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Letters to the Editor

From the week of September 27, 2001

September 11, 2001, has changed history. Does the United States of America go to war because of the actions of seventeen men, or do we rebuild? Will there be an all-out draft of both men and women, eighteen years old and over? Seventy percent of all local teens do not go to college. Will the U.S. Congress allow Mr. Bush to declare war without an Act of Congress? No one has claimed responsibility. World War II cost the U.S. six million lives. Thirty-nine million Russians and thirty-nine million Germans died on the Russian front.

Is King Oil worth the human sacrifice, or can 300 million Americans learn to walk to work? (Eighty percent of all oil is used by single-driver cars in a Monday-Friday commute.) A nuclear holocaust would mean the end of this modern age. Did China do it? Who wants World War III?

M. Okagawa
Denver

Spanks for the memories: Someone goofed, and you not only let a letter into your September 20 issue that was all wrong, but you made it prominent.

First, Big Ed Johnson was not governor in 1942, Ralph Carr was governor. Second, Big Ed Johnson did not stand up for the Japanese in 1942. He opposed giving them sanctuary, inflaming the public in news stories. It was Governor Carr who offered sanctuary.

In 1942, Republican Carr opposed Democrat Johnson for the U.S. Senate seat and lost when Johnson used the issue of Governor Carr's position of sanctuary for the refugee citizens to defeat him.

These are Carr's public words: "To American-born citizens of Japanese parentage, we look for example and guidance. To those who have not been so fortunate as to have been born in this country, we offer the hand of friendship, secure in the knowledge that they will be as truly American as the rest of us. We must work together for the preservation of our American system and the continuance of our theory of universal brotherhood."

If Carr had done the "political thing," as Johnson so easily did, he could have become a U.S. senator and ended up like so many who followed him as governor: names on a list, gathering dust in the state archives, doomed to obscurity for always playing up to the latest frenzy. But Carr went against the grain and showed enormous courage. That is why those who can still write about him.

Boy, when you make a mistake, you sure make a doozy.

Jerry Kopel
Denver

Life in the fact lane: I was utterly amazed to see such a gross factual error in Westword's letters column. Certainly, David M. Abbott Jr. stated accurately that Japanese internment during World War II was a shameful act, and that we should avoid stereotyping and scapegoating Muslims for the terrible actions of a few fanatics. However, it was Governor Ralph Carr, not Governor Big Ed Johnson, who defied popular opinion and hysteria, not to mention being in opposition to government policy. Reluctantly, he presided over the internment, but labored, sometimes successfully, for fair treatment of the internees. For his courage, he was subsequently defeated in the next election, never to serve as an elected official again.

It is sloppy journalism to report such an inaccuracy. A reporter's or editor's responsibility is attribution. Facts should be checked and, as in this instance, the editor should publish a correction of the letter writer's incorrect factual assertion.

Ed Augden
Denver

Editor's note: Will this public pillorying do? Our apologies for not catching the error.


In the Zone

The folks she left behind: I want to thank Steve Jackson and the editorial staff for taking a chance on the four-part "Penalty Zone" series that concluded in the June 28 issue.

My best friend was Peyton Tuthill, who was murdered by Donta Page. It's not often that coverage of her murder is as in-depth and accurate as it was in this series of articles. She was such a wonderful person, and I am glad that Steve had the ability to bring that across. My heart goes out to the other families who have lost their loved ones. Hopefully, stories such as this will change the way these three-judge panels do business.

Heather Nelson
Denver

Editor's note: In this issue, Steve Jackson profiles another player in the death penalty debate: Father Jim Sunderland. See "War and Remembrance."

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