To the editor: Frankly, I am tired of seeing black women crying over the loss of their sons. It is gut-wrenching to see signs carried by small black children that read, "Black lives matter." ("As Ferguson anger simmers, protests in other cities are more peaceful," Nov. 25)
Time and time again, police across this country are able to kill black and brown males with impunity. In July and August alone, at least five unarmed African American males were killed by police: Eric Garner (July 17), John Crawford (Aug. 5), Michael Brown (Aug. 9), Ezell Ford (Aug. 11) and Dante Parker (Aug. 12). This is on top of several other disturbing incidents.
This country has gone to great lengths to prove that black lives have no value; examples include lynching, the hooded rages of the Ku Klux Klan, the killing of 14-year-old Emmett Till, the dragging death of James Byrd Jr., the beating of Rodney King and the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin. No matter how many signs are held up, history shows that black males in America are expendable.
What if this were reversed and white males were being shot and killed by black police officers? What if white women were crying over the loss of their sons, fathers and husbands? Would they take a grand jury decision like the one in St. Louis County with a shrug of their shoulders? Would "no indictment" be acceptable?
Tracy Nadeau, Los Angeles
To the editor: Yes, America has been and is a racist country. Yes, the police in too many cities have brutalized and murdered black people. But despite the outcry about the non-indictment of Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson, I wonder.
St. Louis County prosecutor Richard McCulloch laid out a very careful, studied and balanced report. Even though my lifelong liberalism inclines me to dismiss McCulloch and join the voices calling for the end of brutalizing racism, in this particular case I believe the prosecutor and grand jury did the best they could and came up with a right decision.
Coming to this conclusion makes me uncomfortable, but discomfort in the face of integrity are dues willingly paid.
Rick Edelstein, Los Angeles
To the editor: Every day The Times is filled with letters supporting or denouncing writers. Rarely does anyone praise a photographer.
One of Wally Skalij's photographs in Tuesday's paper shows us journalism at its best. It presents a line of riot police, a burning car and a lighted festive display with a glowing "Seasons Greetings."
Photographs like that don't just happen. They are the result of a keen eye, a sense of how to tell a story visually and the ability to compose a chilling photograph in an instant. Kudos to all the Times photographers and the images that they create, often in troubled and dangerous situations.
Doug Jones, Los Feliz
To the editor: The photographers could not resist the irony of juxtaposing the "Seasons Greetings" street decorations with the buildings and cars ablaze after the grand jury's decision. This graphically depicts the cluelessness of the Ferguson city government's business-as-usual attitude despite its being the focus of worldwide attention.
If any good comes from this, it would be for the people of Ferguson to take ownership of their government and police force.
Steve Mills, Glendale