To the editors:

Mike Royko playing the innocent parvenu is not something I would have ever predicted, nor is it very pretty [Hot Type, August 17].

In his columns on the tiresome brouhaha surrounding the CTA’s AIDS “kissing” poster, Mr. Royko has been operating at ever-ascending levels of disingenuousness.

But a new level of absurdity was reached with a column about Art Against AIDS’ Annie Philbin. Ms. Philbin, in a statement solicited by the Chicago Reader, had referred to Mr. Royko as “a white privileged male heterosexual.”

Most modern, thinking persons would identify this as fact, not opinion. As the wrenching civil rights struggles of the last 35 years have proven, to be white in America is to be privileged. To be heterosexual in a deeply homophobic society is to be privileged. And at very least, privilege alienates and can destroy those not so privileged.

But in his August 21st column, Mr. Royko responds to the Reader quote thusly: “I honestly can’t think of any special rights, advantages, favors or immunities granted to me . . . I don’t think I have anything that isn’t currently available to anyone willing to break a sweat.”

Good lord. Is this really the same hard-nosed reporter that gave us Boss?

Mike Royko’s commentary has become exemplary of the ruling culture’s arrogance and social myopia. Perhaps it is time to put him to pasture.

Steve Quinn

N. Beacon