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I am writing regarding the article titled “The Murder Victim Next Door” (7/30).
As a human being and a woman, I empathize with Joyce Chiang. However, she is no different from the other hundreds of thousands of women in Washington, D.C. who are murdered daily. For you to put her on your front cover as opposed to any other victim of horrendous acts is confusing. Why is her life more important than the lives of other women? Why did she deserve this thorough search of the Anacostia River as opposed to the many other women? How do you determine whose life deserves to be acknowledged and whose doesn’t?
How dare you say, “And all the others, the ones who existed only in the small type of the crime section of the paper? Well, they had it coming. Bad address, bad time of day, bad corner, bad customer. They were just part of the background noise of the city, unworthy of celebrity even in death”? What kind of statement is that for a journalist to say? To imply that, because one has misfortunes in life, because one is forced to live in poverty, or because one is poor means he has no right to be treated as any other person created? “They had it coming”: No person—man, woman, black, white, Asian, whatever—has any type of tragedy such as this coming.
This is pure, blatant racism; it is more than obvious that the people you were referring to who “had it coming” are African-American. It is obvious that you are an ignorant racist asshole to say something as demeaning, unethical, and inhuman as that. I am disgusted and outraged at this article. You need to go back to school and learn how to write without placing value judgments and without offending your readers.