Politicians and the media’s constant portrayal of black people as helpless, defenseless, victims of circumstance is appalling. We do not need your perpetual supervision as a reminder of the trauma imposed upon our wretched souls by the government, brutal police forces and a biased judicial system.

Your need for self-gratification and self-substantiation has made us hopelessly dependent upon the very institutions you condemn for causing our plight. Your constant badgering has convinced everyone including ourselves that we are unable to compete without preferential treatment, an advantage or outright favoritism.

Any changes to the personnel board application process to create diversity in city employment are an insult to every black person who applies because it implies we cannot compete on equitable terms. What is wrong with you?

You are representing us as juvenile and feeble children who most constantly hold an adult’s hand so we do not wander in to the street. During a recent “race relations” conference, Mayor Stimpson suggested changing business license application requirements to stimulate minority business ownership — again suggesting we must have an advantage — and you reiterate that insult to all black people’s ingenuity, creativity, character and determination.

When the terms “fairness” and “equality” are used, it means a fair and equal opportunity to succeed or fail and regardless of the outcome of our endeavor. We are allowed to attempt them with the dignity that can only be derived from self-determination and independence.

Attaining an education, choosing an honest career, working hard and persistence were once the tenets of American families but have been replaced with handouts, favoritism and excuses which are perpetuated by public “leaders” and media driven by sensationalism. Perhaps city departments lack the desired diversity because of unqualified applicants or perhaps young educated people do not want low paying municipal jobs. You are not talking about the cause, only what you have decided is the solution.

A diverse workforce cannot be created through legislation or a dumbed down hiring process. Adequate public education creates intelligent individuals from which an employer may choose the most qualified candidate whose desire is to work for a municipality and not through fear or intimidation, malice or ill will.

John C. Young,