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John Kass - Chicago Journalist

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

In Response to your Twitter Trump article:

Dear Mr. Kass,

I think you have it reversed. It is you who is coarse. You use the Tribune as a platform for your agendas, prejudices and biases. You're like a smiling cat with the mouse in his mouth as you carve up people with digital bytes.

If Trump wants to use twitter to attack hateful journalists, that’s just fine. Gosh, late night CNN is like watching the Klu Klux Klan with suits instead of hoods with the call letters CNN burning in the background. You find it disconcerting to find a President actually fighting back against the pack. And now you are on the move to get back your pound of flesh.

I kind of like to think Lincoln would have used twitter considering the abuse he received from the media. But he would have utilized more humor.

If character mattered to the left, the media would have fair, clear-minded, unbiased journalists, Clinton would have been impeached and Obama and Hillary would have been after-thoughts. Turn your moral mirror on them and the media and you’ll see what I mean. Heck, Trump would never have had to consider running.

Trump’s election exposed the Democrats and they can’t stand it. The Patton of Politics wiped away all their pretension and PC. They stand revealed in the stark light of hypocrisy - puppeteers of a new world order with the strings slashed, fluttering in the wind.

The next time you are about to write an ‘unbiased’ story, place a mirror next to your monitor and look at your face as you type. If you have the courage to keep looking, you might learn something.

And your city is crumbling around you and all you worry about is Trump using twitter. Hundreds of African Americans die every year in your town and no protests. One ignorant white cop and everyone goes nuts.

Why don’t the Chicago news media, politicians, civil servants cash their paychecks, sell their houses and move into the ghetto sections? Then communicate, work with, immerse yourselves into their lives and by your willing service, help them to re-acquire hope, develop self-confidence themselves and trust in the city leaders.

It kind of annoys me when I see the media prop up pro athletes who spend a Saturday in the under-privalaged areas, pound a few nails, take some pictures, have a barbecue and then they are gone, back to their well ordered lives with their consciences scratched for at least a little while. The real heroes are the ones who stay and do not bring attention to themselves.

I’ll tell you a story of an experience I had in Chicago in the 1970’s. Not sure what this has to do with anything but here it goes. I was traveling across the country to NY. The folks I was with, wanted to stop in Chicago and visit friends attending the University. They lived off the South/West corner of the school. In the years that they lived there, they never went right at the sidewalk, only left because, they told me, the black neighborhood started on the next block.

This kind of scared and upset me. So I decided right then and there to go out the door and go right at the sidewalk. When we arrived, that’s exactly what I did. Walking down a residential street, I noticed no one outside except one elderly lady. When she saw me, she immediately went inside. I continued until I arrived at the main street with shops and stores.

I saw a social services building, went in and checked it out. Left and continued down the sidewalk. I noticed lots of young, black men just leaning against store walls. I could feel their anger and hopelessness (gosh we failed the black community by making them slaves to government programs like housing projects and welfare).

I decided I had better head back. As I was going up another residential street, about 25 yards up ahead, a huge black man was standing there and he showed the fiercist, meanest face to me. He was Sonny Liston only bigger. Alarms were going off in my head and I wanted to take flight up the other side of the street, but I steadied myself, telling my mind that to run would be a big mistake.

As I got within several feet, he abruptly stuck out his hand and gave me the biggest smile I have ever seen. I can tell you I stuck my hand in his and shook it with all the enthusiasm and joyous relief I could muster. I passed his test and what a test!

He invited me to his home and we had lunch together with his daughter whom he wanted me to marry! Hah, she was standing in the kitchen doorway, smiling with exasperation. We had a lot of fun and great conversation.

Before returning to the friend's house, I took a walk up the street bordering the school. The afternoon sunlight was creating a beautiful color in the grass and the trees. A middle-aged black woman walking her dog stopped me and asked if she could talk. I said yes and she wanted to know about California. Looking at me, she could tell I was from there.

She wanted to move to San Francisco, but her friends did not want her to leave. I think I told her, I hope I told her that if they were her friends, they would be happy for her to go. We had a good conversation about California and I encouraged her as much as I could to move there.

Later, when I got back to the house, all were anxious about where I was. They couldn’t believe it when I told them the story.

What has this to do with anything? Probably nothing, but maybe that conquering fear is a battle we must all face. In one afternoon, after arriving, I had made a couple of friends.

You know, we honor Martin Luther King with a special day for him each year but very few truly follow his guidance and wisdom for peace. If not just African Americans but all people would permeate every particle of their beings with his ‘Life’, then peace, manifesting in each heart will sprout naturally into civic virtue.

Quotes from Martin Luther King:

On love: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

On Riots: “The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.”

On evolving: “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

On non-violence: “Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash; it is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.”

On self-control: “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

On forgiveness: “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”

On Violence: “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.”

The cure for the ills of society lie within each soul. Dive deep there and you will discover Spirit. Finding Him within, you will find Him without and know divine love. Then it will be impossible to behave inimicaly towards anyone and you will see mankind, everyone as a blood-brother, “. . . for love is indispensable”.

A Prayer for Inner Guidance

Lord, I take a sacred vow to never let myself sink into the pit of negative emotions. That I only manifest the Christ qualities of fearlessness, courage, forgiveness, love and understanding.

John, I’ll put your name on the prayer list. Take care.

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