Opinion » Letters To The Editor





Terrorist Cell?

To the Editor:

Thanks should go to John Branston and the Flyer for your cover story on the "wedding scam" ("Cell Mates," April 14th issue). As the article pointed out, Rafat Jamal Mawlawi may be guilty of nothing more than the sham-marriage operation he was running with the Netters. But as the story also made clear, something much more dangerous and sinister is also quite possible. Why, for instance, was Mawlawi in Bosnia posing with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher? It's not exactly your typical vacation picture. Only time -- and a trial -- will make things clear.

Kudos should also go to the FBI for stopping this operation in its tracks.

Daniel Wilson


Private Prisons?

To the Editor:

Your editorial (March 31st issue) closed with the mention of two apparently opposing concerns regarding privatization of Shelby County corrections facilities: fairness to employees versus revenue savings. You did not mention a more important issue: The citizens of Shelby County have an obligation to ensure the health and welfare of the individuals we incarcerate while they await trial for offenses they may or may not be guilty of. The average stay for an inmate at the county jail is three weeks. Outsourcing the administration of our jail will remove direct local control of the operations without lessening our community's accountability to the inmates.

Shelby County suffered through years of mismanagement, lawsuits, and national derision while 201 Poplar was operated as a semi-autonomous fiefdom. Sheriff Mark Luttrell has restored order, pride, and fiscal responsibility to the jail and throughout his department.

The sheriff has also implemented programs for inmates that are designed to encourage new behaviors after they are released. Such interventions can affect the well-being of the larger community [but] have no value to a private corporation.

Would we even consider privatization if the topic were Shelby County health care or schools? Our obligation to the incarcerated citizens of our county is no less important.

William T. Andrews


(William T. Andrews teaches HIV-prevention for inmates at 201 Poplar.)

Civil Wrong?

To the Editor:

Regarding Jim Maynard's Viewpoint titled "A Civil Wrong" (April 14th issue): His main complaint is against a state constitutional amendment opposing homosexual marriages. He calls conservative Christianity "bigotry." This equates racism with behavior. The Bible condemns nations and cultures that violate God's ethical standards, irrespective of skin color. Maynard, like most homosexual promoters, tries to tie behavior (homosexuality) to a civil rights issue. This is a fallacy; one is a behavior, the other a race.

Does the progress made in race relations mean that we should tolerate a certain sexual practice and equate it with the struggle for civil rights? To equate a lifestyle choice with racism demeans the work of the entire civil rights movement. A black person is known by the color of his skin. Homosexuals, whether black or white, are identified by a certain type of sexual behavior. The comparisons are hardly similar.

Charles Gillihan


Get Over It

To the Editor:

To all those well-meaning but misguided folks who objected to the "Confederate Flag" cover (March 31st issue), I say: Get over it! The only reason the Confederate battle flag is seen as a symbol of hate is because the Ku Klux Klan adopted it as one of its symbols.

Want proof? The true flag of the Confederate States of America flies over the south end of Mud Island and nobody gives a damn! But put the Confederate battle flag on your car or in front of your house and you are labeled a racist or bigot.

The sooner we can agree that the Confederate battle flag only represents the tens of thousands of brave young men who died simply doing what they were ordered to do the better.

Jeff Reeb


Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.

Add a comment