I was not surprised at all that Nick Budnick compared Randy Richardson to New York Times reporter Jayson Blair ["Randy Richardson Was a Hot Criminal-Defense Lawyer. Now He Needs One," WW, May 28, 2003]. Of course these men made mistakes. Of course their errors are newsworthy. What annoys me is the article's subtext: that affirmative action and overzealous political correctness have blinded the superiors of smart minority professionals.
I challenge Mr. Budnick and the current news media to prove with some empirical research that minorities have been excused their workplace foibles more frequently than whites who curry favor with their bosses. I have worked for many individuals that more easily forgave mistakes made by their favorites. Never in my life have those favorites been black.
More to the point is the fact that strides in the civil-rights movement and affirmative action mean we now see more minorities in professional careers. This is a good thing, no? It is only normal that as the ratio of minority to white professionals rises in the work environment, so too will the ratio of office favorites and purveyors of slippery ethics who are minorities. By focusing on these men and their race, by using anecdotal evidence (when you quote a black who ironically calls Richardson a "black star," then you are obviously not racist, right?), you detract from what may be a more encouraging trend: that more and more minorities are making their way up the wage ladder and that this sort of corruption is a sad, but statistically predictable, product of that success.
Northeast Rodney Avenue
In response to Kelly Wallace's letter last week about the Barfly porn swap ["Women Are Not for Swapping"]: Sexuality is a very individual thing and should be celebrated in the manner in which that individual chooses. Some women like to be traded and used; it is a part of their sexuality. It is certainly not for everyone, but for those that it is for, I say more power to you, as long as it is safe, sane and consensual. Morality is subject to one's own experiences and should not sit in judgment of others, but merely be an expression of self.
I read Willamette Week because of its willingness to be open about all aspects of humanity. Good for you! Those that make a difference are never aligned with the majority.