Letters from the Issue of May 27, 2004

Proud white trash, neocon conspiracies, and clueless reporters

A Grateful Mother, a Lost Son

And a crime unsolved: Bill Jensen's article about my late son RJ Lockwood ("Hardcore and Bleeding," May 20) was great except for one thing: I didn't see the sentence for people who want to help to contact me or law-enforcement authorities. I also didn't see his Website for others to visit.

Otherwise Mr. Jensen did an outstanding job with this article. Even though it was difficult for me to read, it meant a lot. Maybe something can come of this.

Saying "Thank you" just isn't enough to tell him what it has meant to me.

Cheryl Hahn

Chester, Virginia

Editor's note: Anyone with information regarding the murder of RJ Lockwood can contact the Miami Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Links to RJ's Website (and that of his girlfriend Kaytlynn) can be found in the story at www.miaminewtimes.com. In the print edition, Kaytlynn's boyfriend was inaccurately reported to have been interviewed by police in mid-January. In fact he was interviewed in mid-February.

Hillbillies Rock

Oops -- make that The Poor White Underclass Rocks: Why is it that the last slurs allowed and indeed sanctioned by the media are redneck and hillbilly? New Times and writer Lee Zimmerman ("Local Heroes: 18 Wheelers," May 20) need to understand that referring to the poor, white underclass by using these hurtful and hateful words is the same as using the word "nigger" to refer to blacks, or using the word "kike" to refer to Jews.

A long history is attached to poor whites in this nation. Most of them are the offspring of indentured servants, who were horribly treated. In fact most indentured servants were treated worse than the black slaves were. (Think about it: If you rent a car you beat the crap out of it. If you own a car you take care of it.)

It is time the media stop being bigoted hypocrites and stop putting down and slandering those of less fortunate means. Remember that this country was built on the backs of those rednecks and hillbillies -- the coal miners, steel workers, and farmers. Please stop this hatred.

Wesley Mills

Rochester, New York

On Behalf of Minister Farrakhan ...

... I charge falsehood, defamation, and journalistic fabrication: In Brett Sokol's "Kulchur" column about Karen Hughes and George W. Bush ("Behind Bush," May 13), he wrote: "And then there's Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who last week echoed the views of the left-leaning journal The Nation, calling Bush merely an empty 'vessel' for a neoconservative cabal of Pentagon insiders hell-bent on a new Pax Americana, even suggesting that Bush had secretly planned the September 11 World Trade Center attacks on their behalf."

Contrary to his assertion, at no time did Minister Farrakhan suggest that Mr. Bush "had secretly planned the September 11 World Trade Center attacks." Mr. Sokol's statement is not only journalistically false, it fits the legal definition of libel. The actual words can be verified in Minister Farrakhan's press conference, which is available in its entirety on the Web at www.finalcall.com/pressconference.

Barnar C. Muhammad

FinalCall.com News Services

Brett Sokol replies: If Louis Farrakhan wants to start backpedaling on his sophistry, he should first make sure C-SPAN doesn't have its cameras rolling. Readers are invited to watch that cable channel's broadcast of Farrakhan's May 3, 2004, speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. It is archived online at cspan.org. After very clearly blaming the September 11 deaths on a neoconservative conspiracy, at whose service Bush is merely an empty "vessel," Farrakhan goes on to call the World Trade Center attacks a staged pretext for war, comparing it to the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine warship in 1898 and the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964. Be sure and watch through to the end, where Farrakhan returns to one of his favorite themes -- Judaism, labeling neoconservatives fake Jews who belong to "the synagogue of Satan."

Clueless Reporter Meets Disgusting Subject

A little research might go a long way: Humberto Guida is not too bright. He should be writing for People magazine. In his "BuzzIn" column, he reported on one meeting of many regarding Miami Beach nightclubs ("Party Poopers," May 13). At that particular meeting club promoters filled the city commission chambers early with clubgoers and club staff, leaving no room for residents.

Mr. Guida obviously has no idea what goes on around here. Yes, people shit and piss and fornicate in our bushes or in our carports. His comments about the age of residents showed no class or taste. There are plenty of twentysomethings and thirtysomethings like myself who couldn't make this meeting because of out-of-town work but are actively involved.

It's funny how the reporter at the SunPost did research before he wrote about the subject. I had expected higher standards at New Times.

Brad Stevens

South Beach

Clueless Reporter Seeks Guidance

Leans on old pals for helpful tips: Perhaps somewhere deep inside the New Times office, where many of your male writers spend most of the day arm-wrestling, playing tic-tac-toe, or dreaming up assignments that might put them in direct touch with hip-hop celebrities, there is a conviction that my town, Miami Beach, its city commission, and its residents are ridiculous. After all, what in my town deserves your respect above and beyond our beach, our blue Atlantic waves, and all the pretty girls sunning themselves on the sand? Answer: The clubs and bars where those pretty girls can be found after sunset. Ah, that's the essence of Miami Beach, and it needs to be nourished, doesn't it?

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