Obviously a Stranger in Paradise
Jay Cheshes's "The Scary Side of Paradise" (December 3) was a great story. I was born in the Bahamas, so I found it very interesting, probably one of the best articles I've seen that describes the situation in Nassau.

At the same time, it disturbed me somewhat. I was concerned by the tendency of the writer to refer to "black people" in order to gain support for his issue. In describing a poor neighborhood, Mr. Cheshes noted that most of the residents were poor and black. This would appear to have been written to gather some sympathy for Anton McIntosh, the accused killer in the story. To an American reader it might succeed. But as a black Bahamian, I believe it's irrelevant. Of course poor Bahamians are mostly poor and black. The country is 85 percent black.

I guess that I'm accustomed to living in a country where, as the majority, we never focused on race. It's only when a deeply concerned outsider comes to help us poor folks that we pick up the label "poor black Bahamian." To most of us it's just Bahamian, poor, white, black, yellow, or otherwise. I'll write it off to the American obsession with race.

Once again, though, it was a great story, really thorough. I just wanted to point out how the culture of the author can sometimes add various spins to a story. I wonder how different the article would have been had a Bahamian written it. Ah, but that would be assuming the author is American. I won't make that asumption.

Frederick A. Morris
Charlotte, North Carolina

From County Hall to Krome Detention Center
In response to Jim DeFede's column "A Day of Reckoning" (December 10), there are two points I would like to make regarding the passage of the county's gay rights ordinance:

1) Next time the commissioners gather for this or any other matter, make sure the people who are allowed to speak are U.S. citizens. The majority of them are not citizens and cannot vote. The Immigration and Naturalization Service will have a field day next time the commission meets and the fanatics of the Christian Coalition participate. I am sure lots of them are illegal.

2) Once again the Cuban Americans brought shame to all of us. All I can say is that when Cuba frees itself from Castro, it will also free itself from this bunch, who are a disgrace to the human race and to voters. Keep in mind those names when these individuals are up for re-election. Here is a reminder: Miriam Alonso, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, Natacha Millan, Pedro Reboredo, and Javier Souto.

Bernardo Gutierrez
Miami Beach

They Got Theirs and Apparently That's Enough
It is really sad that every single county commissioner who voted against the gay rights ordinance is a direct beneficiary of the civil rights movement and affirmative action.

As for Commissioner Reboredo, if he does not have time to regularly attend meetings and represent his constituents, then he should step aside and allow someone who really cares to represent his district to take his place. Then he'll have time for all his business and personal commitments.

Rosa Reed
Princeton, Florida

The Christian Coalition: Homosexuality's Best Friend
I want to congratulate Jim DeFede for "A Day of Reckoning," in which he identified the real issue, which was not someone's sexual orientation but rather power. The Christian Coalition and its myrmidons need to be reminded that it was not Hirschfield's Sexualwissenschaft that destroyed Germany, but the blind ambition of the Nazi party and the hatred of its gay-bashing leader, Adolf Hitler.

The biggest promoter of the gay lifestyle continues to be the Christian Coalition. And that is because most people see right through them. Oscar Wilde said, "Morality is simply the attitude we adopt toward people whom we personally dislike." And to that I would add: More often than not, that person is oneself. Focusing on others is just a convenient way to avoid the real issue.

Ovid, Tacitus, Melville, Hawthorne, Conrad, and Sherwood Anderson should be required reading for those planning on running for office. Their writings would serve as a warning to these would-be heroes who see themselves as the keepers of our society's moral fiber. The real monster, the real enemy, is not homosexuality but what one sees in the mirror every morning.

Manny Losada

There Are Cubans and Then There Are Mere Immigrants
Miguel Rodriguez makes several dubious claims in his letter about Rep. David Skaggs and TV Marti ("Letters," December 10). For example he writes that Skaggs "probably considers [Cubans] to be mere immigrants, miserable and worthless." Now, it's my understanding that Cubans in this country, as well as Cuban Americans, actually are immigrants. As to their being "miserable and worthless," I am reminded of the words of Jesus to Pontius Pilate: "It is you who say it."

Furthermore, Mr. Rodriguez claims that the United States owes much more than $100 million to the people of Cuba. Even if this were true, the better question would be: To whom should the United States give these hundreds of millions of dollars? To the people living in Cuba or to a few wealthy individuals living in South Florida?

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