December 13, 2007 — Vol. 43, No. 18
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Protecting the innocent is protecting the community

We take strong exception to the Banner’s editorial that seemed to equate our taking a public and proactive stand in supporting our son’s innocence with parents who wrongfully protect and cover for their guilty kids (“Who protects the community?” Dec. 6, 2007). Nothing could be further from the truth in our case.

Your readers should know that there were some not-so-above-board tactics that went on out of public view that necessitated our decision to get “in front” of this story, rather than to continue to allow the solid case of misinformation that was in the process of being built to destroy an innocent young person’s life. We’ve seen that happen too many times in our ministry to youth.

We have a history of being out front and steadfast in supporting many young people who we knew to be innocent. Our unwavering support, involvement and active advocacy for Donnell Johnson led to his being exonerated despite police claims of an airtight case, as one example.

For the record, we decided to do the press conference after the story of our son’s accusation had been leaked to a police reporter. The press conference also served the purpose of bringing the situation into public view. So in a very real sense, we feel the press conference, even though our son was not yet charged, helped to keep everything above board and everyone honest during the investigation, which eventually led to our son being proven innocent.

Pastor Bruce and Karin Wall
Global Ministries Christian Church

E-mail argument sheds light on Latino dissent

Regarding Yawu Miller’s article on the disagreement in the Puerto Rican community over a recent e-mail (“Hub Puerto Rican activists livid at racial e-mail gaffe,” Nov. 8, 2007): I’m so glad The Bay State Banner took on this issue. It’s a well-known fact that there is racism between Latinos, but little is reported.

What Dr. Moreno did is inexcusable — not one Puerto Rican living here or on the island will tell you that “negrito del batey” is a term of endearment. While it is true that we do use “negrito” and “negrita” as terms of endearment, the tone in which the e-mail was written is not indicative of this.

I received the e-mail through a third party, as e-mails tend to be recycled, and I was appalled by the way Dr. Moreno disrespected not only José Massó, but also [City Councilor] Felix [Arroyo] and the efforts of the organizers of the coffee house series.

I know Angel personally, and though I’m aware of the sarcasm in his humor, I never thought it would escalate to racism. My reaction to this was to remind my “compatriota,” or fellow countryman, that we all have African blood — no matter how light we are.

Digna Gerena
Via e-mail

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