PD's Readers Out-Feagler Feagler, Debate Sterilization for Black People

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Two Sundays ago, The PD's Dick Feagler wrote a column about the white lawyer who was beat up by a gang of little black kids in Shaker Heights, essentially arguing the inevitability of white flight. Though some found it racist – and just as many agreed – it could likely be chocked up to an old man talking the way old men do. But the paper was apparently stung by the blowback. So yesterday, editors used the entire front page of the Forum section to show their readers they aren't that weird. The paper used comments pulled from its website to basically deliver the ol' Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover/One Bad Apple/We've All Got to Pull Together Speech. It was going along swimmingly, addressing various web debates like “What happened is the fault of black people” and “Whites have oppressed blacks, so what happened is the fault of white people.” Until it hit this one: “We should offer financial incentives to young blacks to be sterilized.” Whatttt? It seems the paper's web readers went completely off the rails, actually engaging in a lengthy debate about sterilization. Of course, such weirdness isn't unusual for internet forums, which tend to attract a healthy sampling of kooks. What's truly weird is that the paper took them seriously, then decided to announce to its sane subscribers that, yeah, many of your fellow readers have some rather overt Hitlerian proclivities. Thankfully, editors at least left a few things on the cutting room floor, failing to address such pressing issues as: “If we fed all the black people to some chickens, could their eggs still be considered organic?” and... “I thought the Bible said it was okay to beat up lawyers, or at least cut off their hands or something.” -- Pete Kotz

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