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Outrage over Smollett an attack on black woman prosecutor? Readers disagree

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President Kevin Graham speaks during a press conference to announce a “no confidence” vote in the leadership of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, on April 4, 2019. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

In last week’s column, I wrote about Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her office’s prosecution of “Empire” star Jussie Smollett. The handling of the case has sparked outrage, and there are questions Foxx must answer. But, I wrote, the venom leveled at Foxx has deeper roots. It’s an attack on a leading African-American woman prosecutor and her efforts to reform the county’s justice system.

The vast majority of you disagreed.

Here’s a sampling of your responses, edited for space:

You have forgotten more than I will ever know about Chicago politics and its players. But the canard about race being the cause of Miss Foxx’s problems is getting old.

Especially since Chicagoans just elected a black lesbian female as our next mayor with over 70 percent of the turnout vote, vanquishing the president of the Cook County Board.

Come on. Are you not just a little bit embarrassed?

John J. Considine, Chicago

My response: No. While Lightfoot’s election is heartening, racism is far from dead.

***

You insinuate that Foxx’ critics are vocal because of race. Though I agree that their complaints may have a racial twist to them, I also think Foxx’s handling of the Smollett incident warrants criticism.

Anyone else who would have been the state’s attorney — even Richie Daley — would have received similar criticism for similar actions.

Foxx brought this upon herself for some reason, and she needs to accept the criticism without playing the race card.

Edward Fee, Orland Park

***

I am not seeking to have Kim Foxx resign, nor are any of the people I know. What we are seeking is an honest answer as to why she elected to give Jussie Smollett a free pass, given what occurred. Her actions, without an intelligent explanation, suggest to many that either the fix was in or her office botched the case.

If her office blew it, then admit it so we can move on.

Howard S, Golden, Skokie

***

I agree that the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) has their own agenda with her. But you dismiss the significance of dropping the Smollett charges completely. This man made a mockery of Chicago, all to try and make more money.

In a city riddled with crime, to fake a hate crime is beyond the pale. And for her to get a phone call from a celebrity fixer and then suddenly drop the charges, that’s despicable and deplorable.

So much for Kim Foxx the reformer.

Lisa Seil, Gurnee Illinois

***

Kim Foxx’s office didn’t even get Smollett to admit to what he did. Disgraceful.

If it comes down to Anita Alvarez or Jerry Joyce against Foxx, I will vote for Foxx, but my disappointment with how her office handled this case will not diminish. And that’s not “about taking down the first African-American woman to serve as the county’s top prosecutor.”

I agree that Foxx has done a lot of good things, but if there is a candidate running who I think will continue the good work and not make this kind of mistake, I’ll vote for that candidate.

Kevin Coughlin, Evanston

***

The pattern, as you correctly identify, is clear: The Fraternal Order of Police does not want a black female reformer. This is about race power and change. Look at who rushed to march with the Fraternal Order of Police against Foxx: The white supremacist group American Guard.

Will Tanzman, Chicago

Send letters to: letters@suntimes.com.