Letters from our readers.
Nov. 27 1998 3:30 AM

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Not OK, Oklahoma

In the Nov. 20 "Give It Back to the Injuns," an unbalanced and frothing David Plotz refers to Oklahoma Republicans as "a top to bottom roster of kooks, losers, and terrors."

Is this responsible journalism? Would you permit Democrats to be vilified in similar name-calling? Does this really elevate civil discourse in a country in which reasonable minds should be free to disagree? Or is it just brain-dead demagoguery?

Sometimes Slate appears to favor totalitarian intolerance of conservative thought. Could you provide some basic instruction to your "journalists" on the left about minimum civility and respect for those with whom they disagree?


--Tom KerwinVienna, Va.

Plains Speaking

Re the extraordinary and articulate article "Give It Back to the Injuns": If only we Oklahomans were less genially mediocre, we'd probably be more appreciative of your ability to slap the faces of so many different groups of Oklahomans all at the same time and in such a charming way. I'm a male Caucasian, am not inclined to consider myself a "religious" or even a "Christian" person, and am a 55-year-old registered Democrat (having switched parties in 1995 after having been a registered Republican all the years before and mainly because of the present influence of the so-called religious right in the Republican Party). So, I'm less genial than some of my Oklahoma kinfolk, even if I share in the mediocrity you sweepingly attribute to those of us who live within this portion of the United States.

You are quick, and apparently presume you have the status, to give away and to disrespect at the same time. Now, had you not managed to be so sweepingly offensive to Native Americans, too, by your disrespectful use of the deprecatory term "Injun" (your momma should spank your bottom and put a bar of Lifebuoy in your mouth), you might at least have picked up a few admirers within these borders, given the thesis implied by the title to your article. Indeed, many Native Americans would welcome a return of their land, including that small piece of terrain that you presumably have sufficient mass to be able to occupy. But, as it is, you come off as just another self-appointed jerk who appears to write articles mainly for the pleasure of seeing his name and opinions in print, instead of being a person who uses words to persuade rather than to malign.


As I said, I'm sometimes less genial than my fellow Oklahomans, so I trust that you will not take these remarks as a reflection upon their general temperament.

--Doug LoudenbackOklahoma City

The Oklahoma Reich

I live in Tulsa, Okla., and your story "Give It Back to the Injuns" hit the nail right on the head. You should try being gay and living here. It is kinda like being a Jew and living in Germany during the 1930s.


--Scott HeadrickTulsa, Okla.

Pregnant Logic

From the Nov. 23 "Today's Papers":

The WP front covers a lawsuit in which a man is suing a woman for becoming pregnant against his will--she had, he says, promised to take birth control pills. The woman claims that she became pregnant accidentally. That factual issue may be settled at trial, but it seems that there is a larger legal issue well worth addressing. Since court findings of paternity cost the imputed fathers eighteen years' worth of support, it seems only fair that women be held accountable for any promises they make about attempting to remain childless. In the absence of that, a woman's promise to take charge of birth control and then not doing so remains the only form of monetary fraud Today's Papers can think of that is not only not punished, but is in fact regularly rewarded.


Grrr. I'm sure that by now hundreds of TP readers have written in to snarl at your reproductive tort theories. I object to your logic for two reasons: 1) Birth control methods do, in fact, fail on occasion. Even vasectomies fail. 2) Men who don't want their sexual partners to become pregnant are responsible for taking steps themselves to prevent pregnancy. Sex without a condom is not an inalienable right of men.

Men who participate in creating an unwanted pregnancy should do a bit more than whine about how "she was taking care of it." That tone goes over better for chiding the guy who forgot to bring the beer to Sunday football.

As always, though, great column, despite our difference of opinion in sexual politics.

--Emily CulbertsonPhiladelphia

Wake Us Up When It's Over

Quit with the boring shtick, will ya? One guy is bored with the Starr hearings ("A Starr Is Boring"), and one gal is bored at the Microsoft trial ("Dispatch"). Is this Slate's new strategy to grab current and prospective readers? I hope not, because I'm bored with their boredom. Sure, the hearing and the trial may be a bit slow, but these writers are covering something important or else they wouldn't be there. And if they are bored silly covering such events the traditional way, they should get off their butts and try talking to someone different and exploring something new.

--Patrick R. McDonaldWest Hollywood, Calif.

Address your e-mail to the editors to letters@slate.com. You must include your address and daytime phone number (for confirmation only).