Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the current US Navy and debate over Jena 6.

May the US Navy win over many hearts and minds

In response to your Oct. 29 editorial, "The US Navy goes 'soft' ": Excellent idea, even to the extent of having personnel in the Navy learn the foreign languages and customs of the countries we are supporting.

We need to win the war of hearts and minds. This is the best idea I have heard in a long time.

Also, we should consider opening our services up to people who are older and still fit for duty.

If we're doing work in other countries, the life experience of older folks who would like to serve in this capacity could benefit the overall effort.

I served more than six years in the US Navy nuclear submarine service. I hope this new direction takes hold and works well for us.

Bob Whitman
LaPlace, La.

Jena 6: Debating facts and coverage

Regarding Craig Franklin's Oct. 24 Opinion piece, "Media myths about the Jena 6": I found it simply astonishing that the white students whose noose prank contributed to the problem "were unaware" of the historical symbolism relating lynchings and nooses. I find this claim, or the ignorance it suggests, incredible.

Is this part of history banned from the historical record?

Steven Lewis
Middletown, N.J.

In response to Craig Franklin's Opinion piece about the Jena 6: With few exceptions modern journalism has failed miserably in so many respects that I would be embarrassed to call myself a journalist.

The Jena tragedy is just a continuation of the Duke lacrosse and Katrina reporting debacles.

As you rightly point out, the media, having smeared Jena, have already moved on without a thought as to the mess they made of things and without the decency to apologize for it and the lives they have disrupted.

Shame on mainstream journalism.

Roger Arango
Memphis, Tenn.

In response to Mr. Franklin's Opinion piece on the Jena 6: Most people would look right past myth No. 9. Earlier this year, I had to sit in on a jury selection in Savannah, Ga., for a high-profile case involving a black male who raped a number of women.

Although blacks were well represented in the selection process, a good number of them asked to be excused from this trial because they were uncomfortable with sitting in judgment over another black.

Stephen Michael
Savannah, Ga.

Sometimes I get the idea the news media is more like a fifth-party gossipmonger. It is very refreshing to read something that was actually thought out and above the level of sound bites.

The Monitor is one of the few papers that prove Mark Twain was wrong. We can believe more than half of what we read.

Barney O'Donnell
Portland, Ore.

The article detailing the 12 myths did not name the reporters and their newspapers who printed this information. An article such as this will not make anyone in the media sit up and take notice until the culprits are identified by name. Name them and shame them.

Larry Bailey
Port Clyde, Maine

What about the Jena children who were charged as adults? I love the way Franklin's piece downplayed that. Is he justifying the fact that children should be charged as adults for school fights? That was the major concern of the protest.

Je Mila Gaston
Los Angeles

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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