Letters from the Issue of January 9, 2003

My life as a punk, continued

Who are Gaspar González and Alvaro Diaz-Rubio? Are they not Hispanics who, either themselves or their parents, came to this country in search of religious and financial freedom? What is the reason for their atrocious behavior, their anti-Semitic, discriminatory writing and discriminatory artistry? It should be enough that Jews are still persecuted and murdered throughout the world. We do not need it in our own back yard, especially not by another ethnic group seeking its own freedoms here.

Sheila C. Taft


John Lombardi replies: Ms. Taft's story is sad, indeed, but neither Gaspar González's writing nor Alvaro Diaz-Rubio's drawing for my column were anti-Semitic. González reported a series of incidents, period. Diaz-Rubio illustrated a blackout on 41st Street, so the figures were of necessity dark. Calling them "black-faced ghouls with staring white eyes and Halloween teeth" is reading in prejudice that simply isn't there.

Gentlemen, Start Your Multi-Ethnic Engines

Here's why Homestead Speedway tried to undermine Grand Prix Americas: Though Francisco Alvarado's article about the Grand Prix Americas does show that ticket sales for the October race were below expectations, the comparison he made to the NASCAR-sanctioned events held at the Homestead-Miami Speedway was not fair ("GPA Redux," December 12). NASCAR is by far the most popular category of auto racing in the United States, garnering many times the exposure received by Championship Auto Racing Teams events. On that alone, the NASCAR fan base and awareness is superior to that of CART, which ensures higher ticket sales.

And don't forget that Homestead-Miami Speedway lost its CART date owing to poor ticket sales -- at a time when CART was far more popular than it is today. The fact remains that Raceworks, creators of Grand Prix Americas, exists because of the ineptitude that Daytona-based International Speedway Corporation (ISC), the company now operating Homestead-Miami Speedway, showed in marketing such a popular event to all ethnic groups that shape Miami. In my view, ISC knew that Raceworks was going to show them up, which explains why they went up to the last minute trying to have the Grand Prix Americas canceled.

Giorgio Cerboncini


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