Letters to the Editor

Readers demand government accountability on Iraq, debate rap music's influence, and endorse the need for film critics.

Does rap spur crime and violence?

Regarding Sara Libby's May 3 Opinion piece, "Hip-hop's bad rap,": While there are some songs that do exhibit positive messages, they are only a few among a sea of songs that promote misogyny and a life of crime. Just because Ludacris writes one song that spotlights domestic violence does not excuse him from the social irresponsibility he exhibits by producing some even more popular party tracks with blatantly misogynistic messages.

Although cop killing seems to have become passé, tales of exploits in the drug-dealing business still dominate.

It is doubtless that these artists have an influence on the younger generation.

Youths are subjected to these messages incessantly from Top-40 radio, which doesn't do its part to sift out the songs with immoral values that seem to pervade these playlists.

Let's only hope that when rap tries to reinvent itself, it does so by creating a sense of responsibility among its producers.

Andrew Tamayo
Charlotte, N.C.

In response to Sara Libby's Opinion piece in defense of rap and hip-hop: I applaud her comments and totally agree. I am 56 years old, and I, too, listen to some of the music she mentioned.

I knew Tupac Shakur through his mother, and he was a very sensitive and highly intelligent man. I also know Loon – aka Chauncey Hawkins.

These young men haven't killed anyone, nor are they the reason why black youths might go out and commit violent crimes – or at least they are no more causing violence than the heavy-metal groups cause violence and death with their lyrics.

Sybil Ward
New York

Leaders demand, but don't give, results

In response to the article from April 23, "Democrats brace for next vote on war funds": I am the mother of a marine and a public school teacher, and I will lose my job if I fail to meet President Bush's No Child Left Behind benchmarks that show progress in my class.

It is ironic that this same administration and its Republican supporters in Congress seem to want only to squander our tax dollars and the lives of our children and then tell us we have no right to expect accountability and progress with the protracted war in Iraq.

Helen Logan-Tackett
La Mirada, Calif.

Broomball: not just fun and games

In response to the article from May 3, "Having a (broom) ball": It would have been nice if the article had spent some time on the serious side of the game and the huge difference between league play and college intramurals.

I once enjoyed playing intramural broomball here at Iowa State University (ISU). I have moved on since then, joining the ISU Broomball Club team. We competed in many tournaments.

Since joining the team, I have enjoyed playing broomball even more and do not look back at the intramurals as much fun anymore.

Many more serious players use a lot of hockeylike gear, such as helmets, shinguards, elbowpads, kneepads, and other protective equipment.

As a member of the ISU team, we usually play the recently opened college division, or the C/D. It can be just as rough as hockey.

Yes, broomball can be light-hearted and good fun as an intramural sport, but others who compete in these tournaments are trying to get it taken more seriously.

Nick Kayser
Ames, Iowa

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