Letter:There are many Ennis Beleys in LA ghettos

What did the benefactors of Ennis Beley, murdered in a gang rub- out in Los Angeles, think they were achieving by sending him to get a middle-class private education - presumably similar to their own ("The hope that failed", Review, 18 August)? And why were they surprised when he failed to fit in? Did it occur to them that Ennis was innovative, exciting, creative and original precisely because he was not moulded in that cauldron?

Matthew Heller's articleseemed almost to blame the poor kid for not being grateful for the chance to escape the street gang scene. Ennis is presented as a unique creative being among a faceless mass of brutality. No attempt is made by either the "benefactors" or Heller to point out that within that mass there must be many Ennises decaying and yearning to break out. Perhaps the benefactors might have done better to address the issues that create the ghetto, the gangs and the terrible waste of latent talent.

Jaleh Parvardin

Birmingham

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