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Open Letter to Star News Editor

Frank Girardot, your Metro Editor, showed an ungracious spirit and shallow understanding of the meaning of a human life in his July 7 column, "Jackson's Life Not Worthy of Celebration." First of all, every human life is worthy of celebration on some level, and no human life is without some dark corners of unworthiness. Girardot invites the reader to "Call me old fashioned." I would go beyond that and say that his remarks show that he is very far removed from younger spirits who found that Michael Jackson's singing, dancing, showmanship and childlike attitude always lifted their spirits and gave them hope. He certainly also shows that he has no appreciation for the African-American experience that gave birth to Jackson and his music, nor any clue as to why he can be seen as a role model by young people of color, in spite of his very public flaws.

Perhaps the fact that the Pasadena Star-News considers Girardot's column worthy of its precious print space tells us a great deal about why people among the region's "minority" populations discount the Star-News as speaking only to the white majority culture. Mr. Girardot and the newspaper's other leaders should know that the Little Old Lady from Pasadena died years ago, and very few of her sorority sisters are left to buy newspapers.

Girardot ends his column by underlining the repeated "bad decision-making" in Michael Jackson's life, as well as noting the "bad decision-making" of those who chose to be part of the immense crowds in and around the Staples Center for the memorial service. Well, the baddest decision-making I've seen recently has been done by Frank Giradot in writing such tasteless words , and by the Star-News in printing them.

George Van Alstine


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