Letters to the Editor - January 20 2005

Now I know
Your MLK article was pretty fantastic (Fishwrapper, “Remembering King by erasing him,” Jan. 13). I’ve been in Atlanta for 10 years, and never heard about the “Beyond Vietnam” speech. Makes me even more disappointed in Andrew Young’s failure to become relevant, despite W and Iraq.

This article deserves some national attention.

- Dan Magee, Decatur

He’s a great, too
First of all, I have a lot of respect for Gerald Levert and his work ethic in the industry (Vibes, “Gettin’ grown,” Jan. 13). After reading the article/interview conducted by Edward Garnes Jr., I have that much more respect for him. I think the questions were excellent and this interview puts him on the path with the greats Gerald mentioned (Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, etc). They gave people the courage to stand up for what’s important during the ’60s and ’70s when a lot of similar issues faced our communities. The gap is getting bigger every day between the “artists” that stand for something and those who only care about the money. It’s important that we have an avenue to see what the respectable artists have to say.

- Ron Manager, Atlanta

Student’s best guess
I read your article with interest and wondered if maybe Mayor Franklin is intending to pick a fight (News & Views, “Mayor’s bogie,” Jan. 6). After all, how fantastically bad will it look in the press when motions to overturn an anti-discrimination law are introduced so soon after the Cobb County evolution debacle? Something like that would be quickly picked up by the national news organizations, which in the long run would undermine the Capitol while strengthening Franklin’s position.

At least that’s a student’s best guess at the political landscape.

- David Goodman, Atlanta

Top 10
Felicia Feaster: I was so surprised and grateful to find my exhibit, New Clear Family, listed among your top 10 art events of 2004 (“The year in culture: clash,” “Critics’ faves: art,” Dec. 30). My art always means a lot to me and select friends and family, but it sometimes humbles me to discover that it may have resonance for someone I don’t know.

- Bill Turcotte, Atlanta

Speak for yourself
Well, I don’t have much faith left for this region, having lived in Portland, Ore., for eight years. And I thought that this holiday would go by again, with the usual peace march within it (Fishwrapper, “Remembering King by erasing him,” Jan. 13). But your article made this year’s tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a memorable one. I haven’t read an article this good in a while and I consider myself not just liberal, but progressive - radical even. Thank you for saying something we all needed to hear; just because that bastard’s in office again doesn’t mean he speaks for us and his war on terror.

- Barb Payne, Atlanta

Explain please
When Bob Barr posits a connection between women’s’ liberation and a slight rise in female prison populations, he needs to offer hard data, or, at a minimum, some reasoning that elucidates the connection between the two (Flanking Action, “Sugar and spice no more,” Jan. 13). It could just as easily be argued that womens’ liberation has not gone far enough, and that women need more education and greater self-reliance in order to make good, informed life choices.

But Bob Barr says women need more “family values” and decries liberal “disdain” for these values. Unfortunately, that phrase - “family values” - is so heavily freighted that it’s hard to say what he means by it. If by this he means coercive, authoritarian relations between the sexes (such as existed pre-women’s lib), a moral compass guided mostly by a fear of consequences rather than a rational appraisal of self-interest and community interest, or nasty, divisive campaigns to deny people civil rights, it’s very hard to understand how “family values” prevents criminality, and indeed Mr. Barr does little in the way of explaining.

- Owen Talley, Athens??