Letters from the week of July 3, 2003

Sivan Sper
Via e-mail

Jailhouse blues: How pathetic that the only way these people can feel good about themselves is to dress up in some quasi-uniform and find someone else to hate. And so much for prisons being the answer to the rising crime problem. Hell's bells, they're the prime recruitment centers for Black Muslims as well as the Nazi skinheads! Even the cops themselves admit that!

Joe Roy, a former police officer, private investigator, and current director of intelligence projects for the Southern Poverty Law Center, calls the prison system an "ideal environment" for gangs, and an "ideal culture for recruitment."

Okay, Sheriff Joke and all you others: What's the answer? You're the know-it-alls. (Just ask them.)

Marc V. Ridenour
Via e-mail

Gets it: I would like to thank you for the article you wrote. Though I am not a literary critic, the story was very well written. I don't feel that you spit out your opinion, but instead let the article speak for itself. This story further reinforces how deranged and dangerous the skinhead movement is. The skinheads, along with many other white supremacy groups, talk about how they are moving towards more "non-violent" behavior, but from all I have seen, read and continue to learn, their violence only continues to escalate.

There are very few things I am scared of in this world. The one thing that terrifies me more than anything would be skinheads and hate groups simply because there is no provocation necessary to be injured or killed.

Being a sensible gay adult male intensifies my fear even more. It really bothers me to see gay people flaunting their sexuality in public because of the dangers around that they are not even aware of. Yes, you should be able to be who you are and not worry about it. I guess we each choose our own way to handle our lifestyle. I have a lot to live for and that is my choice -- to live.

Name withheld by request

Doesn't get it: I can't believe you gave this jackass the cover. You are probably solely responsible for the recruitment of at least 20 new members. 20 more fatherless pieces of shit or ones whose fathers blamed blacks and Mexicans for taking his job while he's sucking down his 20th Old Style before lunch. So some retard reads this article after reading his new copy of guns and ammo and decides, hell, nobody understands me; I should join and make some new pals. Three weeks later he's kicking the shit out of some poor kid whose waiting for a ride outside a pool hall.

The only good thing to come out of your article is you managed to mention a couple of their hangouts. Some of the anti-racist (the true skinheads) can hunt them down and give them a beating of a lifetime. These guys roped you in; these are the same people who put their white power pamphlets in books at the library then call the news claiming to be a distraught black student. That's how they operate and I'm disappointed that you found the time to help the bastards out.

Name withheld by request

Sort of gets it: Hopefully someone equally ignorant and pathetic will put a bullet through this "Local Hero's" skull and we'll never have to hear about him again. What a disgusting group of people skinheads are. Glad to know that I have a gang of white supremacists living less than 10 miles from me. Being Jewish, it doesn't make one feel too safe. It's also very comforting to know that so many Arizona politicians' children and relatives are involved in this.

Name withheld by request

Church Chat

Sweeping statement: In the middle of his interview with abuse victim John Starkey, your writer Robrt L. Pela makes the outrageous statement, "It's practically a tradition of Catholicism: the molestation of little boys" ("Altered Boy," Speakeasy, June 19). With this comment, Mr. Pela libels many thousands of good priests and good Catholics. This is cheap, pandering anti-Catholic bigotry; an example of narrow-minded stereotyping that would be similar to calling all journalists in America frauds because a number of reporters at various news organizations have been exposed as liars and plagiarists.

Unfortunately the failure of some priests and bishops has subjected our many good priests and our entire church to scorn and humiliation, and we will have to bear the insults of people like Mr. Pela.

But be assured that the church will survive, just as it has survived other attempts to destroy it, even from its own corrupt leaders. I hope Mr. Starkey will return to the church because he can help make it better. We as Catholics must sustain the hope that a better church can emerge from this present darkness, just as certainly as Easter followed Good Friday.

Brian J. Tindell

Campaign Trail

Trail of tears: I almost wept when I saw that there would finally be some competition for Joe the Joke ("Heir Apparent," Robert Nelson, June 12). It pleases me to no end that the people of the Valley have finally come to realize that he is a lunatic that needs to be stopped.

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