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This is in response to Nakesha Abdur-Rauf’s paranoid screed (The Mail, 8/6) regarding Eddie Dean’s “The Murder Victim Next Door” (7/30). As most people who read the article know, Dean’s remark, “Well, I guess they had it coming” is not a cavalier dismissal of the humanity of D.C.’s lower-profile murder victims. Abdur-Rauf needs to take her own advice, to “go back to school,” and learn to read. She might also grab the nearest dictionary and look up the word “irony.”

In the article, Dean continually makes points about the selectivity of public grieving, how the “value” conferred on a victim by public interest is less a measure of the victim’s soul than of other factors, such as looks, youth, race, social standing, and the circumstances of the crime. That’s common knowledge, and anyone should be able to grasp it. I don’t know which is more troubling: Abdur-Rauf’s incapacity or her eagerness to twist Dean’s remarks about society as a whole into a personal “value judgment” on certain human beings. How her furious mind managed to stretch this misunderstanding ’til it merged with racism is a mystery probably better left unsolved.

She also takes issue with the Washington City Paper’s decision to put murder victim Joyce Chiang on its front cover, “as opposed to any other victim of horrendous acts.” She does not state any specific objection to the choice of victim. Should the City Paper pretend these acts do not occur? Or is it Chiang’s race that Abdur-Rauf objects to? Her own race-tinted lenses make this impression inescapable. What is it they say about glass houses?

Columbia, Md.

via the Internet