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Uncivil actions

I read your comprehensive coverage of the tragic events from cover to cover, but I question several quotes in Curt Guyette’s lengthy article ("Our nightmare," Metro Times, Sept. 19-25). Jeffery Sommers, a history professor in Georgia, claims our bombing of Iraq killed 100,000 children, then goes on to describe Arab anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attacks in Durban, South Africa, as a wonder of "civility." There is enough confusion and horror in these tragic events without dragging in the prejudiced remarks of Sommers, who has his own agenda and is trying to gain mileage for his own views. —Irving Berg, Detroit

More than two sides

Mr. Lessenberry seems no different than Fox News in his column ("The aftermath of terror," Metro Times, Sept. 19-25). Quoting an anonymous mass e-mailing after that horrific tragedy which attempts to draw sympathy to the plight of Arabs in the world, he suggests there are only two sides to the pending war and that any criticism of American foreign policy is akin to support for Osama bin Laden. Wrong. Bin Laden is a fundamentalist terrorist bent on using extreme violence to recruit to his cause. But the United States uses violence to recruit to its causes as well: in Iraq, Columbia, Palestine, Nicaragua. And don't forget that in 1980 bin Laden and the United States joined (the CIA trained him) to oppose the Soviets in Afghanistan. If we start dropping bombs on innocent people, we'll only be helping bin Laden once again by sending more fundamentalist recruits leaping to his cause. The only thing that will prevent terrorism — and the bin Ladens in this world — is the complete spread of true economic and social justice. —Craig Regester c.regester@att.net, Detroit

Flunking history

Jack Lessenberry missed the point in his column ("Reparations for slavery?," Metro Times, Sept. 12-18). The huge debt America owes African-Americans is enormous but it can be calculated, contrary to what he wrote. The problems that he listed against present-day African-Americans receiving reparations are not for him to even be concerned with. It would be better for him to concentrate on getting an accurate, authentic American history lesson because it is quite obvious that he does not know what he is writing about. His arguments about America doing all it can to eliminate inequalities between blacks and whites are also inaccurate because the dominant culture keep stacking the playing field in its own favor. Affirmative action is just one area that was supposed to assist blacks but it has helped others and, as he noted, it is under attack.—Diane Crawford, dcrawfor@ix.netcom.com, Detroit

Who is at fault?

Jack Lessenberry's column on slave reparations made some very good points, all of which I understood. One aspect of the discussion that was missed was the origin of the slaves in the first place. Let's not forget that the original source of slaves from Africa were other African tribes. Will they be expected to pay a share of any reparations sought by the plaintiffs? Or does the fact that they are also black somehow excuse them? —David Alexander, dalexan3@yahoo.com, Detroit

Erratum

In the Sept. 26-Oct. 2 Netropolis column, the Web site fark.com was misidentified.

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