By Your Leave
It was great to see your front-page editorial last week stating that Police Commissioner Howard Safir must resign. Safir and Giuliani have been striving to divide the city with their use of racial profiling. It's a sad fact that they have criminalized the victim in the case of Patrick Dorismond, who was killed because of the color of his skin.
I urge you to run another front-page editorial, this one with the headline "Rudy Giuliani Must Resign."
I've thought for a long time that The Village Voice had lost its edge, but your front-page editorial "Howard Safir Must Resign" is one of the best things the Voice has ever done. My heartiest commendations on this courageous and much needed statement of outrage.
Huntington, Long Island
Frankly, Rudy . . .
Thank you for printing so many articles regarding the rash of police brutality that is destroying this city. Frank Serpico's articles especially have the human element that we need to read. All these cases leave a sick feeling in the pit of my soul as I'm sure they do to many others (although, unfortunately, not Giuliani). These barbaric actions against innocent people must not be forgotten. We cannot let our elected officials off the hook.
Brush of Impropriety
Re your editorial: It is inevitable that in a large force like the NYPD there will be a few bad apples. However, you can't paint Howard Safir's tenure with the brush of impropriety because of the actions of a few. I personally do not like Rudy Giuliani's politics as I am a staunch Democrat; however, this city has improved in innumerable ways during his watch, and that is due in no small part to his choice of Howard Safir as police commissioner.
Bow to Bigotry
While I understand the outrage over the handling of the shooting of Patrick Dorismond by New York City cops, the attitude in your editorial last week toward the vandalism of church statues"A special NYPD task force and the department's entire bias unit have been detailed to apprehend whoever has been smashing the limbs off these poor, defenseless icons"just feeds the impression that the left despises organized religion and has a double standard when it comes to hate crimes. I believe the church has been unfair to women and gays, but to make light of that destruction is insensitive at best and hypocritical at worst.
Nowhere to Run
Re Peter Noel's article "Portraits In Racial Profiling," [March 21]: I've been a resident of the Bronx for all of my 37 years and I must tell you, there is nowhere to run. Racial profiling seeps beyond what you wear. Not only will you be stopped because you have on suspect attire but simply because you are driving, walking, or running past curfew when quotas are not met, overtime is wanted, or attitudes are high.
I ran from the South Bronx with my two girls to a mixed neighborhood where there are more whites than blacks. I gave up community dedication to live quietly in a neighborhood where people won't say hello, and neighbors are mad that someone rented you a space. All of the running and still, if you walk a few blocks in any direction, you will see our youth being violated by police.
Plague of Ignorance
I read with interest Mark Schoofs's article on South African president Thabo Mbeki's call for a discussion on the HIV/AIDS debate ["Flirting With Pseudoscience," March 21]. As a person living with HIV, I can draw only one conclusion from this red-herring approach by our government: The powers that be have no intention of moving beyond awareness and prevention.
The longer the delay in any form of proactive action with regard to treatment, the more people will die. It is clear that the government, in its blatant arrogance, simply refuses to look at treatment options and dances the sidestep when confronted with proven scientific data.
Thank you for the honest piece, and please keep up the pressure on our government.
David Patient, HIV-Positive 17 Years
Nelspruit, South Africa
Re "Hire Education" by Lenora Todaro [March 21]: I believe there is an issue that neither the GAs nor the university administration seems to be addressing: the effect of a graduate student union on the quality of undergraduate education. As an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, I had the unfortunate opportunity to witness these effects firsthand. Earlier this year, and for the third time in 10 years, the union representing teaching assistants went on strike. Most recently, the TAs demanded relief from rising tuition costs, among other things, in their month-long effort. The strike resulted in course cancellations and nearly caused every course assisted by a TA to be restructured, seriously compromising standards. While the TAs and the administration argued, undergrads were left without tutorial sections or graded papers.
If the NYU graduate assistants can use their "admirably flexible self-regulating body" to solve labor disputes, they have an obligation to do so. At stake is not only a matter of labor politics infiltrating higher education, but a question of priorities. Where do academic interests fall in the labor debate?
Great article by Karen Cook about the power plant proposed for Athens, New York ["Shock Corridor," March 14]. I am planning to move to the nearby town of Hudson, and am a member of the group Friends of Hudson. Please consider a similar investigation into the huge cement plant that will be built there. It will operate 24 hours a day, blasting limestone and running a one-and-a-half-mile conveyor belt over the town to the riverfront. A large number of barges will be needed to haul cement. This is only another of the proposed environmental disasters for the Hudson River Valley. Please continue to shine a light where it is needed.
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