Letter: US steeped in "classicism"

The Chronicle ran an unintentionally entertaining letter from a Katrina refugee today:

I read Harper Jones' Aug. 27 letter, "A muck of poverty," with disdain. While statistics may help confirm Jones' assertion that Houston's crime increase is directly related to the "institutionalized welfare generations coddled in government housing projects," he should be aware that generalizations and stereotypes can be dangerous.

While it is true that historically many of New Orleans' citizens were trapped in the unforgiving clutches of poverty, let's also remember how badly history treated them. A country steeped in institutional racism, classicism and castigation of certain of its members has reaped a bountiful harvest of poor educational systems that "leave many behind," high rates of unemployment, poor health care, an economic divide and, even worse, a sense of hopelessness.

Mon cher, resilience is rooted in adversity, not in happy times.

I am grateful for the tremendous outpouring of generosity heaped upon us immediately following our arrival in Houston. But don't let your pride in that put you at risk of leaking arrogance disguised as superiority.

KATHY C. PATTERSON Katrina evacuee from Harvey, La., temporarily residing in Houston

Ah, Ms. Patterson, but were it so! We just can't help but think that a country truly steeped in "classicism" -- one that knows its Aristotle and Plato and Homer and Cicero -- would be a better place, but perhaps I reveal myself as an evil Straussian in putting forth such scandalous thoughts.

In any case, kudos to letters editor Judy Minshew, whose experience in the banking industry surely helps her pick out some interesting letters to run in the local Hearst daily.

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 09/05/06 11:33 PM | Print |

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