• U.S.

Letters: May 28, 1984

7 minute read

Jackson’s Bid

To the Editors:

Granted, Jesse Jackson’s candidacy [NATION, May 7] is rooted in the black political conscience, but his message is the most far-reaching and freshest presented by a Democratic candidate. Jackson cuts across traditional lines of race, class and even party. We may be witnessing the most significant political event since Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933.

Robert and Ricardo del Valle

Birmingham, Mich.

Everyone is condemning Louis Farrakhan for his remarks about Reporter Milton Coleman. Blacks are fed up with Uncle Toms who run back to Ole Massa repeating what is said among blacks. When the Knights of Columbus or B’nai B’rith have a meeting, their members do not tattle to blacks.

Jack Tuff

New York City

If there is a Republican victory this fall, the Democratic Party leaders will blame Jesse Jackson. Jackson will also be accused if Jews and others leave the Democratic ranks. If Jesse Jackson becomes the scapegoat because he has spoken out on racism, maybe blacks should also abandon the Democratic Party.

Denise Hartsfield

Washington, D.C.

Why can’t people, both black and white, accept the fact that a black candidate can be successful? The era of blacks’ taking a back seat and automatically supporting white politicians is over. Jackson’s campaign is an introduction to a future of true equality.

Charlene I. Berry

Glendale, Calif.

I resent your implication that Jews constitute a bloc vote or can be “delivered.” I am white and Jewish, and I make up my own mind. I admire what Jesse Jackson is doing for his race and for the American political process. He is enunciating things that need to be said and advocating changes that are past due.

Leo E. Heymann

New Orleans

Jesse Jackson is an inspiration to black people. Unfortunately, many blacks are oblivious to Jackson’s naive view of Muammar Gaddafi, Fidel Castro, Nicaragua’s Sandinistas and the Soviets. I am black, but I would not give Jackson my vote, knowing his vision of our national security is imprudent.

Clifford Wilson

Los Angeles

I do not think the blacks are so downtrodden when the mayors of six of our major cities are black.

Evelyn Lane

Canoga Park, Calif.

The quotes of mine saying Jesse Jackson “has no real program” and “doesn’t know what he is doing” refer to Jackson’s campaign for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination. Of course Jackson has a policy, a specific policy on many issues, but it is not a policy calculated to win him the nomination. Jackson also knows what he is doing as a national leader, but what he is doing is not advancing his chances to be the Democratic candidate. His policies and his campaign are not going to get him nominated. If my quotes have been interpreted as general rather than specific commentaries on Jackson’s chances of being the Democratic candidate in 1984, that was not my intention.

Richard M. Scammon, Director

Elections Research Center

Washington, D.C.

Space Weapons

In your article “The Case Against Star Wars Weapons” [ESSAY, May 7], Strobe Talbott takes the position that we do not have the ability to create and perfect a Star Wars system. This view does not recognize America’s ability to bring about technological marvels. Talbott himself points out a reason for expanding our research into areas that would render nuclear weapons useless. He says the Soviets “have been experimenting vigorously” in the same area. Can we afford to wait and see if their system works?

Edward A. Thomas

San Diego

Your otherwise brilliant Essay on Star Wars weapons is fatally flawed by the omission of one critically important fact: the Soviet Union launched a crash program 14 years ago to develop space-age weaponry, notably particle and laser beams designed to melt ICBMs in their silos or in flight. If the U.S.S.R. is first with this type of capability, would the Kremlin not use its monopoly to impose its political objectives on earth? We cannot assume that Moscow would behave the way the U.S. did when it enjoyed an atomic monopoly for a brief period after World War II.

Arnaud de Borchgrave, Senior Associate

Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University

Washington, D.C.

The Essay fails to focus on the well-documented Soviet violations of arms-control treaties. You also do not point out the danger of making agreements that limit the U.S. unilaterally.

Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr.

Admiral, U.S.N. (ret.)

Arlington, Va.

A less than 100% perfect strategic defense system might actually be preferable to a completely impervious one. A plan with only 50% effectiveness would leave the U.S. sufficiently vulnerable so that the Soviets need not fear our contemplating a first strike. Still, such a system would introduce enough uncertainty into the equation to dissuade the Kremlin from launching a first strike themselves.

Roger A. Karlson Irvine, Calif.

David’s Death

I greeted the news of David Kennedy’s apparently drug-related death [NATION, May 7] with contempt. My disdain gave way to a lump in my throat after reading your report. Sirhan Sirhan has murdered again.

C. Frederick Roesener


After reading of the emotional torture endured by David Kennedy on the night of his father’s murder, I can think of little else. I do not know how he survived as long as he did.

Patricia Susan Albert

Aliquippa, Pa.

Christ as Woman

By hanging a sculpture depicting a “female Christ crucified” [RELIGION, May 7], the clergy at St. John the Divine in New York City demonstrates once again that in churches, corruption usually comes from the top.

Nick Hohmann

Berkeley, Calif.

If Cathedral Dean Parks Morton believes that Christa “sends a positive message to women,” he misjudges some Christian women. I am in favor of the ordination of women as a matter of justice, but I also believe that Christ was a Jewish man who died crucified at a certain date in a certain place. If Jesus of Nazareth has no historical validity, then Christianity has none either.

Alicia de Colombi-Monguio

North Bennington, Vt.

Given the supposition that “artistic license” allows artists to flaunt tastelessness and crudity, symbols still cannot contradict truth. There was that circumcision. There is also another historical fact: in Christ’s time men were crucified with their backs to the cross, facing spectators; women, the other way.

(The Rev.) Joseph T. McGloin, S.J.


Millionaire Execs

Those million-dollar salaries paid to America’s top executives [ECONOMY & BUSINESS, May 7] make me choke. These businessmen blame the Government for failing to pass trade restrictions and fault their workers for demanding higher wages. I feel cheated by these men.

Bill Parfitt

Elmira, N. Y.

It is better to pay the top man at Ford or General Motors a million dollars than to pay the bottom one $18 an hour.

Galen Hammond

Gulf Shores, Ala.

Some people are overpaid, some are underpaid, and some are paid just right. In America, the marketplace ultimately makes that decision, whether we are talking about corporate chiefs, centerfielders, goalies, golfers or rock stars. The negative comments recently launched by overpaid professors, junior investigative reporters and underpaid Government officials would confirm that everyone in America does not believe in free enterprise. Fortunately, most shareholders do.

John W. Hughes

Stratford, Conn.

The assertion in TIME about my salary is incorrect. The fact is my total compensation dropped 4.2% in 1982. My compensation (salary and bonus) in 1981 was $1,448,883 and in 1982, $1,388,072. It did not, as TIME claims, increase 36% in the face of the company’s 1982 drop in earnings. Unfortunately, instead of researching the piece with sources available here at Mobil, TIME appears to have relied upon a secondary source. Clearly, the research was faulty, at least to the extent it touched me.

Rawleigh Warner Jr.

Chairman of the Board Mobil Corp.

New York City

If you work, you deserve to be paid. If you work harder, you deserve more. And if you run a corporation smoothly and profitably while paying salaries so others can survive, you deserve the most.

Donna Joannou

Bethpage, N. Y.

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