To the editor:

This is in response to a letter by David J. Landsel [September 11] about a recent Jack Clark column [August 28] critical of a column I wrote regarding a hearing I attended at which a cabdriver was fined for discriminating against a black passenger.

Mr. Landsel’s assumption seems to be that in light of Mr. Clark’s criticism, a second column I wrote about the string of attacks on cabdrivers was “backpedaling,” and that I “parroted” Mr. Clark’s views. That is a wrong assumption. I was unaware of Mr. Clark’s column when I wrote my second column. My motivation for writing about the dangers cabdrivers face was based on the tragic death of Oak Park cabdriver Michael Flosi. I did not read Mr. Clark’s critique, which was forwarded to me by a cabdriver, until after my second column was written and published.

I am in no way “backpedaling” from my belief that refusal of service to black passengers is discrimination. However, I also believe that the city of Chicago, as well as its citizens, must do more to ensure the safety of cabdrivers.

Mary A. Mitchell

Chicago Sun-Times