To the editor:

I want to thank Larry Clark for his letter on June 29 calling attention to the cartoon a week earlier depicting a busload of Chicago "low-lifers" spewing booze, dope and gunfire out the bus windows as they arrived to indulge the benefits of subsidized housing here in Red Wing.

Like him, I found this presentation of stereotypes of those living in or needing subsidized housing outrageous. These kinds of hurtful, ignorance based stereotypes, if they are carried by some people in our community, are only reinforced by this kind of disturbing display.

Subsidized housing is a significant need for a lot of people in our community, many of them working low or even modestly well paying jobs; many of them elderly or disabled. It's an easy and ill-informed move to jump on the "punish the poor" bandwagon and discredit and vilify those with profound economic struggles. Our impulse to alienate what we don't understand is always easier than actually doing the work needed to know something about the reality of their lives and struggles. It's easier to spew fear, as this cartoon does, than do the work of building a community that provides for the basic needs of all of its citizens.

This jaded "cartoon" of potential subsidized housing recipients shows us that, as far building community inclusivity is concerned, we have some real work to do!

Bruce McBeath

Red Wing