By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
It Was a Very Goodyear
I congratulate The Village Voiceand Sarah Goodyear for the excellent article about Italian American internment and relocation during World War II ["When Being Italian Was a Crime," April 18]. Your efforts in bringing this story to light are much appreciated.
On the West Coast the relocation of Italian Americans touched many families, most of whom were not famous (although even Joe DiMaggio's family was affected). Nevertheless, using fame to illuminate gaps in history is acceptable to me.
Laura E. Ruberto
Department of French and Italian
University of California at Davis
Thanks so much for running the story by Ezio Pinza's granddaughter, Sarah Goodyear, about the internment of Italian Americans during World War II. As an English professor at the University of Vermont, I have been deep into this matter recently, showing my Italian American literature students a video done by the History Channel and reading from Stephen Fox's book on the subject, The Unknown Internment (1990).
I am shocked that this could have happened in the United States, and even more astounded that the story of it could have been kept secret for so long.
Ezio Does It
As an Italian American with Sicilian roots, I was happy to read Sarah Goodyear's touching account of the tragic incarceration of her grandfather, the great Ezio Pinza.
Pinza's "hidden" story is really not a secret, however. It is mentioned in his posthumously published autobiography, Ezio Pinza (1957). In the book, Pinza credits New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia as being instrumental in his ultimate release.
Thank you for Jean Jean-Pierre's article "The Sound of Silence" [April 18], about the murder of Haitian radio journalist Jean Dominique. The mainstream press in the United States has shown only one side of Dominique's personality. He was much more than a friend of President Preval. He was an advocate of democracy, a molder of public opinion, and a tremendous professional.
The murder of Jean Dominique is detrimental to Haitians whether they live in Haiti or abroad. Haitians listened religiously to Dominique's commentary. He was the only journalist in Haiti who could address issues that made listeners happy, sad, reflective, and frightened, sometimes simultaneously.
If objectivity exists, Jean Dominique was a true living example of it. His programs were color-blind, detached from the many so-called political parties in Haiti, fair to all, and straight to the point. Besides, he had nothing to hide. I sincerely believe that Jean Dominique was murdered because his radio journalism was not and could never be used as a force for bigotry.
Ghana Not Forgotten
Mark Schoofs's Pulitzer Prize-winning series, "AIDS: The Agony of Africa," was wonderful. I have just read all eight parts. I am an international development lawyer working on reforms in West and Southern Africa. Through Rotary clubs I am also working to reform the Ghanaian blood-transfusion service and am involved in TB education and treatment in Accra.
I must say that large agencies do not act in a speedy way, in Africa or elsewhere. Also, I have trouble finding go-getters in the Ghanaian health system and, lately, in the Southern Africa Development Community.
The big organizations, like the Regional Center for South Africa (a component of USAID), just react to inquiries with statements like, "We are doing all those things already." Good, if true. However, the problems are greater than the assets now focused on them. I say there is room for more.
Old Chatham, New York
The first time I looked at The Village Voice's Web site I saw an article by Mark Schoofs on AIDS in Africa. I was riveted and came back every week. It was the first time I had read articles about Africa other than the little blurbs you see in the general media. As a mother, I had to catch my breath while reading a passage describing a woman trying to comfort her dying children in a bed of foul straw in the midst of total hopelessness.
Schoofs's articles taught me about different aspects of the whole horrendous problem, from the politics to the social aspects to the lack of money and, mainly, the fact that most of the "first world" really does not care at all about the "third world."
Congratulations on the Pulitzerthis is the journalism it should awardand hopefully now more people will read it.
A Far Cry
Congratulations from afar to Mark Schoofs for winning the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting. His writing has been challenging and inspirational, on the cutting edge of aspects of the epidemic that often get marginalized.
Thanks to the Voice, too, for the finest, the most enablingly political journalism.
Since Goldstein spent much of the piece discussing the Jewish response to the pope's apology, I couldn't help but think how therapeutic it would be if some authoritative figure or body in Judaism made an apology for the biblical genocide of the Canaanites. The Book of Joshua relates that the ancient Hebrews exterminated entire cities, "down to the last child," so that they might take possession of the Promised Land. (Of course, many other ancient peoples committed similar barbarities, but their exploits are not enshrined in a book considered to be a moral blueprint by much of the world.)