By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
As Rudy Giuliani insists that "[he] paid precisely what anyone else would pay" for his Yankee World Series rings, $2,500, my only question is: Where can I go to buy one for that price?
I want to express my thanks to Kristen Lombardi for her incisive, insightful, accurate story 'Grace Under Pressure' [May 1622] on the crisis that has befallen us at the Violence Intervention Program (VIP). The bizarre irony of this matter is the single stated provocation for Grace Perez's termination: the real estate transaction. Not only did Grace make a sound forward-looking decision, but she was also empowered to close the deal, having had months of support from the board. Now that we will not have that property to call our own, what now? What will the board do? As a realtor, I assured the board that such an opportunity will not present itself anytime soon in East Harlemcertainly not by the time our headquarters' lease expires. It was a poor decision based on misguided reasoning, one that has left VIP without the lifeblood of the organization and on the brink of total demise. The board of directors has, almost magically, managed to extract the very DNA out of the Violence Intervention Program.
Property Manager, VIP
Lombardi's story about the firing of VIP's dedicated and hardworking executive director Grace Perez outlines the inexplicable maneuverings of the board members, including the board chairperson, Jenny Rivera, a "prominent Manhattan civil rights attorney." Rivera is now the head attorney general for Cuomo's Civil Rights bureau. While I find her putative actions baffling, I'm afraid that her refusal to comment about her role in the firing to either Perez or to the public rings a bell. I filed the first civil rights complaint of the attorney general's tenure regarding the Parks Department's spending resources to ensure that elite (mostly white) Manhattan-based schools are provided privileged access to Randalls Island ball fields while mostly minority students from the Bronx and East Harlem are excluded. I have not heard a word from Rivera (or the AG's office).
Thanks to Nat Hentoff for his article 'China Up Against the Wall' [May 1622] about that country's support of mass murder in Darfur. But Hentoff left out the mass murder that the still-Communist Chinese government has been committing in Tibet for the past 50 years, and personally carried out by President Hu Jintao for the last 25 years. Same guy in photos with Gates and Bush. Murder and torture of monks, nuns, and peace-loving people. Right now they are in the process of relocating thousands of Tibetans for "their benefit"a Communist China repeat of what it did to its own people back in the middle of the last century. So it's true: The more things change, the more they stay the same. And the Commies will probably do the same with us once they rule the world. The Olympic Committee, the game sponsors, and Mr. Steven "Jewish genocide" Spielberg should be ashamed to validate such monsters, who'll be using young athletes just like Hitler did. Perhaps Spielberg can Schindlerize a few thousand Tibetans for fame and glory. But who cares about Africans and Sherpas when there is money to be made, right?
Hentoff gets it wrong in his effort to rally Voice readers against China and Sudan. The CIA supports the rebels in Darfur in an effort to overthrow the Sudanese government so U.S. oil companies can get back into Sudan and displace the Chinese. The Chinese have done more infrastructure development in Sudan than U.S. oil corporations have ever done in any country. Just compare Sudan to Nigeria. The real humanitarian crises in the world now are in Iraq (1 million dead, 4 million refugees), Somalia, and eastern Congo. Hentoff does not talk about these places because Americans are the ones committing the genocide. Let's not be fooled by the work of D.C.-based PR firms, like savedarfur.org and the celebrities they can recruit. Get the CIA out of Darfur and the civil war will subside.
Robert Merrill, Ph.D.
Professor Literature and Humanities
Maryland Institute College of Art