Letters to the Editor

From the issue of November 9, 2000

DeFede also quotes Tew as asking, “Is [Powell] just illiterate when it comes to tax matters?” Tew could have used many words to express his belief that Powell has limited knowledge when it comes to tax matters. But Tew intentionally selected the word “illiterate” to refer to a black lawyer he views as a “kid.” In using the word “illiterate,” he conjures stereotypical images of blacks who have little or no education. The image becomes even more vivid when “illiterate” is placed next to “kid” and phrases like “how dumb.” Once again Tew's comments are insulting to Powell and all black lawyers. They clearly are inappropriate. Such comments may be indicative of the environment at some firms and may suggest why it is that black lawyers still find it difficult to reach the partnership ranks at major firms in Miami.

Tew also is quoted as saying, “Ask the kid who opened the doors for him and who mentored him.” Here he has reached for another stereotype by suggesting that doors are closed for people like Powell, and that a great benefactor like he and/or Korge is needed to open them. Tew seems to boldly proclaim that the doors of partnership and economic inclusion for black lawyers are closed unless individuals like he and Korge decide to open them. His statement seems to discount the intelligence and hard work of Powell and other black lawyers and serves as a reminder to Powell and others of who is in charge and who holds the reins of power in Miami-Dade County.

The dispute between Korge and Powell is significant in that Powell's experience represents a microcosm of the problems and issues faced by many black law partners in Miami-Dade County. Additionally the dispute is very troubling because of the way in which a black law partner has been portrayed in the media as part of a defense strategy. The dispute between Korge and Powell has gotten the attention of the Black Lawyers Association, Inc. The Black Lawyers Association is committed to encouraging and promoting diversity in Miami's legal community. We plan to be vigilant in promoting the professional advancement of black lawyers as well as challenging inequities within the legal profession.

Jason M. Murray, president
Black Lawyers Association, Inc.

McIntire: Choices Have Consequences
The moral hazards of hurting one to help another:
I offer the following with respect to David Villano's October 19 article about Alex McIntire, “Admired in Life, Reviled in Death.”

I was a friend of Alex McIntire, and I briefly knew Linda and Lisa Hamilton when they first moved to Miami. Later I knew Alex's second wife and child. I'd had no contact with any of them for years until last year, when Alex died.

Alex hurt people. Years ago, apparently, he hurt his stepdaughter, Lisa Hamilton. More recently, as the result of his apparent suicide, he hurt friends and his second family. Mr. Villano, in an effort to help Lisa Hamilton (if a recent letter-writer is correct), hurt Alex's young child. Mr. Villano did this not because he had to. Rather he chose to hurt in order to “help.” Sadly the hurt he inflicted does not appear to have helped Lisa Hamilton, given the quotations attributed to her.

It seems to me that while we all make moral and ethical choices, we should not choose to hurt in order to help unless there is no other choice. Even then I'm not sure. Mr. Villano had other choices, even if he wanted to help Lisa Hamilton. Though not a physician, Mr. Villano could benefit from medicine's counsel to “first, do no harm.”

Dave Tank
Atlanta, Georgia

McIntire: Voice to the Victim
There are many others like me:
I've never written to a newspaper in response to an article, but I had to thank David Villano for his article on Alex McIntire. I too am a sexual-abuse victim. I too went to the State Attorney's Office to put this child molester behind bars. The State Attorney said it was my word against his and blah, blah, blah.

When are people going to start snapping to the reality that this is happening and put these men in jail? Shame on our legal system. Shame on our courts. Shame on these men you can't accuse because they're such upstanding individuals that no one believes you and thinks you're the sicko. I hope Alex McIntire, with his brilliant intelligence, figured out that his suicide was an admission of guilt and that everyone would know what he'd done.

Thank you for being brave enough to do the right thing and write what you did about this man. Please help other victims find a voice by publishing more articles. Victims are out there everywhere: male, female, young, old. When a victim of child abuse sees she or he isn't the only one, it helps in the healing process.

I mailed the article to the man who raped me when I was nine years old, the man who stole my soul. I hope he reads it, but he probably won't. Thanks again to David Villano for being brave enough to tell the story of one child's nightmare and for helping her heal. She's lucky.

Haji Blue Senufa

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