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Occupy Baltimore: There's a reason The Sun can't grasp what our movement is about

"Occupy Baltimore — for what?" asks your editorial (Oct. 5) about the latest movement of radical young people in Baltimore, perhaps the largest the city has seen in decades.

The Occupy Everything fight is one of optimism against pessimism, and of youth and hope against apathy and cynicism. It is something the established media probably will not grasp. The movement will not be understood by editors who fill their front page with the latest failure of the local baseball team while virtually ignoring the struggle for a decent wage by the janitors who clean the stadium after the game.

The movement will not be understood by a paper that seems to think the only local news fit to print about the city's largest demographic group is a steady stream of one-paragraph blurbs listing the death of another of its children. It will not be understood by a paper that considers a database of murder locations, or the salaries of city officials, investigative journalism.

The ejection of your newspaper's reporter from a meeting, although unfounded and unfair, speaks volumes about the impression activists and young people have about The Sun. They harbor no personal grudges, but they had better things to do than accommodate a reporter from a paper that historically has ignored them.

Mainstream media like yours will not regain their relevance until they return to their roots. The Sun could start by joining the occupation's nightly discussions, which draw far more people to hear our message than you ever anticipated.

Umar Farooq, Baltimore

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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