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Letters for the week of June 17, 2015

Readers sound off on diversity in the arts, protest regulations, and software disputes.

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When you tack this on to the Old Jim Crow and hundreds of years of slavery before that ... how would you respond? You'd never truly know if you've lived in privilege your whole life. One thing everyone has the capacity to know, though, is that we ought to bring up violence against people by the state before we call out property destruction at the hands of the oppressed. The question we need to ask ourselves at this critical moment is not about the morality of mob mentality. It's how are we going to put together a national movement to end the modern racial caste system. I'll close with this quote by Martin Luther King Jr. on March 14, 1968: "It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard."

Hassan El-Tayyab, San Francisco

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