By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Last week's cover ["Diallo: The City Will Never Be the Same"] was chilling, and perfectly complemented your special section on the Amadou Diallo killing.
At first, all I noticed was the blood and bullet holes. Then, while counting the holes, I realized they spelled out "I [heart] NY." As a photo researcher, I deal with images every day, and recognize a powerful one when I see it. The factors that went into your cover made an extremely strong statement, encouraging people to think about the serious situation that has begun to unfold in New York City. Great job!
Leslie De La Vega
Equality Of Life
Your special section "Diallo: The City Will Never Be the Same," on the citywide effect of the Diallo killing, was outstanding, especially in explaining Mayor Rudolph Guiliani's reaction to the protests. Visiting New Yorkers are always telling me how the city has changed in recent years. Now I have some idea about what they failed to tell me.
After reading Guy Trebay's article, "Disobedience Training" [March 30], I've decided that, although I am 64 years old, I would join those who are protesting the killing of Amadou Diallo if I lived in New York. It is a shame that some members of the New York Police Department are so brutal. Keep protesting!
Los Angeles, California
Revved Up Protests
Peter Noel's "Father of the Movement" [April 6], with additional reporting by Karen Mahabir, was excellent! I've always loved Reverend Al Sharpton. While I am extremely sorry it took the cold-blooded murder of a young African immigrant to galvanize New Yorkers against police brutality, I am pleased that Sharpton is finally getting the credit he deserves.
In response to Peter Noel's "Father of the Movement," explaining how Reverend Al Sharpton rose from "racial arsonist" to "racial healer": Sharpton ought to go a step further and remove himself from the foreground of the protests. Although the demonstrations have taken on unexpected proportions, I have heard many a friend say that but for Sharpton's notoriety in the Tawana Brawley fraud they would have also joined in the civil disobedience protests at police headquarters.
Brawley is Sharpton's albatross. Unless he acknowledges his folly in the Brawley case, he has no credibility to many people, notwithstanding the participation in his demonstrations of Susan Sarandon, Jesse Jackson, David Dinkins, Charles Rangel, and scores of rabbis.
Alisa Solomon's "A Dream Detained" [March 30] did an excellent job communicating the sadness and depression of immigrants awaiting permission to officially enter the U.S.
Many of these refugees come to America thinking their problems will be solved upon arrival, not realizing they are going to get caught up in the immigration system. There must be better legislation that protects not only the immigrants, but the taxpayers, who provide the wherewithal to house all these refugees. The U.S. causes its own problem by not clarifying its laws and regulations to potential immigrants before they arrive. By the time refugees are here, what can be done? Their cases must be heard, and they must be housed. When finally they are deported or released into society, a lot of taxpayer money will have been spent.
Reading Alisa Solomon's "A Dream Detained," I was struck by the hypocrisy of U.S. condemnation of China for human rights violations when this country sanctions INS detainment of immigrants under such awful conditions. If we read of this behavior in Beijing instead of Queens, we'd be outraged at the disregard for human rights.
Eric Weisbard, in his article, "The Graying of Indie Rock" [March 30], quotes former indie rocker Xtal's lyric: "What you gonna do for an encore/Now that you're not so young anymore?"
You know, indie rock only got unseemly if you cared whether anyone listened. The indie milieu wasn't about youth, beauty, or power, it was about finding something to do with your friends other than watch TV. Most of this music will never be heard. It rusts away on countless cassettes in the attics of 80,000 indie band members who couldn't be bothered with sending out demo tapes.
Paul Westerberg, Thalia Zedek, and Steve Shelley were straight-up rock stars with tours and managers, videos and albums on the charts. Real indie rock stars never get old because there aren't any. What are we gonna do for an encore? Who invited you to the fucking show?
San Jose, California
Playing For Keeps
As a 36-year-old veteran of about half a dozen indie bands that all went nowhere, Eric Weisbard's article "The Graying of Indie Rock" brought a tear to my eye and a stomp of my foot on the floor. Now where in hell did I put my Rickenbacker?
Barry Walters, in "57 Hatreds" [He's Got Your Disease, March 30], seemed interested in understanding Eminem and his music, even though he wasn't able to fully grasp it which was a pleasant surprise.
Walters wrote, "This loser plays his trailer trash persona for laughs, but also pathos, and his ability to switch back and forth in the course of a single rhyme is what some people even I find upsetting."