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Reader Victoria Halfon writes in response to our June photo essay, "Visions of Maryland":

In your current photo issue, I am furious to see on page 65 a full page photo of a hate-speech nut. I drive by this infuriating man several times a week, and am assaulted by his Nazi rhetoric on his clothing & signs, while he weaves dangerously in and out of traffic blowing his annoying whistle.
It’s media attention like this that makes these nuts start shooting innocent people in their clamor for infamy.
So while Palestinian terrorists have 3 teenagers being held hostage in the west bank area, you are giving a full page photo to the Palestinian flag waiving (sic) behind this loser on his bike?
Is this our “guide to living in southern NV”?
 I’m actually ashamed of you and your insensitive behavior.
Andrew Kiraly responds:
Thanks for writing. I’m sorry you feel that way, but I can’t apologize for including Aaron Mayes’ photo in the “Visions of Maryland” photo essay, the point of which was to capture and consider real life on Maryland Parkway — from the beautiful to the bad. To apologize for that would be, well, apologizing for journalism: honestly reflecting and investigating the world around us. It’s absurd to assume that reflecting that world — in this case, a photo of a “hate speech nut” on Maryland Parkway apparently well-known to you — implies some kind of endorsement, sanction or encouragement on our part. Of course, it doesn’t.
Ironically, your harrowing interactions with this man reinforce the premise of the photo essay; it affirms that, yes, this guy is most definitely part of the life of Maryland Parkway. If there’s any endorsement going on, it’s not from this end.
Finally, I’d consider a multitude of other more likely factors that results in “nuts ... shooting innocent people” before I point my finger at an easy target like “media attention.” That’s as simplistic as wishing that a man ranting on a street corner didn’t exist.

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