I just finished reading Bryonn Bain's "Three Days in NYC Jails" [September 24-30] and would have found it quite disturbing if not for the fact that I am a man of color and have been racially profiled many times. I find it appalling to believe that our judicial system could be so shortsighted, but it is. I myself grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and could not walk down my block at night without being hassled by the police. I have never been in trouble with the law and I am a writer of poetry, yet I still get pulled over for having a car deodorizer on my rearview mirror.
When will this injustice stop? How about "never"? I am 30 years old, and in my short time on this planet I have seen it get progressively worse. Bryonn Bain's plight really touched me in a way that I cannot begin to describe. I hope he sues for every dime he can get and then some.
Bravo to your paper for running his story.
Wesley Rayshawn Garrett III
The piece by Bryonn Bain was absolutely horrifying. I would very much like to be kept up to date on what transpires with any legal actions Bain takes (and he should definitely take them). White people like me who live in glorious suburbia cannot fathom the kinds of events that Bain has suffered.
I do have one issue, though. What does the subtitle "Black = Terrorist = Thug: The New Racial Profile?" have to do with Bain's story? The subtitle stretches to make connections that don't exist in any meaningful way. The linking of the mistreatment of a black man by the police to the "war on terror" is so tenuous as to cheapen the weight of Bain's fiasco. It's wonderful that the Voice has printed this story, but a shame that the editors felt the need to put some kind of "terrorist" spin on it to make it more interesting.
Morris Plains, New Jersey
DO THE WRONG THING
Once again, the racist, fascist regime that black people are forced to live under on a daily basis has been brought to light.
How is it possible that in 2003, this injustice can still occur? The sad truth is that Bryonn Bain's experience is the norm for all black people in America, the supposed land of the free. We must collectively continue to fight this injustice and apartheid system that black people are forced to live under. If not, then as Bain wrote, " 'you do the wrong thing long enough . . . and it becomes right.' " And black people will continue to suffer this injustice.
Upper West Side
This story made me cry. Is this really possible? It is so terrible, I feel like throwing up. I hope Bryonn Bain will be happier soon and that he won't be treated this way anymore, but I guess he has sort of been thrown into a whirlpool and it is difficult to stop all this from happening. I would love it if you would tell him a very warm hello from a 26-year-old girl in Helsinki, Finland. His story has opened many eyes here. The Western world is not nearly as developed and open-minded as it wants to think it is.
Tristan Taormino got it right onjust because a woman enjoys sex and sexuality is not a negative thing, rather should be embraced as something positive ["In Defense of Sluts," September 24-30]. It's too bad that negative words like slut and tramp are all we have to describe ourselves. Female players should be celebrated, not denigrated, just like their male counterparts.
Being sexual is part of being human, for both men and women, and it should be treated as such.
James Ridgeway's "General Alarm" [September 24-30] attacks conspiracy kooks from the hinterland who wonder about General Clark's role at Waco. At the same time, it suggests that some smoke may be emanating from their pitiful campsites. Something is rotten in Waco, but Ridgeway prefers to blame Colin Powell.
That would be fine if he had the evidence. Unfortunately, all he has is a theory. And he does not even reside in the hinterland.
He says some equipment from General Clark's Fort Hood command may have been involved at Waco. Equipment? Involved? Does he mean tanks, helicopter gunships, personnel, and ordnance? Equipment to raze the site immediately? This is a crucial issue that he slides around.
Finally, how can Ridgeway explain the astonishing rise of Clark after Waco? Was Clark already on the fast track to four-star status? He went from one-star Fort Hood to four-star NATO commander in about four years. Why?
All of this would seem to be fair game for a careful reporter evaluating a presidential candidate. Why not dig inand find out what happened?
YANKEE GO HOME
The gist of Allen Barra's whine regarding the negative perception of the Yankees ["Kill the Empire!," September 24-30] is: Why doesn't the rest of the world love us as much as we love ourselves? Like a typical, myopic Yankee fan, he is dumbstruck as to why fans and sportswriters across the country bear hatred in their hearts for a team with a $180 million payroll, while the average for all other baseball teams is $77 million.
When you stock your team obsessively with all-stars for fear that you might encounter a pennant race, you richly deserve all of the abuse heaped on you by the rest of the country, local press especially included.
Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn
Although I like the clear, easy-to-find, and upscale look of the new dance listings, I am concerned that The Village Voice will not be able to accommodate the same number of listings that you have presented in the past. This is a profoundly negative effect on the dance community. I depend on the Voice to be a voice for the diverse and often neglected alternative performances. As a choreographer and performance artist, as well as a presenter and arts manager, I've always found the Voice to be an important resource for intelligent and in-depth listings of current events.
Your September 17-23 articles dealing with the undoing of the Bush presidency ("Come Out Fighting" by Rick Perlstein, "Let George Undo It" by James Ridgeway, and "Bush's New Federal Math Leaves Kids Far Behind" by Sydney H. Schanberg) were great. As a business professional who lives and works in the Washington, D.C., area, I can tell you we are getting really tired of the lies and misinformation that have been presented to the public. Thank you for not becoming part of the White House press machine.
Silver Spring, Maryland
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