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By Gus Bode

Dear Editor:

Well, another Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration has come and gone.

And all the local hypocrites have gathered with the good people who truly wish to honor his legacy in Carbondale: the ‘neighborhood activists’ who try to make the poor and their places of residence seem as sleazy and disreputable as possible with their talk of rooming houses and ghettos; the public officials who have repeatedly voted to raise taxes that impact the poor harder than they do those of means; the SIUC officials who literally demanded that Carbondale raise the sales tax (a regressive tax) to help disguise their own incompetence; the health care professionals who charge such exorbitant fees that they quickly bankrupt even those with health insurance; the business people who make sure that the vast majority of their employees work only part-time (at the minimum wage) so that they don’t even have to offer them poor quality health insurance or other benefits.


By now, some of you are clucking your tongues and saying, ‘Dr. King also advocated unity and this letter is the opposite of that.’ There can be no unity between the poor and those who oppress and exploit them through word or deed! And anyone without the guts to stand up and hold the above-mentioned parties responsible for their actions is betraying and besmirching the memory of that great, brave and noble man.

James L. Desper Jr.

Carbondale resident