Reporting on Hurricane Andrew

As a Miami refugee fleeing the ravages of Hurricane Andrew, I was appalled to see racism given such a free rein in the front-page article "Floridians Work Together in Wake of Hurricane," Aug. 31. Our city's adolescence has been turbulent, to be sure, as America's newest melting pot simmers to develop its own individual flavor.

But Hurricane Andrew leveled more than houses. It became the great leveler of prejudice, the unifier of a divided community. Having spoken with many Dade County residents hardest hit by the storm, an overwhelming majority felt cultural boundaries melt away as "loving one's neighbor" took on unprecedented proportions.

While predictions may be useful at times, the cynicism of experts is unnecessary. Miami's newfound unity is the only silver lining in what has been one very large cloud. M. Bessell, Miami

Thank you for your upbeat and constructive coverage of the hurricane aftermath. It's a refreshing change from the daily fare of our other news sources. Which brings up the question: Have the media, for the most part, been doing the hurricane victims a great disservice?

If one of the greatest needs is for basic information and communication capability, why haven't the media been helping with it, instead of spending so much of their time and resources focusing on blame? Betty Smith, Chesterfield, Mo. Hurricane Andrew cartoon

In the face of the difficulties and hardships endured by those who experienced Hurricane Andrew, the cartoon in the Aug. 27 issue of the Monitor lacks compassion.

It certainly isn't "back to normal" or "business as usual" for those people who lost everything. Surely something pointing out the need to help and support the hurricane victims would have been more appropriate. Lenore M. Berner, Skokie, Ill.

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