To the Editor:

I want to express my gratitude to the Flyer for publishing the article "Silent Giant" (February 21st issue). During this month that is dedicated to black history, it is exhilarating to find an article which provides such vital information on the background of the civil rights movement and its connection to my hometown. Although I was too young to actually have participated, I am very familiar with the phrase "I AM A MAN" and am proud to hear of its inception and the man who created it. Thank you for preserving my history.

Janice M. Crawford, Memphis


To the Editor:

What a nasty article Tim Sampson wrote about Jamie Sale (We Recommend, February 21st issue), the real gold medal winner at the Winter Olympics. He calls her a bitch, a spoiled brat with no lips and big eyes, and talks about putting a needle up her butt. He definitely qualifies as a reporter for the CA with the likes of Calkins and Williams, who wrote negative articles about John Calipari and Jason Williams.

Why didn't he write something about Joye Lee-McNelis, the coach for the U of M women who have a record of 11-15 and have lost 5 in a row! Their balls may be smaller than the men's, but they are larger than Sampson's!

Joe Mercer, Memphis

More Research Needed?

To the Editor:

Chris Leek should do his research and quit relying on Moonie-controlled rags like The Washington Times for his information (Letters, February 21st issue). His citing the "Ken Lay in the Lincoln bedroom 11 times" fabrication discredits his entire argument. How can we believe his other allegations when he can't even get the easy ones right?

Ken Lay only spent one night in the Lincoln bedroom, and that was during the term of George Herbert Walker Bush. It should be noted that the first Bush administration has stated (before Ken Lay became "that man, Mr. Lay") that only intimate relatives and very close friends of the family were invited to stay in the Lincoln bedroom. Kenny Boy never bunked with the Clintons -- maybe there were too many reds under the beds. (Really, Rush and his ditto-monkeys need a new script!)

The Bush administration can clear itself once and for all of the Enron scandal by releasing all information pertinent to the formation of Cheney's energy policy, plus the records of the Reagan administration and Dubya's records as governor of Texas, all of which were hidden away at about the same time Enron started to come apart. As John Ashcroft is so fond of telling ordinary Americans, you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.

Jeff Crook, Memphis

To the Editor:

Chris Leek seems to be harboring a few incorrect assumptions. It's certainly true that Democrats have also gotten themselves entangled in the Enron mess, but the major groundwork seems to have been laid by Newt Gingrich and the GOP-controlled Congress back in 1995 with the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. (Clinton may have signed that bill into law, but Congress had to vote on it.) That law enables corporations and their accountants to dodge investor lawsuits. When a corporation no longer has to fear being held accountable by its own shareholders, all it need do is buy a few politicians and it can pretty much do whatever it wants, never mind the consequences to its own employees or to the national economy.

One reason Republicans get picked on so much when something like this happens is that the GOP is the "morality party," always beating its chest about what high moral standards it has. People who make loud noises about their superior morality are wide open for potshots when it comes out they're just as immoral as the rest of the general population. A common assumption among Republicans, some Democrats, and (apparently) Chris Leek is that if someone slams the GOP they must be a Democrat. I am currently unaffiliated with any political party. Not only do I slam the GOP when it deserves such, I have been known to write angry letters to Democratic representatives who vote like Republicans.

My philosophy is that if you're going to run as a partisan candidate, you should agree with and abide by at least 95 percent of that party's platform, otherwise you need to either pick another party, start a new party, or run as an independent. Unfortunately the politicians don't agree with me, so you see things like Rep. Mike McIntyre voting for state-sponsored school prayer or Sen. John Breaux opposing legal abortion or then-Vice President Al Gore repudiating his environmentalist beliefs for the sake of big business. All Democrats, all betraying their party platform. Nader was right: It is like choosing between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

The only cure I can see for the arrogance of both major parties is to stop voting for them. It's up to us, and as citizens of this country we need to be exercising our citizenship responsibilities. We are the only ones who can fix this mess.

Dana Seilhan, Memphis

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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