Racist Flyer?

To the Editor:

I have always looked forward to each new issue of the Flyer, a powerful tool for the Memphis community. So words simply cannot explain the feeling of dread and disappointment when I saw the March 31st cover with the Confederate flag ("Dean Does Dixie"). And it even came out on the anniversary week of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King!

My first thought was: Is this an article about Howard Dean belonging to the Klan, or are the editors of the Flyer just die-hard racists? Regardless of what the flag means to some -- history, heritage, or a sense of belonging -- to many others it is a powerful symbol of the kind of hate that gunned down King in this city.

Either the Flyer editors are willfully ignorant of the tremendous negative power of this image, or they think that if the Confederate flag means something negative to you, then that's your problem. I'm here to tell you it is a problem that belongs to all of us who want to overcome racism and bigotry and work together to build a better tomorrow for people of all colors and faiths.

George W.B. Heath


What If Terri Was Gay?

To the Editor:

I wonder what the homosexual movement ("Gay in Memphis," March 24th issue), which was largely silent in the face of the state-ordered starvation of Terri Schiavo, would say if Terri was gay. Would they sit silently by while she was denied food and water or side with a former lover who claimed she knew what Terri wanted in the absence of a written directive? I wonder what John Edwards, John Kerry, and other big-time liberals would say if it were known that Terri was gay. Would they claim that this is a "private" matter, while she's starved death on the order of a county probate judge? I doubt it.

If Terri was gay, she would have been given therapy and a new wheelchair, and every effort would have been made to find out what was wrong with her.

But Terri was not gay. She was the daughter of a conservative Christian couple who are vocally pro-life. As we all speculated on which day Terri would die, her loving mother couldn't even deposit a drop of cool water on her daughter's tongue. Shame on us.

Jerry Vanek


More Junior

To the Editor:

I read a letter to the editor in your newspaper (March 31st issue) concerning Representative Harold Ford Jr.'s pandering to conservatives.

Ford is pandering because he wants to be a U.S. senator. According to, the Web site run by political researcher Ken Colburn, Ford has received $1,344,398 in campaign contributions from large corporations, the third-highest amount of any member of the caucus. He votes with the mainstream of the Republican Party on such issues as the "Real ID" bill, which would require a type of national identity card for U.S. citizens. He has supported President Bush's prescription drugs giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry, his faith-based initiatives, his tax cuts for the rich, the abolition of the estate tax, and the war in Iraq. The majority of African Americans in his district are opposed to these positions.

Ford wants to be like the young senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. It will never happen. A name is just a name, even if it's Ford.

Earnest E. Lacey

Oakland, Tennessee


To the Editor:

After five years as coach of the University of Memphis men's basketball team, John Calipari has earned the nickname "The NIT-picker."

Joe Mercer


Miss Cordelia

To the Editor:

Thank you for your editorial "Miss Cordelia" (March 31st issue) in which you concluded that Mrs. Turley's "spirit will live in the old walled garden behind her home."

I would like to add that her spirit will also live in those precious children of God who Miss Cordelia also loved. Your editorial will cause anyone who did not know this wonderful lady to feel as though they did.

Have a pleasant spring.

Arthur H. Prince


Editor's note: We at the Flyer offer our condolences to our prolific and longtime "Letters" correspondent, Arthur Prince, whose own mother, Rebecca Rosenthal Prince, passed away last Sunday at the age of 96.

The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.


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