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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
January 26, 1996     The Message
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January 26, 1996

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--- Taking the time to make a difference--, . How do you identify thatperson? There's a city, =Cairo,".in a part of Southern Illinois which is known as "Little Egypt." The name of the city is spelled the same as the name of the city in Egypt, in Northern Africa. But the pronunci- ation is different. In the 1960s and early 1970s, the city in Illinois was the scene of what state and national news re- ports called "racial disturbances." When a city makes the national news, somebody usually has to tell radio and television news re- porters how to pronounce its name. If I remember the way to spell phonetically, the city in Egypt is pronounced "KAI roh," with the "i" like the "i" in "tiger" and the %" pronounced like the "o" in "go." The city in Illinois is pronounced "KEHR oh" or "KAY roh." All of the news services, such as the Associ- ated Press, United Press International, Reuters and others, always provided the phonetic spelling of the city, so that broadcasters would know how to pronounce it. Some news service writers also provided other clues to the pronunciation. And it was such a clue which greatly angered a friend of mine, who was a resident of Cairo, Illinois. In order to help broadcasters know which pro- By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR nunciation to use, one wire service writer told us that she always added a phrase to give broadcast- ers an extra clue. She called the city in southern Illinois, "racially troubled Cairo." The name stuck, even long after civic, community and reli- gious leaders had worked long and hard to bring about some reconcili- ation to the city. The name stuck, even when the news story had nothing to do with the label -- as in "Mississippi River flooding threatens racially troubled Cairo." It is easy to look back now, and say that the label was unfair, even though there was some truth in its origin. I bring up the matter today, in order to bring about an examination of the labels in use today. We use short-cut labels frequently, it seems, in the community, in regard to religion, and in pol- itics. Stereotypes are common. We hear about "inner-city problems" and "Is- lamic fundamentalists." We listen to or avoid "con- servative talk show hosts." We read or rail against "liberal columnists." In our homes, labels tend to stick, too. Some- times, labels applied to a child or to some member of the family bring about a change in identity. The one who is labeled lives up to the label, and be- comes what he or she is called -- the brained one, the bright one, the lazy sloppy one, the "difficult" child, uncle, the rebellious teen. Labels stick all the longer and all the when there is some truth in their origin, Talk with the people you live labels people gave you when you were when you were in school or on the job. What were the labels used in What was "true" about them? What was What ethnic labels do you use? Or ers to use in your presence? Many communities have ethnic areas which are identified by code "south side" or "west end." What are words in your community? : Pay careful attention to news the newspaper or the broadcast a pattern of unfair labels. Take the time today to examine others in your home) use labels to family members and your neighbors. IfYU names and labels which lessen or dignity of'every person, take the time difference. Questions and comments are Christian Family Movement, P.O. Iowa 50010 Washington Letter Youth violence continues to pose vexing problems in U.S. By MARK PATTISON Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In their 1994 pastoral message "Confronting a Culture of Vio- lence," the U.S. bishops asked Catholics to focus on "the moral and human costs of vio- lence between Jan. 15 and Jan. 22." Jan. 15 is the Rev. Dr. Mar- tin Luther King Jr.'s birthday; Jan. 22 is the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision legalizing abortion virtually on demand. One area of violence vexing Catholic and non-Catholic alike is the growing specter of youth violence. The intensity and sheer nas- tiness of that violence is going up, according to a group of public officials that calls itself the Council on Crime in Amer- ica. A group of council mem- bers held a Jan. 5 press confer- ence in Washington. And when the baby boomers' kids start hitting their adoles- cent and teen years -- the The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Pusher .............. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Edi ....................................... Paul R. Lengang Production Technician ................ Joseph Dietrich Advertising .................................... Paul Newland Staff Writer ............................. Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tmn number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 tO Office 04 Publication GWT lge6 G Fs d  group most likely to commit vi- olent crimes is made up of males ages 15-24 -- the num- ber of violent crimes will soar even more. While most homicides are committed by people who know the victim, more frequently "murders are committed by strangers just shooting each other for the hell of it," said William Bennett, a Catholic and former Cabinet secretary who has taken on rap music, TV talk shows and violent movies in recent years. "The differences in certain neighborhoods (in the same city) might as well be different constellations," Bennett said Jan. 5. Philadelphia District Attor- ney Lynne Abrah'am pinned blame on "do-good judges" she accused of coddling youthful criminals. "Our children are as adept at risk assessment as are our criminals," she said, and if children see that people can commit crimes with impunity, they may do the same. Colorado Attorney General Gale Norton lamented the loss of children. "Young children are the victims; older children, the killers," she said. "The fact of the matter is that, except for the decent citi- zen, everyone knows crime pays," said Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith. Programs like Big Brothers and Big Sisters are an asset, Bennett said. But council members campaigned for longer sentences and more prisons. "You can't build your way out of a prison (cell shortage) problem, said John DiIulio Jr., a Princeton University profes- sor of politics and public af- fairs, "but having additional cells helps." Bennett conceded the point of a Wisconsin public official who suggested that all that building more prisons would do is to warehouse criminals. "Fine," Bennett said he replied to the man. "Then we'll ware- house them at your house." The cost of building and maintaining prisons, coupled with the impact of "truth in sentencing" laws that elimi- nate parole eligibility for vio- lent offenders, are sure to be debated in Congress and state legislatures and lawmakers scramble for both solutions and votes. But on a parallel track is vi- olence prevention -- not only keeping young people from committing violent acts, but making them aware of vio- lence's effects long before com- mitting violence is even consid- ered. Paul Henderson, special as- sistant for Youth and young adult ministry for the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth, said in an interview that the bish-  ops and the National Federa- tion for Catholic Youth Min- istry took "Confronting a Culture of Violence" as a cue to jointly develop last year a three-year initiative, "To Stand Against Violence." When developing the initia- tive, Henderson said he noted the high level of concern among teens. "Whether we live in the city, the suburbs or the rural area ... we are experiencing too much violence in our lives," Henderson said the teens told him. Last year as part of the ini- tiative, between 15,000 and 20,000 Catholic teens signed a pledge card stating they would not commit violence. Those cards were forwarded to Cardi- nal William F. Keeler of Balti- more, then head bishops, still signed cards on to their local This year, the takes as its Culture of Life, companying ness hei at the seconc Congress last Minneap Catholic teenS. Next year, the t "Peacemakers Hope," to be Youth Day 1997 Based on the many youths it might preaching to the can't be assumed" Take Cathi ence. Coordin ministry a Parish in Coridan led a See Bishop's sch The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: Appreciates commentary The following letter was ad- dressed to Msgr. Clinton Hirsch, a contributor of com- mentaries to the Message: You have another excellent article in the latest copy of the Message (Jan. 19). You have done a fantastic job of saying so much about "Depression" in so few words! Thank you for sharing your insights with all of us through your articles in the diocesan newspaper. Kathy Zirkelbach Evansville