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Friday Letters: ‘Hostile and hateful’ 50 years ago — and today

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. leads civil rights marchers in an all-white neighborhood on Chicago's Southwest side, despite a downpour of rain, Aug. 21, 1966. Several hundred policemen protected the 500 marchers. (AP Photo/Larry Stoddard)

Friday marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most shameful days in the history of Chicago. Bricks, rocks and bottles were lobbed over the protecting police lines at those of us gathered in Marquette Park after walking through nearby neighborhoods on behalf of open housing and an open city.

Leading our Chicago Freedom Movement march that day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was struck on the head by one of those missiles and dropped to the ground. That night on TV, watched by people around the world, Dr. King stated, “I have seen many demonstrations in the South but I have never seen anything so hostile and hateful as I’ve seen here today.”

But even more shocking and equally as “hostile and hateful” are the verbal missiles flying out from microphones in today’s presidential election campaign. Those of us who were participants in that earlier episode cannot help but see today’s eruption of hate as a sad and dangerous reprise and repeat of that shameful day in Chicago.

Rev. Martin Deppe, Ravenswood Manor

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Trump fans will watch football

The Republican presidential candidate is not concerned that the upcoming debates might be rigged. He is concerned about the television ratings. He is a reality TV guy. He wants his show to have the largest live audience so that he wins the ratings race for the day. He’s afraid his supporters will be more interested in the football games on other channels, caring more about their sports bets, than in the betterment of the country. If they don’t watch the debates live, Donald Trump’s ratings may be lower than Clinton’s and he will be the ratings loser.

He is afraid of losing.

Rachel Goodstein, Lincoln Park