The Rehabilitation of Malcolm X
The editorial "Brother Malcolm" Nov. 23, commends Spike Lee for representing Malcolm's vision "of a world of shared love among all colors and races" and for "giving attention to this neglected last phase of Malcolm's life." Who neglected it? In the '60s and '70s the mainstream media did everything to ignore Malcolm X. When this wasn't possible they trivialized him, distorted his message, and did not draw back from outright lies. Whence this sudden "rehabilitation?"
Malcolm's life and words have been on record for more than 25 years. Why are we now being treated to such thorough media revisionism in its presentation of this man? The editorial asks the wrong question. It's not: Would Malcolm want to be a symbol? But rather: How would Malcolm react to the hypocrisy of the media acting as though they had known him, respected him? The world's great emancipators have all endured persecution for the crime of combining love with a drive for freeing humanity. Salvatore Zambito, Suquamish, Wash. Fanning the flames of bigotry
I applaud the author's effort to put forth a balanced position in the article "Attack Marks Shift in South African Violence," Dec. 1. In the author's pursuit of fairness, however, he unnecessarily includes the "armed robber" paragraph.
This admittedly tragic criminal act is not uncommon, and its recounting detracts from the article, as it does not elucidate the subject matter, which is political violence. If the alleged armed robber had been white, then the crime would not have found its way into this story. It's inclusion serves only to fan the flames of ignorance and bigotry. Jonathan Tynes, Newburyport, Mass. The press's portrait of Iran
What were your motives for running the front-page article "Resurgent Iran Again Challenges Western Interests," Nov. 19? Was it a news story or a call to arms? The author's piece contains a series of empty accusations backed by equally hollow evidence.
The American people don't need the media to furnish them with yet another enemy. As a half-Iranian American, this coverage is destructive to both Iranians and Americans. Haleh Suzanne Hatami, Walnut Creek, Calif.