Letters: Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Prison Profit Complex

To the editor: Great article about Unicor (“A New Kind of Wage Slave,” Oct. 17, 2007)! I was in Carswell last year for civil disobedience, and I know Kathleen Rumpf. Keep writing, please. Your articles about Carswell help many understand how rotten the penal system is in this country. Private prisons that lock people up for profits, corporations making millions off prison labor — it makes perfect sense that the United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world.
I speak regularly about the prison industrial complex, as I want to try to help people understand that slavery is not dead.
Betty Brink does wonderful work, blowing the whistle in the face of injustice.
Christine Busch-Nema
Kirkwood, Mo.
No Joy in News-ville

To the editor: The Weekly’s Static column had an interesting observation about the Star-Telegram’s termination of 20 journalists, which was dubbed “Black Monday.” The final cut to eliminate 130 jobs paper-wide will create an economic hardship on those who lost employment there, but perchance is this a golden opportunity for the Weekly to hire some of the S-T staff? For all the years the S-T didn’t like the competition from the Weekly and tried its best to eliminate it, the Static column reads like poetic justice.
Sharon Kelly
Fort Worth
Editor’s note: Journalists always figure that, if the bell isn’t tolling for us today, it might tomorrow, and that every journalism job eliminated is a loss for the profession. And, unfortunately, we have no staff openings in the news department.
Darlie’s Mom
To the editor: Gayle Reaves’ article of May 7, 2008 (“Our Other Selves”) was supposed to be about John Holbrook’s life, work, opinions, etc. You certainly misconstrued the facts of your interview because I know John said Darlie Routier was not actually flirting with him. But you decided instead, like many other reporters before you, to twist your article to keep the negative press alive about my innocent daughter. Lies do sell, as you well know. I know John thinks Darlie Routier is innocent, but you didn’t have the courage to include that.
John does not know any details of this case, so you put your opinion in about the false evidence of her case. In court it was proven that the material in the butcher block with the knives was not that of screen material. If you would take the time to read her web sites, including www.justicefordarlie.net, you might find yourself doubting her guilt, because everything on the site is based on facts and backed up with articles, court records, or actual photographs — that is, if you cared enough about human lives being killed on false facts and evidence in the state of Texas.
Darlie Kee
Wills Point

Editor’s note: We stand by the story, which accompanied John Holbrook’s death row portraits.

To the editor: As the publisher of Ghetto Plainsman by Jarid Manos, I must express my disappointment at Joshua Loewen’s review of the book (“Plainspoken,” June 25, 2008). While many agree with Mr. Loewen that this is one book “every American should read,” his approach to reviewing it shows that he hadn’t fully taken his own advice.
Any close reader would know that Jarid was born in semi-rural Ohio, a damaged, shell-shocked country boy who gradually fell down into some of the roughest “hoods” to become the extremely streetwise person he is today. He also was never a crack addict. The title implies something far weightier than birthplace. How he was saved by the damaged Earth and then went to work to help save her in return is an American story for all of us.
A reading of other reviews also raises concerns about Mr. Loewen’s devotion to his craft. Read his beside the Common Ground review of San Francisco art critic Paul Constant, for one. The similarities in text are uncomfortable.
I am honored that Mr. Loewen considers Ghetto Plainsman “a wake-up call” and Jarid’s voice “potent and poetic,” with deDELETEions “brutal and disturbing but beautiful in their honesty.” But getting the facts right, and writing originally, is also important.
Greg Johnson
Temba House Press
Fort Worth

Editor’s note: The Weekly deeply regrets the errors..

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