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Every ethnic group has its bad apples

To the editor: I can relate to the cringe that Erin Aubry Kaplan experiences when an African American commits a wrong that feeds into negative stereotypes. ("'Suge' Knight and the lurid legacy of gangsta rap," Op-Ed, Feb. 7)

Back in 2008, I was hoping that Bernard Madoff's name was Bernard O'Brien, but no such luck. Every time a Jew gets news media attention for something illegal, immoral or worse, I know that the anti-Semites (of which there are many) are saying: "See? We told you so — those Jews are the worst."

The thing is, this only works with people who are already predisposed to their bias. The rest of us are smart enough not to generalize any one person's failings.

Kaplan probably wishes that all blacks were upstanding citizens, just as I wish all Jews were. But people are people, and we all have our rotten apples.

Barbara H. Bergen, Los Angeles

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