While Mr. Boggs raises several good questions about the apparent anti-American slant of Cynthia McKinney (Flip Side, "Is U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney an embarrassment to her post?" Oct. 24), one point stands out. If we turn our political microscope to Africa, we see a country behest with warlords, starvation and oppression. These are almost exclusively black-on-black crimes with the true victims being the helpless children who are no more than an afterthought to these black dictators. Where is the public outcry from the blacks in our own society? Where is the outpouring of financial aid and diplomatic efforts from this country's black leadership?
What we more often see from those in influential positions in black society is a tendency to focus inward on differences in the lifestyle standards of those in the inner cities. I find that organizations like the NAACP come off as self-promotional and self-serving when compared to organizations like the United Way and Red Cross that work so hard to better the lives of others regardless of color or citizenship.
Cynthia McKinney suffers from a lack of vision. A true global outlook understands how precious and rare our country is, how many have died to protect it and how hard we will have to fight to keep it.
-- Doug Baker, Woodstock
Careful with the 'T' word
After reading the debate on whether we should try to enlist the Arabs in our cause against terrorism (Flip Side, "Is the U.S. doing enough to woo moderate Muslims in its war against terror?" Oct. 17), there is no question that we should. And we should quit throwing the word "terrorism" around so loosely. To compare freedom fighters like Yassar Arafat and others to Osama bin Laden is like comparing the American Minutemen to Adolph Hitler. The so-called "terrorist" Palestinians are really freedom fighters who deserve our respect and support in their struggle to drive invaders from their illegally occupied lands. That is a hell of a difference from somebody who crashes planes into buildings. They are no different than the American "terrorists" who threw tea into the Atlantic Ocean and drove the British out of this country. It is high time that we quit supporting Israel so long as it illegally occupies Palestine's West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian people have lived as "refugees" for too long. They are sick of it, and why shouldn't they be?
-- Kevin Kitchen, Austell
Laughter through sleaze
John Sugg: I've been a little less than "tolerant" of your pacifist column(s) of the past, but I have to say, your "No more walking-around sleaze" (Fish Wrapper, Oct. 24) analysis of what's going on with the city of Atlanta was not only right on point, but some of your more pointed (and accurate) criticisms of Atlanta's goings-on had me laughing out loud. If the whole situation weren't such a tragedy, it'd be the best joke of the century.
-- Lynn Marsh, Stockbridge
I read with great interest your recent story on Habima Theater and the documentary Welcome to Anatevka that was made about their work (Flicks, "It takes a village," Oct. 17). The story quite properly and captivatingly focused on these developmentally disabled adults and their experience as budding actors. However, I would like to add a word about someone mentioned only briefly in your story, director Sherri Sutton.
I have known Sherri for some years, both as a fan of her professional work with Theatre Gael and many others and as her colleague in education. The spirit and energy she imparted to and encouraged among both the students working with Habima and its actors was really awe-inspiring, and her leadership and good humor were, I think, instrumental in the success of the project. She does constant credit to both of her chosen professions. Sherri is really quite an amazing young woman, actor, director, educator and community activist, about whom I wish CL's readers had had the chance to learn more. Still, a well-done piece about a very inspiring project. Thanks.
-- Dan Rosenberg, Vinings
I'm not sure why, but I rarely read a Hollis Gillespie column without seeing a part of myself, my life, in her words. And I rarely read her column without feeling, without emotion, without something stirring inside. And so it was again today. I read "Lost things" (Mood Swing, Oct. 17) at lunchtime then quietly seasoned my chicken salad with tears. You see, my dad died last year -- a slow, heart-wrenching death from Alzheimer's. He would have been 79 on Veteran's Day. So I hurried home from work and made a bee line for the photograph -- the one he loved, the one I cherish. What a handsome young sailor he was. And I lost it for the second time today. Thank you, Hollis, for another beautiful piece.
-- Yvonne Wichman, Roswell
Your recent Think Tank question, "Should taxpayers foot the bill for Hartsfield's runway dirt deal?" (Oct. 10) is meaningless and based on a fundamental misconception. There is no taxpayer money associated with the proposed runway dirt deal. The entire contract is paid for by the airlines (80 percent) and the airport (20 percent), both of whom wanted this deal to occur as proposed, neither of whom are the beneficiaries of city property taxes. Delta and the airport each hired independent consultants to investigate the cost of the work involved -- each consultant estimated a cost virtually equivalent to the proposed $360 million. I am amazed that your publication, including your senior editor, can make statements such as this deal will cost "$90 for every man woman and child in Atlanta" and that we have to "prevent vast quantities of public money from ending up in crony wallets" when there is no public money involved.
The dirt contract might, in fact, be dirty. The process, or lack thereof, of bidding and contracting and the ethics of the players involved are questionable. But let's focus on those issues and stop inflaming the situation by suggesting that it is costing you, or any taxpayer, any money.
-- Jim Emshoff, Atlanta
Jane Catoe: Just wanted you to know that not everyone sends "hate mail" -- I absolutely love your column. Unfortunately, I've read all of them (and re-read most of them), and now what am I going to do the rest of the day?
I too have dogs -- and they are covered in the lovely Georgia red clay. I've been forced to keep the shit-brown carpet in my living room for that very reason. I actually painted my dining room a muddy-orangey color (which my mother absolutely hates, of course) because now I can say, "It's supposed to look like that."
-- Jennifer Wagner, Roswell