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Letters to the Editor




To the Editor:

Regarding the articles on Criminal Manne ("Straight Gangster") and Hickory Hill ("Hickory Hill or Hickory 'Hood?") in the May 13th issue: The fact that "Nobody wants to listen to 'Stop The Violence' anymore. Everybody wants to get crunk! They want to hear 'I'm gonna bust your m--f--king head!," is the exact reason why rap music has become stagnant, mundane, and boring, and part of the reason why Hickory Hill is now known as Hickory 'Hood.

Joel Murphy


To the Editor:

Your article on Criminal Manne was disappointing. I realize your publication tries to encourage a pluralistic interest in music, but the people who listen to that type of music don't generally read periodicals. Manne's interview was nothing more than his base way of displaying naked avarice: "They've already got their plates. They're burping, gaining weight, everything. Now I need to get mine."

When Manne "gets his" is he going to put any of it in savings? Is he going to try and give something back to his community? Is he going to try and help young people stay out of jail? Probably not.

Manne said, "It's hard to stay out of jail." Actually it isn't. I've been a police officer for 10 years, and I know that if someone goes to work, pays their bills, and abides by the law, the chances are fairly slim they'll be our guest at 201 Poplar. Manne wears his violence and his jail time like a badge of honor. Somewhere along the line, going to jail got glorified instead of being disgraceful. Until people with influence try to dispel the "Criminal Mannes" of this city, the glorification of violence will persist, and young people, even children, will continue to die horribly.

Everyone must do their part to educate. I'm doing mine the best way I know how because, like Manne, I was raised in South Memphis.

Officer Patrick C. Twele

Memphis Police Department

Bob James

To the Editor:

I am writing to thank you for your recent outstanding editorial (May 6th issue) depicting the accomplishments of our founder, Bob James. I had the good fortune of getting to know him over the last year of his life and admired his genuine interest in doing good for our community.

Your description of him as being "ever keen of mind and generous of spirit" is a perfect depiction of this dedicated public servant. The phenomenal success of Crime Stoppers is his lasting legacy for us all. We'll miss Bob James.

Walter Crews, Executive Director

Crime Stoppers


To the Editor:

In the mid-1960s, I was a teenager with a drinking problem. After several arrests for public drunkenness, the Juvenile Court decided to yank me out of high school and either incarcerate me or force me to join the Army. Those were my choices, because in those days counseling and therapy were not readily available.

It was a lot for a 17-year-old to deal with, but fortunately Bob James, who was then working with Juvenile Court authorities, heard about my plight and came to my home to talk to my family and me. Mr. James was a gracious, kind, and empathetic man who saw something worthwhile in me and decided to help. Based solely upon his recommendation to the judge, I was allowed to finish high school and go on with my life.

I will always remember the kindness and compassion Bob James showed to a confused, scared teenager who desperately needed a helping hand.

Randy Norwood


A Racist Ruling?

To the Editor:

Regarding the case of Jerry and Louise Baker's quest for the oldest daughter of Jack and Casey He: The judge's racist ruling discredits the concept of family and insults Chinese-Americans and the Chinese people. Extending the judge's logic, we should immediately get all the kids out of China to be raised by good Christian white people. How condescending!

The Bakers should have relinquished the child when she was two. Their agenda was apparent when they chose to prevent the parents from picking her up for a photo. When this child finds out who her real parents are, the suffering will begin for everyone. How sad it is for the child.

Scott Chalgren

Aptos, California

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