Quote clarified by St. Hubert church pastor

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 20, 2002

DEAR EDITOR: First of all, my compliments to Mr. Leonard Gray for a straightforward article (“A place called Little Hope” of Dec. 14) that treats a very serious and heart-rending problem in our community. I wish here to address a quote on Page 9A, column 3. The quote read: “It’s impossible to look at a black face and not think of crime.” It is unfortunate that the quote neglected to give my conclusion to the statement, namely, this is prejudice. Some are upset with the abbreviated statement as printed, and with good reason. Let me expand on this now.

I am speaking here from the side of the white community here in town as they view the scene of especially young black men who are so much associated with stories of drugs and violent crime. My point is that I am afraid that white people look at this scene and they experience fear. There is a tendency to associate the deviant behavior of a few with the whole black race. This is prejudice. It is unjust and simply untrue to brand a whole race of people with the actions of some of its members. I say it again – this is prejudice. This is our problem in the white community, and we have to look at our own attitudes and prejudices with a view to seeking a place of truth and clarity. We must take time to look at the goodness, accomplishments and contributions made to the community and to the churches by good, black people.

I can say without fear of exaggeration that in my ministry as pastor of this parish in Garyville for 27 years, I have known black saints!

The Rev. Charles J. Caluda
St. Hubert Catholic Church