This apology would ideally be made to the modern-day Palestinians, who some say are the descendants of the original Canaanites and who continue to be dispossessed and "cleansed" to accommodate Jewish (read: Western) colonization.

Many of the outrages perpetuated down the centuries by monotheists (especially Christians) have been justified by the idea that as long as you're doing God's work, you can slaughter as many infidels or heathens as you like. If this way of thinking were officially discredited once and for all, it would be progress.

Chris Sorochin

Sorry State of Affairs

Re Richard Goldstein's article "Apology Accepted": I am an accidental Internet reader, 6000 miles from the Village Voice offices. But probably I am much farther from Mr. Goldstein's thoughts and feelings. An apology is a very personal matter. And accepting or refusing it is personal too.

New generations do not care as much about religious load as, say, sexual preferences or skin color. We just want the best future for our families.

My grandmother died during World War II, and my grandfather was a prisoner in Germany from 1943 to 1945. I silently know what it means, with or without apologies.

Pablo Arman
Montevideo, Uruguay

Visiting Lecturer

As a graduate of the CUNY system (Baruch College, 1998), I felt compelled to write after reading Esther Kaplan's article "Faculty Showdown" [April 18].

I recall an incident that occurred when I had first transferred to Baruch from a small college in the Midwest. There was a so-called "open meeting" in the auditorium to discuss the impending increase in tuition, and Mayor Giuliani and some assorted alums were part of the panel. During the meeting, the mayor dideverything short of outright accusing Baruch students of being lazy and ungrateful.

I began to realize that we were convenient targets. CUNY students tend to be different. Most have jobs, many have children, and hardly anyone graduates in four years. It is very easy to become demoralized when you have to alternate full-time semesters with part-time semesters throughout a college experience that may last six years or more. We were not lazy; it's just a fact that when you have to work full-time and go to school, something's got to give.

Kimberlee Keller
Glendale, New York

 Food for Thought

Sharon Lerner's April 11 Body Politics column ["The Shrink Brigade"] seemed to imply that mental health clinicians are simply worried about their own financial situations and that they are making big money providing a spurious service to gullible consumers.

As an occupational group, we're some of the lowest paid and least mercenary of all professions. Incomes in my profession (clinical social work) were relatively low 10 years ago, before managed care. In my city, those of us who are in full-time private practice, and who have 15 to 20 years of experience, are now making about as much as entry-level food-service workers. I'm talking about people with master's or doctoral degrees who then went through more years of training to obtain their licenses to practice.

Be warned—as soon as managed care has finished decimating mental health care in this country, it will go on to deny you your needed health care. By then my colleagues and I will have gone on to better-paying occupations and much less draining lifestyles than we have now. Because self-interest does kick in at some point—even in social workers.

Kathy Terry
Louisville, Kentucky

Cheap Shots

Yikes! Allen St. John's article "Below the Rim" [April 4] implies that the rules of the college game are designed to provide a competitive advantage to teams that play a slow-down game or what he calls "retroball." This may well be true, and the motives of the NCAA are open to speculation. However, to term the style of play favored in the college game "whiteball" and to imply that its opposite—what the author calls "hip-hop hoops," played mostly by blacks—is somehow superior has frightening implications.

If St. John's argument is followed to its logical conclusion, the implications are that blacks have a propensity to disregard coaching instructions (they do not) and that this is an admirable quality (it is not). The best team in college ball today, Michigan State, is predominantly black, yet they won the national championship not by disregarding their coaching in favor of freestyle athleticism but through the implementation of a well-conceived game plan by well-disciplined and intelligent players.

Eric Losick



In Allen St. John's article "Survival of the Fittest" [April 25], he states that Michelle Kwan won the last three figure skating world championships. In fact, Kwan finished second last year.

Carolyn Porter
Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi

Rall Wins Kennedy Award

Voice cartoonist Ted Rall has won the 2000 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Outstanding Coverage of the Problems of the Disadvantaged.

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