Letters to the Editor: The racist ‘superpredator’ lie is still killing Black people

A demonstrator holds up a picture of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was killed by police in 2014.
A demonstrator holds up a picture of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Cleveland boy who was shot and killed by a police in a park in 2014.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Law professor Kim Taylor-Thompson’s excellent opinion piece on the “superpredator” lie shows how words can promote the killing of Black children.

This most probably explains why Honestie Hodges, a Black child, was handcuffed by police at the age of 11 in Michigan in 2017 and none of the officers were disciplined. Sadly, Honestie died from COVID-19 last week at the age of 14.

Yes, America has a lot of humanity to catch up to. Unfortunately, it took the tragic death of George Floyd last May to awaken this country to its own disregard for the law, decency and respect for people of color.


Rogelio Quesada, San Diego


To the editor: My 60-year-old son occasionally chides me for not being the “conventional” Jewish mother who centers her attention on her children; he knows that will get a laugh from me. I can go days without hearing from him, confident that no news is good news, believing he’s just busier than usual.

He contrasts my behavior with that of his young Black friend’s devoted mother: “She calls him every day. And if Keeloh hasn’t yet spoken to her, she’ll call me to ask if he’s OK.”

How fortunate am I to feel so secure. My heart breaks for this man’s mother.

Ruth Persky, Los Angeles


To the editor: I felt sad, angry and disgusted by the history of dehumanization that I read in Kim Taylor-Thompson’s piece. I desperately want it to be otherwise.

A particular sentence captured my attention: “All that was needed was the barest of information, and our worst beliefs filled out the contours of the story.


Throughout the past four years, I have grown increasingly aware of (and frustrated by) the burgeoning uses of the noun “belief” and the verb “believe,” which seems to be born of an assumption that “believing” makes things so.

I draw the conclusion that we need to no longer use these words in our political discourse. Instead, we can use the words “fantasize” and “imagine” (and so many other words for “think”) as contrasted with “fact” or “truth.”

I know this is not the author’s focus, but it is the underlying intellectual process that confounds the history told and so many of our other political debates.

I can imagine that a child is a dangeorus superpredator, and I can imagine that the “Star Wars” robot R2D2 wants me to fight using the force, but the reality is (most assuredly) otherwise.

Barbara Eurich-Rascoe, Pasadena