We need to find more ways to teach the American people about this crime. Only then will we be able to say to our leaders, "We will not stand idly by one day more."

Nathan Isaac Kleinman
Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

The jacket

Re Jason King's tribute to Luther Vandross ["So Amazing," villagevoice.com, July 5]: Though I liked the article I have one gripe. Why is it that every time artists wear some outfit that seems to be a little flashy people automatically think it means they're gay? King wrote one hell of an article and all, but don't take it upon yourself to out the man especially when you don't even know if it's true. It may be the biggest disrespect a person like King could ever do to his family, especially to his mother. So what if Vandross wore sequined jackets? Regardless, whatever the hell Vandross's life was behind closed doors and away from nosy-ass prying eyes is his damn business. I'm pretty damn sure people have misjudged King on a great many things, but that doesn't make it right for them who did it to him just like it ain't right that he's outing Vandross.

Arthur Workman

Joy for Jones

I am writing in disgust. What Vandross did in his private life is no business of King's. We his fans loved him for who he was, his songs, and voice. He brought so much joy into people's lives.

Marie Jones
London, England

A friend of Luther's

I really appreciated King's insightful commentary on Luther Vandross. As a music journalist and longtime friend of Luther's, I found the piece thought-provoking and honest. Many thanks.

David Nathan
Los Angeles, California

Definitions of civility

George Smith's article "After the London Bombings: 'Our Dead Have Names Too' " [villagevoice.com, July 12] was as depressing as anything I have read in a long while. Is this what many Muslims really think about those of us who live in the West? That they feel comfortable constantly referring to us using the pejorative kuffar? That they believe that in the Iraq of today, American soldiers are "tying bombs to the bodies of prisoners and blowing them apart"? That others are pulling off the limbs of prisoners, "gouging out eyes, putting out cigarettes on their skin, and using cigarette lighters to set fire to the hair on their heads"?

Those of us who do not support the war in Iraq still understand that, despite Abu Ghraib, American and British soldiers are civilized people from civilized nations. The vast majority of the atrocities these young Muslims have listed to justify the bombing in London either have not happened or are grossly exaggerated. That they misunderstand us so completely gives pause to the idea that peace may be a possibility, in the near or long term.

Terrence Flanagan
Ottawa, Ontario

George Smith replies: Whether Muslims believe what are thought to be exaggerations or lies about British and American conduct in the war in Iraq and on terror is, unfortunately, irrelevant. The signal feature is the tone, which indicates they believe it very strongly. It's an indicator that the damage caused by the Bush administration's war may be irreversible, ensuring a permanent enmity and spiral of violence.


The wrong photo appeared with a review of the bar Climax on page 40 of last week's issue. It was actually a photo of the bar Sly.

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