An Inclusive Litany
I was shocked and appalled that you would give front page coverage (May 11) to the gun-toters of I.M.S. Co., who set themselves up as arbiters of the lives of others. Sure, having one's business burned is horrifying—but executing people on the street is hardly a civilized response.
What did Messrs. Hartman and Barrett plan to do if confronted with the angry mob? Proceed to commit murder? In the name of property rights?
If I.M.S. is so concerned with its (replaceable) inventory, then a more appropriate response would be to install metal storm plates over windows and doors, and put in a sprinkler system. That plus a clay-tile roof would withstand any firebomb attack. They can follow that up with fire insurance.
I would say that executing minority people who vent their frustrations in a riot is part of a fascist mind-set and deeply offensive to the many minority people who work in our industry. We have deep social problems in our country—for I.M.S. to set themselves up as neighborhood executioners is grotesque and only further hurts the work we must do to improve as a nation.
—Jack Van Eck
Repro Plastics, East Haven, Conn.
- Any woman answering "yes" to Koss's question "Have you ever had sexual intercourse when you didn't want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?' had been counted as a rape survivor.
- 73 percent of the women classified as having been raped had initially failed to categorize their experience as such.
- Roughly 41 percent of the women classified as having been raped subsequently chose to have sex with their rapists again.
While praising activists for the good job they had done in raising consciousness about rape, Gilbert warned that overzealous "definitional stretching" would ultimately serve to trivialize public perceptions of the true seriousness of the crime.
Despite these disclaimers, Sheila Kuehl, director of the California Women's Law Center, said that she found herself "wishing that Gilbert himself might be raped and ... be told, to his face, it had never happened." Anonymously penned placards reading "Kill Neil Gilbert" appeared throughout the campus, and demonstrators from SOAR (Students Organized Against Rape) gathered in Berkeley's Sproul Square to light candles for rape survivors while rhythmically chanting the suggestion that Gilbert should "cut it out or cut it off."
[Ed.: Koss notes that a frequent obstacle rape researchers often encounter is victims' stubborn insistence on "trying to pass as nonvictimized." "Research designs that depend for participation on a subject's self-identification as a victim," she writes, fail to take into account "the many women who have sustained harm but may not see the injury as unfair."]
Lastly, there's a lot of talk these days about family values. Even as we spurn the homeless on the street, remember, Jesus was born to a homeless couple, outdoors... a child of a single mother. But when Mary said Joseph was not the father, she was abused and questioned. If Mary had aborted the baby, she would have been called immoral. If she had the baby, she would have been called unfit, without family values.
But Mary had family values. It was Herod, the Quayle of his day, who put no value on the family. When Dan Quayle tries to ride both sides of this private religious moral issue, he is above his potato.
BERNSTEIN—Jeffrey Alan. On Friday July 10, 1992. Beloved brother of Phillip B. Bernstein and son of the late Sidney and Jennie Bernstein. Jeffrey was a resident of Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. and the Cameron Glen Care Center, Reston, VA. Jeffrey died of complications due to AIDS and the lack of care and funding for AIDS research by the Reagan/Bush Misadministrations...
Malaysian officials are considering a plan to introduce strict Islamic laws.
And they mean strict.
Get caught stealing and they'll lop off a hand. And that has local doctors wondering: If a punished thief comes strolling into their office hand in hand, will they be allowed to sew it back on? The government is willing to discuss the problem with the medical association. But Abdul Hadi Awang, deputy president of the fundamentalist Islamic party, has strong ideas.
He says the purpose of chopping off hands of incorrigible thieves is to shame them and deter crime. "If doctors and surgeons start reattaching the hands, the whole purpose is defeated," he said.
I showed [a friend] the scars on my right hand where I was branded "one of the boys" by Elijah. The scratch became infected, and it is a visible reminder that we were joined as childhood "blood brothers." I knew from then on that teaching Elijah and inner city children like him would be my work.
She told me that Elijah's father, who died two years earlier, had loved Elijah the most. I had made the mistake that day of reading a story to the class about a father and his son. Elijah took the book and threw it across the room and then did the same with a chair he had been sitting on.
As we moved out of the room and into a safer place in the office, the "branding" took place. It didn't hurt me physically, but it touched my heart, and I knew it was a ritual that mattered to both of us.
He had torn my flesh, and I was no longer that white teacher come to do her good work among the black children. I was picked out and touched more than skin deep. He went inside of me with his rage, and I became angry for him as well. And I became his spokesman [sic]. I became his instrument for change. He had torn away at my complacency.
Voice writer Mike Rubin notes that of the five Dream Teamers featured on the box—Larry Bird, John Stockton, Karl Malone, David Robinson and Chris Mullin—three are white, "a percentage considerably greater than the [National Basketball Association's] white population of 18 percent, or for that matter the '92 team's actual 25 percent [really 33 percent] breakdown of four white players out of 12."
Kellogg U.S.A. publicity manager Donna Thede responded that the company attempted negotiations with all the members of the gold medal bunch. The company was foiled, however, by the contractual obligations that are so much a part of professional sports today. Witness Michael Jordan's efforts to avoid compromising his Nike endorsement—covering the Reebok symbol on his medal ceremony outfit with a U.S. flag.
"I have watched myself stand complacently by while my partner wrestles with a stuck window, an intractable computer printer, maps, or locks. Sisters, I am not proud of this, and I'm working on it," she writes. "It's easy to rationalize that the person with the penis is the one who should get out of a warm bed to fix the snow on the TV screen. After all, it's the very least owed to me personally in compensation for centuries of virtual enslavement."
"The little boy is an innocent victim," attorney Sidney Siben told New York Newsday. Siben, who is representing the boy and his mother, added, "It was careless of the father to allow the son on the truck, but the Fire Department is responsible and they're going to have to pay. That's the purpose of being insured."
The organization's president then urged the association's members to find a common background. However, within a half-hour a speaker had offended a lesbian member of the audience by making "heterosexist" remarks. Other women complained that a white woman should not have been the opening speaker if the conference's goal was to welcome back minority women.
Meeting organizers also had to apologize to Jewish feminists for scheduling a meeting on the Friday night sabbath. Eco-feminists, who believed in "a feminist approach to environmental issues," were also upset that every meal served at the conference included meat. Finally, one woman asked that at future meetings, attendees should be asked to forgo hairspray and perfume which other members find bothersome and offensive, and another feminist group wanted "aroma-free" zones so as to protect one another from offensive perfumes and odors.