Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Clarification on previous post regarding Valis

In response to an e-mail sent privately, let me just clarify: even if Valis is guilty, the secular press does not have license to villify the entire chareidi community. The writer offered an analogy to an African American charged with a crime in Georgia, 1950 - what would the reaction be in the larger white community to such a crime? Point granted. However, the press abuses of the "other side" do not justify the response that has been forthcoming, especially when that response proports to be driven not by press moguls, but by the leaders of Klal Yisrael. Using the 1950 analogy, if the African community responded to damning evidence of guilt by circling the wagons, rioting, accusing the police of corruption, and asserting the goal of freeing the charged from jail, all with the support of the local leadership, it would be playing right into the stereotypes of their enemies and just heighten the indignation and offense of the crime. Anyone who reads a newspaper is familar with the type press conference a seasoned lawyer would hold in a case like this - call for calm in the community, pledge complete cooperation with the police investigation, and at the same time promise a vigorous defense of the accused. Unfortunately, that has not been the response in this case (the text of the kol korei is online at Cross Currents), to the deteriment of peaceful relations between the chareidi and secular community.

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