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Letters to the Editor

Where was this letter writer when Boulis was whacked? Staff writer Wyatt Olson's story about developer R. Donahue Peebles ("Peebles Power," August 16) was well written, but he left out some important facts:

After Miami Beach mayor Neisen Kasdin opposed Peebles's request for a zoning change for the high-rise Bath Club project, Peebles retaliated. During Kasdin's next election campaign, Peebles financed commercials on television attacking the mayor for an issue unrelated to the zoning change.

Though Hollywood's "Diamond on the Beach" high-rise hotel project involves public land and taxpayer money, Mr. Peebles made the unethical choice of continuing his partnership with Gus Boulis even though Boulis and companies he once owned had paid $2 million in fines and other fees to the federal government for lying about ownership of SunCruz casino boats.

John Lundin

Read 'em and leave: I began working as a marketer and nurse evaluator for the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation in March 1998. I was very impressed with the services provided until the program director, Dr. Neal Galloway, resigned. I continued working this past year for FINR and was continually told we are changing the program, getting more highly trained staff, et cetera. I was leery but hopeful things would turn around. I received a phone call Sunday, August 12, advising me to check out your story on the Internet ("Beaten, Burned, and Raped," Bob Norman, August 9). I did and resigned from FINR the following morning. There are still ethical people in the health care profession who care more about their patients than their paychecks.

Susan Alfred
via the Internet

And fire-breathing anarchists: I worry about the activists of Lake Worth. Amy Roe's objective in her piece "Gimme an A!" (August 2) seems to be to draw as much police and federal attention as possible to these dedicated, much-loved performers. An entire paragraph devoted to people bragging about how much they steal from local corporations? Ending the article with Melodie's statement that the police are "pigs"? Comparisons that link a group of hilarious, sharp-tongued CHEERLEADERS to the Unabomber? Add those offenses to naming the street that the women's home is located on, and oh boy. I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of enraged cops showed up on the girls' front steps to cart them away based on Roe's decision to choose only the most inflammatory asides, which were probably meant as private. Two phrases come to mind: misrepresentation of anarchists and journalistic irresponsibility.

While the article is fascinating, it seems aimed at subverting the positive elements of antiauthoritarian activism and radical cheerleading. Why does Ms. Roe, in the first couple of paragraphs, describe in such unneeded detail a "tall, thin, blond" radical cheerleader, when the woman she is describing actually represents the physical make-up of a tiny minority of the Southern Girls Convention? Does she assume the world is not ready for powerful, sexy, politically minded fat girls and butches? Why throw in that one of the Villa residents' rent is "paid for by parents"? Does this not conflict in Ms. Roe's mind with the larger makeup of anarchist financial realities, or is she simply attempting to play into stereotypes that activists are all young, white college dropouts from middle-class families? These clichés are easy to believe for those who don't wish to hear the voices of the many people of color, immigrants, poor folks, sex workers, and others who do similar work but aren't sought after by most media.

It's not surprising that anyone would try to create an uproar over simple, well-intentioned community activists -- take a look at the public's view of the Black Bloc. What is a little disturbing is that an intelligent woman such as Amy Roe would risk her credibility as a journalist just for one cover story at a local weekly paper.

Mary Christmas
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

We won't miss ya: Amy Roe's June 21 cover story, "Generation Exodus," brought out a lot of anger and racist comments from some white South Africans. I am Jamaican, black, and have Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean roots; to me it seems many South Africans are so comfortable with double standards that they don't see themselves as racists. Some still do not get the big picture. The civilized world will never forget apartheid and racism still exists, even here in the United States.

It seems whites refuse to see the truth that, while South Africa may be the country of their birth, it is not the country of their ancestral origin. White South Africans intentionally destroyed black African historic artifacts that prove blacks lived in S.A. hundreds of years before any white person appeared. And by my understanding, some of the early white settlers in S.A. were convicted criminals expelled from England to South Africa and Australia. Now some of their descendants are being expelled from S.A.

I think that white South Africans cannot blame the current black government for their woes. They should blame their white forefathers, who didn't share the country or treat the original inhabitants of S.A. as their equals. Their greed and inhumane ideas have led to a spiraling decline. What is happening in S.A. now is neither reverse discrimination nor reverse racism. It is reverse manifest destiny and reverse apartheid.

Maybe Ms. Candice Castro could not see her apartheid-conditioned hate and racism when she wrote in the July 5 issue ("Letters"), "... they talk of how the country handled its problems in the past; well, war is never pretty -- and we were at war. You Americans should know. Look what you did to the natives of this country." Yes, American Indians and Black Americans were robbed and enslaved by the colonial settlers, but did that make it right for South Africa to carry on this practice? Many whites in this country knew slavery was wrong and openly protested it. This was one of the main reasons whites fought against other whites during the Civil War -- "freedom, justice, and equality for all people." When Ms. Castro states, "[W]e were at war," I would like to know which war or if rocks and spears against tanks and machine guns are considered war?

On the same date, July 5, Sandy Adams wrote, "A lot of white South Africans were conditioned to accept the apartheid government during its rule and did not support its deeds." Maybe it is easy to condition oneself if one has accepted apartheid as the right thing. How can a truly humane person be conditioned to tolerate and accept hate and discrimination? The oppressor can easily be conditioned, but the people who are oppressed never condition themselves to tolerate apartheid. How could you say you did not support its deeds when you paid taxes and voted for the police and politicians who unleashed the laws, dogs, bullets, and prisons on innocent Blacks in the townships?

How does it feel, Ms. Adams and Ms. Castro, to no longer be a conditioned coward? You can now speak freely about something you don't agree with, but you had to leave South Africa to do it.

Ms. Adams claims she left S.A. "due to reverse apartheid, crime, and disease." She claims she neither supported apartheid nor did anything to stop it. She and others did little or nothing to see that all South Africans were educated and living above the poverty level. Foresight and compassion would have reduced the crime that is currently taking place. She states, "[M]ost murderers do not even get captured." During apartheid most murderers wore police uniforms and didn't get captured, either. Instead they were allowed to retire here to South Florida.

I say to the Candice Castros and Sandy Adamses out there that your forefathers did not consider the repercussions of their sick plan of apartheid for their descendants. I understand that whites are running away from the crimes their colonial fathers initiated, but I don't see why they feel sad for having to leave a country that was truly never theirs.

Is there really a mass movement of white South Africans to South Florida? Is this all they can afford after robbing and raping yet another African nation, its people, and its natural resources? We get enough racism from the Klan, Aryans, rednecks, militia, Black Panthers, inner-city gangs, and other misguided groups that preach ethnic superiority in a world where only equality can prevail.

E.A. Walsh
Fort Lauderdale

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