BY BETH BROEKER
I know how this mother must have felt because I also failed to protect my daughter from harm and Child Protective Services got involved. She is now in the custody of her grandmother and I will never get custody of her again. I know deep inside that it is the right thing for her because I failed to protect her the way a mother should. Sometimes I question what it means to be a good mother. I also think, Will she ever wonder where I am or why she isn't with me? My real mother wanted nothing to do with me since I was five and I grew up resenting her and wondering what I did for her not to want me and I never in my heart wanted this to happen to my daughter.
While reading your article, my 10-year-old adopted son called up to me from the bottom of the stairway. He said, "Mom ... do you want me?" I called to him, "No." He said, "No, do you want me as your son?" I called with all the love in my voice, "Of course I do!" He began to sing "You Are My Sunshine."
We adopted him three years ago when he was 7. I work for the Department of Social Services in foster care now and hear about the same situations that you wrote about in your article. That child is one of the lucky ones, as is our son and his new family.
-- Adrienne Nicholson
As an adoption lawyer and child welfare advocate as well as an adult adoptee, I was deeply touched by this account of a mother's relinquishment of her child. But perhaps the most important and easily missed point was the role of the author as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). In this story and countless others across the nation, the CASA volunteer is a central figure in an often abused or neglected child's life, his voice in court and his advocate for a safe, loving, permanent family. Without the CASA's involvement, this story may not have had such a happy ending. Hats off to the author and the many CASA volunteers who fight for the best interests of children like this each day.
-- Nan Newman, Esq.
Perhaps the mother's failure to protect her child was because of her inablility to protect herself. Why does society continue to blame the abused for what the abusers do to them? Until there is a great paradigm shift, many women will continue to suffer from the abuse they have endured, long after they enable themselves to get free.
Blaming the abused for their actions while in an abusive situation has to be ended. If not, does society then become the abuser?
-- Mary Faye Pratt
Do I have sympathy for a woman who fails to protect her child from harm? So what if she cries, the question is how long did her son cry while he was being battered and beaten. The baby got a safe home which is what he needed. She got nothing -- what she deserved.
-- Lee Klimas
BY DAVID HOROWITZ
I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. I actually agree with a Horowitz column. Alan Keyes' entire appeal -- such as it is -- is to white racists who are ecstatic to find a black man who actually shares their worldview. As a Jew, I understand the way this works. Any Jew can win the affection of the worst anti-Semite by asserting that the creation of Israel was a mistake and that the Holocaust may not have taken place. Haters love finding a representative of the group they despise to exonerate them from the charge of bigotry. The outdated term "Uncle Tom" does not apply to Keyes. He is actually something far worse, a collaborator with the enemies of his own people.
-- Michael J. Rosenberg
I do not like Alan Keyes. So saying, I have to admit that I find his lack of artifice rather refreshing, considering the climate of political double-speak voters must contend with. With Keyes, at least I know what he stands for and why I'm not voting for him. And yes, his attack upon Sen. John McCain over Nine Inch Nails was downright laughable, but turnabout is fair play ... after all, Alan Keyes got caught body-surfing at a Rage Against the Machine concert!
-- Kymberlyn Toliver-Reed
Monday's column by David Horowitz was sensible, level-headed, and made plain good sense. Have you taken his temperature to make sure he's all right?
-- Terry M. Weyna
While I can certainly agree with Mr. Horowitz that the Republican party would be better off without such heavy-handed absolutists as Keyes, I have a lot of trouble with this so-called radical holocaust. How did the "gay left and their liberal allies" cause AIDS to spread to women, Hispanics and blacks? Wouldn't most of the responsibility lie with those who refused to fund research? AIDS can only be prevented through awareness of the disease and how it is transmitted, and it seems unlikely to me that the liberals were witholding that information more than the conservatives. If there was a "radical holocaust," it was from the radical right that was perfectly happy to let gay men die.
-- Derek Hays
Did Mallory make it?
BY PAT JOSEPH
I'm afraid the Mallory expedition of last year was NOT solely Jochen Hemmleb's
"brainchild," it was the idea I developed as a BBC film treatment
after I summitted the mountain in 1993. It took me five years to pursuade the BBC to
mount the expedition to look for my great-uncle Somervell's camera
that he unwisely lent to Mallory. Furthermore, it was the BBC that
paid for over half the expedition cost, a fact that has been
ignored by all the American participants.
-- Graham Hoyland
My favorite author, my worst interview
BY DONNA MINKOWITZ
It is well known that Orson Scott Card and I have had our critical disagreements in public over various matters. But this is the single most unethical interview I have ever read, and I've been trashed often enough myself.
The interviewer lied to Card throughout. And interjecting her own extensive post-facto screeds is beyond the pale of journalistic ethics.
As interviewer and interviewee, I've often been at odds with my opposite number. The ethical thing to do is have the disagreements out in the interview. It also makes for as more interesting interview than this kind of self-indulgent narcissistic wank.
-- Norman Spinrad
Stalking Gary Bauer
BY DAN SAVAGE
So your contribution to the Newest Journalism is germ warfare?
No more hits for you from me. God knows what I might catch.
With sincere disgust,
-- Christopher Buckley