tea Party rally is a community leader, Rick.

Every month is white history month.

Every time a black person looks at a dollar bill they see a man who owned slaves.

The White House was built with slave labor.

History can teach so much.

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