Letters to the editor

by YOU!

Juxtaposition of stories challenged

I was really disturbed that following the second page of the article about the NAACP rally [“Hundreds march on Jones Street for economic and social justice”; by Keith T. Barber; Feb. 16, 2011], you chose to include a story titled “Arrest made in sexual assault involving

Adams Farm girl,” [by Jordan Green; Feb. 16, 2011] with a picture of an African-American man displayed prominently at the bottom of the page, in the middle of the article. In the inspiring and uplifting story about the NAACP march, the writer quoted Darryl Hunt, saying “When the racist tea party forces took over the Republican 2010 campaign strategy, they sent out mailers that lied about the Racial Justice Act, playing on people’s racial prejudices and fears…. The mailers pictured death row inmates convicted of rape and murder…” and it seems that your placement of the story about a black man raping a white girl just beneath that article, while may be true, also serves to play on people’s racial prejudices and fears. Couldn’t you have found another page for that?

Deb Greene, Greensboro

Editor responds: The suspect in the story is charged with sexual offense, kidnapping and indecent liberties with a minor, offenses that may be categorized under the umbrella of sexual assault; he is not charged with rape. The distinction is real and substantive. As to the writer’s point, our art department places stories based on where they fit best unless they’re part of a package. To avoid making an editorial statement one way or the other, we generally encourage staff in the art department to make content-neutral placement decisions.