Wrong message on black offenders

Saturday, November 27, 2010; 4:49 PM

As if Courtland Milloy's recent apologia for Prince George's County's executive leadership failings wasn't sufficient, his diatribe ["Celeb testimonials on doing time need to stop," Metro, Nov. 24] bemoaning the "unfair" imprisonment of African American criminals further insults both the intelligence and morality of law-abiding black citizens.

Mr. Milloy apparently believes that incarceration is akin to catching a cold - a random event that strikes unfairly, implies no wrongdoing and should carry no stigma; and, what's more, that black celebrities who have gained insight and perspective from their imprisonment should somehow stifle their altruistic impulse to share these insights in the hope of deterring others from criminality.

What a terribly unfortunate message to send to the District's at-risk black youth. One can only hope that they're reading Michael Vick, not Courtland Milloy. At least the quarterback, for all his mistakes in judgment, clearly sees the connection between criminal acts and their consequences. Mr. Milloy, armed with an equally powerful platform, chooses to blur what needs to be an unmistakably clear message: "You do the crime, you do the time."

Robert Glenn, Gaithersburg

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