Art of the Deal
Calhoun, you are too kind. After reading your "Indecent Exposure," in the May 10 issue, I took a look at the alleged art. Mutombo should sue.
Patricia Calhoun's column was the most mean-spirited piece I have ever read. Shame. Denver should be honored to have such a prominent tribute to three great athletes.
Name withheld on request
Regarding the May 10 Feedback:
Michael Roberts and Westword have devoted more ink to Boyd Rice than any other local entertainer. Roberts is obviously impressed with Boyd's antics in the Partridge Family Temple and his kooky DJ nights at the Lion's Lair, going so far as to do a feature story on him in January and bestow a Best of Denver award on him last June.
But besides consistently promoting the wild wackiness that is Boyd Rice, Roberts has successfully hidden the most crucial aspect of Boyd's persona. Rice is a founding member of the white supremacist organization, the American Front, which is closely affiliated with the White Aryan Resistance (WAR). In James Ridgeway's book Blood in the Face--a history of the Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads and the rise of a new white culture--Boyd Rice is featured in his role as a prominent leader of the white supremacist movement. The book includes a photo of Rice in his Nazi regalia brandishing a large curved blade and staring intently into the camera.
The White Aryan Resistance, along with the American Front, has a considerable history of extreme violence, including the bombing of an NAACP office in California and the murder of an Ethiopian immigrant in Oregon.
Why Westword would go out of its way to keep the truth about Boyd from surfacing is almost as disturbing as Boyd's affinity toward Hitler and racial violence. Roberts's infatuation with Boyd's apparent playful silliness is helping to disguise a history of extreme violence and fanatical hatred of those outside the master race.
With the recent Oklahoma City bombing, the ideologies and actions of Boyd Rice and other American Front Nazis becomes relevant. White Aryan Resistance runs several computer bulletin boards that publish large volumes of material equating the United States government with the ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government).The WAR bulletin boards regularly publish tactics to be used to kill Jews and other enemies; the standard signing-off salutation is GFTT (Go for the Throat).
There is nothing cute about Boyd Rice and his American Front affiliations. When Michael Roberts begins working as the public-relations officer for leading white supremacists, the editors should see to it that the readers of Westword receive the full story.
Thomas C. Mestnik, co-chair
Denver Democratic Socialists of America
Michael Roberts replies: Mestnik's claim that I have devoted "more ink" to Boyd Rice than to any other local entertainer is patently absurd. So, too, is the assertion that Westword has not reported Rice's repugnant, racist views; they were explored in great detail in "Family Ties," a 1991 cover story written by Alan Prendergast. In addition to my Partridge Family Temple article, in which Rice played a secondary role, and the Best of Denver blurb, Rice has appeared in exactly three Feedback columns over the course of more than four years (each of which noted his affiliation with the Church of Satan). By comparison, Bits of Wood, Mestnik's band, was mentioned in eleven columns during the same period and also was the subject of a profile by writer John Young.
Vote Early, Vote Often
Regarding the May 3 Off Limits about Paula Woodward, fraudulent voter:
Would Wellington Webb try to stop prosecution of me if I committed fraudulent voter registration? Would he intervene if I showed people how easy it is to steal an aircraft or how to make a machine gun?
I guess it is okay if one gets permission first to break the law. In my opinion, Woodward should be prosecuted under the law. This type of journalism destroys a free society by teaching citizens how they can be criminals and that if they are elitists, they can get away with breaking the law.
Envoy Oy Vey!
I read with dismay about the brouhaha created by Ambassador Swanee Hunt's letter to the Austrian daily Die Neue Kronenzeitung ("Swanee's Song," April 26). I think your reporter Michelle Dally Johnston did a fine job clarifying all aspects of the "case," but since I am a personal friend of Swanee's and have seen her in action in her post, I wanted to share with Westword readers a few personal insights into the very positive contribution Colorado's own Swanee Hunt is making as our United States ambassador to Austria.
I know that ambassadors come in all stripes: Some are very social, some politically active, others contribute to the cultural exchanges between the United States and the countries to which they are assigned. The U.S. has the great fortune of having a woman for all seasons and for all these roles in Swanee Hunt. Swanee and husband Charles Ansbacher are gifted musicians in Vienna, one of the music capitals of the world. They have immersed themselves in the music scene in Vienna and have shared their personal talents, as well as supported and applauded the rich musical offerings for which the city is so justly famous.
Swanee is a feminist and an advocate for children's rights. On my last morning at the ambassadorial residence last year, before leaving with a colleague to facilitate human-rights education workshops in Romania, Swanee brought together over a dozen Austrian women activists who work on women's rights, on refugee issues, on environmental degradation with The Greens, on human rights education, on genocide and Holocaust studies, and on international children's-rights initiatives. We ate breakfast as the children of the attendees played in the next room, and we shared the successes and failures in our efforts to promote justice and peace in this variety of endeavors.
Swanee is a great listener, a gift in almost any undertaking. She is firm and authoritative when appropriate, full of passion and compassion for the maligned and needy. She has used her considerable people skills, her own personal tragedies, her visionary work with the Hunt Alternatives Fund and the Women's Foundation, her organizational abilities, parenting experience, past musical and poetry performance opportunities, rich religious background, and gutsy trial-riding and marathon-running challenges to enhance her role as the face of the United States in Austria. Swanee even enacted a smoke-free policy at the U.S. Embassy and ambassadorial residence. And among her friends, Swanee's ecumenism is legend.
I am personally proud to have a friend of such talent and integrity in the Clinton administration's State Department. I only fear that any U.S. administration of either party will want Swanee on its diplomatic team and we won't have her back in Denver very soon.
Carroll Newberry, before you tell us what Native American studies are (Letters, May 2), you should take the class, and maybe you'll really learn something about Native Americans. You sound like a typical middle-class white kid who grew up watching cowboy-and-Indian movies on TV (judging from the scenario you give regarding us).
And I'm not anti-white.
Carroll Newberry: I am not a Native American. I am also not a racist, uninformed, ignorant fool. If you are curious as to why these Native American studies courses are being offered, maybe you should take one. But since you asked, I will tell you. These classes are offered to give interested students a different perspective on indigenous people and their struggle in America, a perspective that we do not get in public schools or, as you claim, Boy Scouts or Camp Fire girls. The perspective we learn is an interesting one: It is called the truth. We learn that our beautiful, democratic country has committed genocide on millions of indigenous people, all in the name of civilizing them.
I was particularly disgusted by your comment that after we have acquired this knowledge, we "should go back to the reservation and slug Thunderbird and beat your tom-tom while you wait for unqualified Euro-Americans to send up a couple of truckloads of food and used clothing." It sure is a good thing that you qualify that statement with the fact that you are not anti-Native American. But I guess since you have an Indian friend, there is no way you can be anti-Native American. Using your perverted logic, because my mom is a female and someone I consider to be a friend, I cannot be sexist.
It is time for people like you to learn the facts, respect others for what they are and stop embarrassing your race. Yes, Indians did teach the "Pilgrims to plant corn and squash and roast turkey." And yes, they did get on with it. They got on with murder, deceit and broken promises. Maybe you should reconsider exactly what we should "get on with." Perhaps a good time for reflection would be on Thanksgiving Day, when you gather with family and friends and celebrate genocide.
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