Juan Saborido

Why do honest, law-abiding citizens and those who have the task of protecting us from those who aren't have to be put through hell when lethal force is used? My parents and my religion have taught me what's mine is mine and what isn't mine isn't. Black or white, no gray area. Yes, I am saddened that this young man, Andrew Morello, lost his life. An off-duty police officer or a property owner is irrelevant. If this young man and his friends had not been committing a crime, they would not have been at risk. Period. The end.

William Lengyel
El Portal

Throughout your April 15 cover story and its April 22 follow-up, the choice of words left me disturbed. The title was "Justice Undone," a tale of "one dead teen-ager," his three "companions," "one free cop," and peripatetic crime opportunist Jeffrey Weiner, "attorney."

Apologist Jim DeFede points his accusatory finger in the wrong direction - into a fed-up society's face. The constant criminals are bandied about in the permissive media, the blood-sucking lawyers love such chaos, endorse it, propogate it, and get rich from it, while the real victims shed real tears as another debased-Miami sorry episode is again misportrayed.

And it's all Laura Russell's fault. That's right. Just ask DeFede. Andrew owes it all to Laura. His scumbag "companions" light candles behind a crucifix! They wear T-shirts with the song title, "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye." Ha! It's so easy to say good riddance!

Hey, Anthony, Bjorn, and Ralph, take this musical message from "Andrew and the Worms": an' a-one, an' a-two, hit it boys: "Tell Laura, I love her, tell Laura, I care...."

Name withheld by request

Tom Austin's recent close-up on dance music and the Winter Music Conference ("Stayin' Alive," April 22) is just another case of how Eurocentric thinking diminishes and exploits the creativeness of the African in the Americas. Regardless of Mr. Austin's ethnicity (I've never met or seen him), his article smacks of racism in writing about dance music and not even once mentioning the most influential factor and very important subject of hip-hop. Everywhere you turn - media, "Madison Avenue," fashion, cinema, and even language - hip-hop's presence is there.

Although he uses the word "rap," the parent hip-hop is not even placed in the glossary, despite recent mega-hits by hip-hoppers who have made feet move on dance floors around the globe. Mr. Austin's remark that rap is "generally dominated by blacks, but riffs are taken from white rock" not only is biased but a complete falsehood. Rap/hip-hop is black despite nonblack assimilators entering the field. Rock, like jazz, blues, gospel, and R&B before it, is a black dance-music category.

I'm not obligating anyone to appreciate, listen to, or even like hip-hop, but you cannot deny its place as the most influential culture on the music scene today. Years from now Eurocentric thinkers will be searching out the pioneers of hip-hop, documenting it, maybe even claiming it as their own as with jazz, blues, or rock, while some of us will be on to something brand-new without subjecting ourselves to hernias.

The Rhythm Rocker, host
Saturday Nite Funk Box
WDNA-FM 88.9

Soon after reading Todd Anthony's article "Black Men Can't Swim" (April 8), I began to realize just how far whites would go to prove that blacks bitch too much about racism. Though that was not the overall theme of the article, it was there in black and white (pun not intended).

Anthony said the title of the recent box-office hit White Men Can't Jump is racist and that if there was a film entitled Black Men Can't Swim, the black community would be in an uproar. Over the years, African-Americans have been beaten, spit on, harassed, laughed at, and yes, they've even been killed. They came to this country involuntarily so that they could be bought, sold, and traded like baseball cards. To this day the KKK is still around, there is the neo-Nazi party, skinheads, the White Aryan Resistance, and other hateful motherfuckers who are racist. Yes, racism exists, so if the black community wants to be in an uproar because they suspect racism, then they are doing the right thing.

The title White Men Can't Jump may raise an eyebrow, but keep in mind that a white man titled it. Also keep in mind that Billy Hoyle does dunk it in the end. Also keep in mind that this is probably the first time a movie showed white people as a group unable to do something. A while ago, blacks in movies were unintelligent maids, butlers, and others who served the whites. Today they're hoodlums, gang members, and criminals.

I noticed Anthony's feeble attempt at support of the black community by mentioning that the title, White Men Can't Jump, is trying to say that blacks are born with the gift of a good vertical jump, so blacks don't have to try as hard to succeed. The kicker: If he were Michael Jordan, he'd be pretty pissed. Needless to say, he's not Michael Jordan. He's closer to David Duke.

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