Jay Cheshes' "The Other Side of Paradise" (November 19) was a great story. I was born in the Bahamas, so I found it very interesting, probably one of the best articles I've seen that describes the situation in Nassau.
At the same time, it disturbed me somewhat. I was concerned by the tendency of the writer to refer to "black people" in order to gain support for his issue. In describing a poor neighborhood, Mr. Cheshes noted that most of the residents were poor and black. This would appear to have been written to gather some sympathy for Anton McIntosh, the accused killer in the story. To an American reader, it might succeed. But as a black Bahamian, I believe it's irrelevant. Of course poor Bahamians are mostly poor and black. The country is 85 percent black.
I guess that I'm accustomed to living in a country where, as the majority, we never focused on race. It's only when a deeply concerned outsider comes to help us poor folks that we pick up the label "poor black Bahamian." To most of us, it's just Bahamian, poor, white, black, yellow, or otherwise. I'll write it off to the American obsession with race.
Once again, though, it was a great story, really thorough. I just wanted to point out how the culture of the author can sometimes add various spins to a story. I wonder how different the article would have been had a Bahamian written it. Ah, but that would be assuming the author is American. I won't make that assumption.
Frederick A. Morris
Charlotte, North Carolina
News Flash For Ralph: Sean Rowe Has Been Transferred to Our Iowa City Drag Queen Beat
Sean Rowe's sophomoric dismantling of Miami superhero Dan Marino ("Chasing Danny," November 12) is a real stinker. I'm sure most readers picked up on this when Mr. Rowe began his piece with a masterful locker-room observation of Marino's natural bodily functions. From the very beginning, Rowe makes himself out to be an angry, haphazard journalist from an obscure, third-rate rag who couldn't get an interview with an American legend. Judging from the few childlike and ignorant questions Mr. Rowe did manage to ask, I don't blame Marino one bit for opting not to waste his precious time on a reporter who obviously seems completely clueless about one of America's favorite pastimes.
Mr. Rowe insults football aficionados by dismissing them as "losers who depend on the team for their identity." Unfortunately he doesn't seem to understand that every facet of American society, from yarn-knitting grannies to coffeehouse intellectuals, has been swept away at one point or another by the majesty and heroism of the sport, not to mention the millions of children who are mesmerized by these gifted athletes and influenced positively in many ways (putting aside all the corporate bullshit).
Digging himself deeper into his journalistic abyss, Mr. Rowe writes, "No one will even notice Marino's absence, and the slow eclipse of a superstar will be complete." Wrong again. Marino will join an elite group of people in American folklore, people such as Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Johnny Unitas, Reggie Jackson, Joe Montana, Michael Jordan, and others who have captivated the minds of millions with incomparable feats.
Sean Rowe has further insulted Miamians like myself who could give a rat's ass about how Marino feels about his celebrity. And he continues insulting us by putting down our team, one of the few things that, over the years, has brought our community together.
I'm sure Mr. Rowe's own farts lingered for a while after he chowed down all the free pizza the team provided to the press and wiped away a tear that trickled down his face because he couldn't get his little story from Danny.
You just don't get it, do you, Mr. Rowe? Do us all a favor and try reviewing drag shows in Iowa City or some other place far away from here. We just want our hero to win, win, win -- for him and for us in South Florida. We love you, Dan.
Ralph de la Portilla
Maybe Because It Isn't an Office of Honor and Trust
"Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: But the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to law."
This quotation from the U.S. Constitution seems to me to say that a person cannot hold a federal office after conviction of impeachment charges. How is it that Alcee Hastings was deemed qualified for election to the U.S. House of Representatives ("Impeachment as Cache," David Abel, November 12)?
via the Internet