To the editor:

Help me out here–was John Conroy’s Reader article about Aaron Patterson (“Pure Torture,” 12/3/99) supposed to render John and Mary Q. Public sympathetic toward this thug-ass criminal? Why did you waste all of that newsprint on this one-man crime wave who has spent his entire privileged life making the lives of others miserable? This ruthless sonofabitch was no pathetic disadvantaged ghetto child acting out frustrations caused by dysfunctional circumstances. On the other hand, maybe having a milquetoast daddy in denial who was too busy trying to be like Jim Anderson on Father Knows Best instead of whipping his son’s ass when he needed it, contributed to Aaron’s psychopathic behavior.

The point being, I am damned sick of hearing about the “mistreatment of the poor black alleged felons” that the Reader is so fond of championing, and I have no doubt that I’m not the only one. And no, I’m no white suburban ultraconservative Mark Fuhrman look-alike. I grew up in the Robert Taylor projects and live now in the untrendy section of the west side near Kostner and Fifth Avenue, so I’ve seen more crime and thugs in one month than John Conroy has seen in his entire life. Yeah, there are bad cops like Jon Burge who disgrace their badges, and they should be fired and imprisoned. But that hardly mitigates the fact that bastards like Aaron Patterson, cop killer Andrew Wilson, and countless other predatory scum prey on the African-American community, hurting it far worse than 100 Jon Burges.

The law-abiding black person on the street generally doesn’t worry about Jon Burge and his detectives killing or maiming him/her or his/her loved ones. No, that person is much more concerned with the true terrorists of the inner city such as Patterson, Wilson, and their ilk. If you think me wrong, just ask recent victims of these types of criminals, such as community activist Lu Palmer or civil rights legend Rosa Parks. And if Raymond Patterson had been more focused on being a real father to his sons instead of the kind of “fronting Negro” that E. Franklin Frazier discusses in his landmark book Black Bourgeoisie, his son Aaron might indeed have also become one of Chicago’s finest, instead of a useless predator.

Lonnie Simmons

West Side