Re Nat Hentoff's "Terrorizing the Press" [May 21-27]:
Nat Hentoff's article on Zimbabwe was very good. Here at SW Radio Africa we tend to read everything written about Zimbabwe in the press, and I was impressed by the level of understanding of the issues in the country.
As for Councilmember Charles Barron running for mayor, this is simply an appalling indictment of the New York City legislator and the Democratic Party which he represents.
Nat Hentoff, thank you for your lifelong human rights coverage. Your recent articles on Zimbabwe should be required reading in every American high school.
Your work reminds me of a statement that British journalist Robert Fisk made at American University in Washington, D.C.: "The Africa correspondent is certain that around him lies the world's great unacknowledged catastrophe."
PS: I also didn't march this time!
Eduardo Victor Sanchez III
Jersey City, New Jersey
SHARON SHARE ALIKE
Re Nat Hentoff's "Mugabe's Victims: Mostly Black" [May 7-13]:
You (and the Voice) have sunk almost to zoo dirt. Mugabe's victims? Do you mean the ex-colonial landowners? That land is owned by the crown! As for "one of the most ceaselessly brutal dictators on the grim surface of the earth," you mean Sharon? Certainly his kill record rivals anyone's but Bush 2's!
Newark, New Jersey
Nat Hentoff replies: My old Village friend is reading and writing too fast these days. In all four columns my entirely factual focus was on Mugabe's persistent abuses of black citizens of Zimbabwe. Most recently, these include the vicious beating of protesting black students on June 3. Now South African lawyer George Bizos, who defended Nelson Mandela against the apartheid government of South Africa, is in Zimbabwe defending the black opposition leader, who is accused by the government of treason. What has this to do with Sharon?
Re Mark Baard's "It's Nucular" [May 28-June 3]:
Is it better to create jobs in the U.S. to build a safe form of energy? Or would you rather continue the policy of importing vast amounts of oil, and increasing our energy dependence on unstable third-world countries? Your article fails to address this choice.
Our country's high trade deficit is due in part to the tremendous amount of foreign oil that has to be imported to support our energy needs. This vast transfer of U.S. dollars outside our country does not produce lasting benefits to the average American worker. This plan by the Bush administration might help reverse this trend.
WE DID PRINT BARAKA (SEE ABOVE)
Re Daniel King's "Hanging the Judge" [May 14-20]:
Daniel King has a long way to go before he can write sentences such as "We must print Crouch and Baraka" with any authority. (Full disclosure: I regularly proofread and occasionally contribute to JazzTimes.) He has to actually work with an author like Stanley Crouch. He has to deal with a constant stream of complaints from readers offended by Crouch's racist logic that since black people invented jazz, they are the only rightful practitioners of this art form. He has to receive rambling, incoherent letters from Crouch accusing him of phoning up the other members of the white critical establishment and deciding what white artist to feature.
We've all worked with people like Crouch, cranks with outsized egos who think that deadlines are beneath them and that widely distributed publications are an appropriate forum in which to grind their personal axes and constantly repeat themselves. It's no fun.
THE PLAYERS CLUB
This is brilliant writing. I worked with Stanley Crouch many years ago, when I was associate editor of the monthly men's magazine Players. Stanley was our jazz critic. His writing then was almost always illuminating and full of vitality, as was this fine, original work by Daniel King.
Emory Holmes II
THE PLAYS WHAT THEY MISSED
Re Alexis Soloski's "The Plays What They Wrote" [May 21-27]:
I was troubled not to find Theater for the New City mentioned in the Voice's recent article on unproduced plays in New York. As an emerging playwright who has had two plays produced at this theater, I believe it makes an important contribution to the city's cultural life.
LET IT SNOW
Thanks for Jennifer Snow's "Close-Up on Jersey City" [villagevoice.com, May 28]. It's the first thing I've read about that place that wasn't written with a sneer.
Only one flaw: I lived there for 10 years and considered it safer than Brooklyn. The crime statistics are hard to interpret without comparative data.
BATTLE OF THE BULGE
Re Richard Goldstein's "Bush's Basket" [May 21-27]:
The article about how the president looked in the pilot suit truly makes this the last time I'm going to read the Voice. I'm deeply offended by this articleit belongs in the tabloids, not somewhere that I once admired. It's trash. Shame on you all for your desperate attempt to belittle Bush at any costeven your own integrity.
Congratulations to Village Voice reporter Michael Kamber, who received the Deadline Club Award for Best Reporting by Non-Daily Newspapers for his article "Heroin (and Heartache)" (July 10-16, 2002).
In Michael Feingold's review of Humble Boy ("Moments of Beeing," May 28-June 3), the names of the characters Flora (Blair Brown) and Mercy (Mary Beth Hurt) were inadvertently reversed.
The photo for Charles McNulty's review of Mabou Mines's Cara Lucia ("The Dream Factories," May 7-13) should have been credited to Garett J. Holden.
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