Letter Of The Week

A Good Start

Re James Ridgeway's "Tenet Gets the Bum's Rush" [Mondo Washington, villagevoice.com, June 3]: Thank you for your coverage of the overdue resignation of CIA director George Tenet. However, it did not go deep enough. While Tenet rightly took the blame for intelligence lapses about suspected weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, he is hardly the only incompetent misleader in the Bush administration. The torture of naked Iraqi prisoners by our own troops is not a story that should go away. Donald Rumsfeld must take responsibility for the moral lapse that happened on his watch. Rumsfeld must resign too, if we are ever going to rebuild the world's trust in us again.

Evelyn O'Riordan
Sonoma, California


Re Ta-Nehisi Coates's "A Nation of Millions" [June 9-15]:

In all other circumstances your article would sound uplifting and promising. However, as a single, educated black female, I don't think it is. I have a hard time taking hip-hop "activists" seriously, particularly in their call for voter registration. It is extremely important for young blacks to vote, if not solely because our ancestors fought so valiantly for this right. However, a number of hip-hop artists routinely publicly demean and degrade black people—particularly, black women. It's terribly hard to support, listen to, and stomach someone who condones such treatment.

Images from videos, in addition to some of the public actions of our "activists," strengthen the stereotypes that black people and particularly black women are lesser than other people and women. This makes it so that in our daily interactions, such as work, school, or with black men on the street, we have a difficult time being taken seriously despite our success, money, or education.

Unfortunately, when I think of hip-hop and the hip-hop generation, I side with the older folks who feel that this generation is apathetic and not carrying the ball. I also personally think of it as a generation that hates itself so much that it would publicly degrade itself. Hip-hop activists cannot sincerely pull, push, or encourage anyone to do anything until they become much more positive in their presentation of themselves and their people.

Natalie Leblanc
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Hentoff for All

I must thank Nat Hentoff for bringing us some good and inspiring news in a season so filled with cause for despair ["The Patriot Act Besieged," June 2-8]. The American spirit, which supports liberty, the rule of law, transparent government, and constitutional checks and balances, is still very much alive! Hentoff's lifelong devotion to the defense of these principles is inspiring, and your continuing to carry his articles is the strongest and most valuable ingredient in the Voice.

Mike Olshan
Carroll Gardens

Loving the Sinner

Re Keith Boykin's "Whose Dream?" [May 26-June 1]:

Although some black people may object to gay marriage on the grounds that gays were never considered three-fifths of a person, or because of assimilation or other reasons that Boykin stated, my reasoning is more simple: I believe in the Bible, and try to live by the conditions set down in it. I didn't write the Book, but I believe in it. I would imagine that many other black people feel the same. It is possible to hate the sin, whatever it is, but love the sinner. It is also possible to live a celibate lifestyle.

Marie Omorodion
Norwalk, Connecticut

The Egg Beat

Re Joy Press "Bling Breakfast" [May 19-25]:

There have always been and will always be people who have more money than brains. I can't help but wonder what motivation there is, other than publicity, for this omelet being added to the menu. Perhaps the hotel could offer $200 for every omelet ordered to a local food bank.

Larraine Formica
Abingdon, Maryland

Times' Up

Re Richard Goldstein's "Fessing Up: How Guilty Is the Times?" [June 2-8]:

While the article is generally on point, the conclusion is totally ridiculous. It was the complicity of the media that created the surge in popular support for the war. The truth was available to the Times, and they didn't print it. When the truth was finally inescapable, they still quibbled. They let Judith Miller spread the lies of Bush, Cheney, and Chalabi. Yes, as much as anyone, the Times was responsible for the war.

Dale Jennings
Boulevard, California

Table Talk

Re "No Such Thing as Paranoia" by Gary Indiana [May 26-June 1]:

Since Indiana mentioned Noam Chomsky, it's curious that an observation Chomsky's made time and again regarding conspiracy theories was absent. When General Motors meets around ye ol' cabal table to plan how to increase its market share and profit ratio, it's simply acting in its self-interest. It's an institutional analysis, a description of how the structure of corporate capitalism operates. So go the media and all other concentrations of private power. Stating what should be obvious, Michael Albert points out that we all "conspire" to consciously pursue our own interests every day. What classes should I take next semester? When should I ask for that raise? What makes us think the power elite doesn't make its own calculations? These people accrue tremendous wealth and power because of the nature of economic organization, not because they might also wear funny cloaks on the weekends.

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