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Reader disappointed
I would like to express my sincere disappointment with your portrayal of those of us who are against abortion in your Up Front column, "Free Sex," from the May 25 Independent. As a pro-life atheist, I can't help but feel that you are exceedingly nearsighted and narrow-minded in your interpretation of who is pro-life. I take extreme offense at your stereotyping of those of us who are pro-life as being on the "religious right." When you suggest that these views are entirely religious in nature, you suggest that pro-life people are pro-life simply because their bible tells them to be, without giving the issue any thought. I have given the issue a great deal of thought, and I don't want to be lumped into your category. I don't want to be stereotyped. If you had replaced the phrase "religious right" with some arbitrary ethnic group, your column would have been written off as racist and disgusting; so why is it OK to stereotype when it comes to moral views?

Furthermore, you characterize the campaign against abortion as being one against "allowing people to live their lives as they want as long as it isn't damaging to anyone else." If you were to take the time to learn something about who is pro-life and why, you'd learn that the very reason we are pro-life is that abortion is the ultimate damage to another life; it is the killing of a completely defenseless human.

I don't appreciate your overly simplistic perpetuation of the stereotype that to be pro-life is to be a non-thinking religious nut.

Your ignorance of the nuances and demographics surrounding this issue resound in your column. I do hope that you will give what you write more scrutiny before publication in the future.
Jessica Phipps

Rock over and out
I live in Eastern N.C. and, like so many, feel I have been arbitrarily "written off" by WRDU's decision to cancel Allan's show ("Rock talk is history on WRDU," June 1).

I realize all too well Allan's fans do not add up to the same demographic as Good Morning America or The Late Show with David Letterman. That's why this angers me so. It seems WRDU is taking the "rock culture" for granted, as if we are too small in number to make any real noise. That is why the noise you've made with your article is so well appreciated.

Thank you.
Rob Holmes

Kenney on point
It did not take long for the Rev. Carl Kenney ("Durham, Heal Thyself," June 1) to lure me into his "amen" corner as he waxed eloquently about a Durham community whose civic life is being sacrificed on the altar of power plays and obstinate wrangling.

Rev. Kenney's thesis, as I interpret it, is that there are certain actors in our community who insist (and who I believe love Durham) on relegating our issues to the false dichotomy of "either/or" propositions. Perhaps we ought to give "both/and" propositions a chance. Maybe there are multiple angles to our issues that have merit.

My consumption of the public discourse in Durham has imbued me with a sense that there is very little probing, almost no curiosity and a radical refusal to be wrong. My assumption (and I am willing to be challenged on this) is that unchecked power, neglected community pain, exploitation of privilege and a need to shun nuances and concede to the simple, all serve as the combustible agents that fuel the fire-breathing rhetoric that singes the walls of our forum for pubic discussions.

My hope is that we try a new form of deliberation that allows us to transcend the bounds of facile "I am right, you are wrong" constructs.

As Rev. Kenney mentioned, Durham is a patient in need of healing. The healing won't come by a magical elixir, but rather by the investment of time, honest effort and cathartic tears. We might heal slowly, but I believe we can heal well.
Sterling E. Freeman

Gate City here we come
Just finished reading Tanya Olson's poem ... god damn it was good ("Indy Poetry Contest," June 1). I pick up a copy of your paper whenever I can or I have someone bring me one whenever they are in the Triangle area. It is a crying shame we don't have a paper as good as yours in the Triad. Ever consider expanding your market?
Larry Williams

talk back.
Send no more than 300 words to; to P.O. Box 2690, Durham 27715; or fax 286-4274. Include name, phone number and mailing address for verification.

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