Once again PEOPLE (Aug. 16) has displayed its fawning, never-ending idolatry of British royalty. Here's a suggestion 206 years old: Declare your independence from the British monarchy.
I have to lodge a complaint about your unfairness to Prince Charles. When the baby was born, you pictured Diana alone on the cover. Then you said that for her baby the palace planned a future fit for a king. And on the christening cover you showed only Diana and the child. Please report on the royal family, but do give Prince Charles equal billing.
Rod McKuen's article about his experiences of incest hit frighteningly home for me. I, too, have gone through incest with an older brother and an uncle. I somehow thought that it occurred in most families. When I discovered that it did not, I felt ashamed and disillusioned. My mother told me not to accept candy or gifts from strangers, but she failed to warn me of the sexual hunger in my own family.
Lake Park, Fla.
The estimates of the number of sexually abused children who never speak up are amazing. As an abused child, I fall into this category. Unfortunately, because of my silence, my sister had to endure the same godforsaken ordeal. I regret keeping my mouth shut every day because of what she went through. God bless Rod McKuen and what he's doing for these kids.
I've always tried to help my fellow man, but the one problem I avoided was child abuse. It was so emotional a subject that I couldn't even read about it in the newspaper, but Rod McKuen has opened my eyes. Like everyone else, I need to face it and offer help.
Readers who want to help or need more information should write to: National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse, 332 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1250, Chicago, Ill. 60604.
Sisters Traxler and Quinn
Sister Margaret Traxler mocks the ceramic figure of a nun dressed in a habit as a sign of "where we once were." I was educated in parochial schools by the nuns of yesteryear. They were, indeed, "sweet, smiling figures in the traditional habit," but they were hardly Sister Donna Quinn's "fluffy little nuns." They were dynamic and influential, and they remain to this day a source of inspiration to me. Only when they discarded their religious garb for a rainbow of polyesters and disbanded their convents in favor of apartment living did they lose their influence and credibility with the public. It is paradoxical that one of the most influential women of our time fits Traxler's laughing description. Mother Teresa still wears a habit, lives and prays in community and continues to attract young women to her life of abnegation. She has not felt the need to jump on any bandwagon or engage in feminist rhetoric because she is truly liberated.
Israeli peace movement
I was very relieved to read about the growing movement for peace in Israel. I had begun to doubt the integrity of the Israelis as my horror grew at the civilian casualties in Beirut. If Begin starts to see beyond his thirst for vengeance, he will realize that the Arabs have been too quiet while they watched the Paris of the Middle East burn. They will, in turn, plot revenge, and anti-Semitic movements now have a banner to wave around the world. However, there are men like Col. Mordechai Bar-On, who have served valiantly and yet realize the mistake of waging this war. With such men to lead this movement, there is new hope for peace in the Middle East.
Your interview with Richard Rodriguez does the Mexican-American community great harm because, by showcasing this ethnic renegade, you legitimize the view that bilingual education and affirmative action programs have no merit. Such programs, though inadequate and imperfect, are an attempt to redress a historical wrong perpetrated on a people by force of arms. The forefathers of my community became citizens and taxpayers of this country by default, not by choice. Yet they were proud, as we are today, to be Americans, even though our community has suffered great inequities since the conquest of the Southwest. The programs Señor Rodriguez so eloquently argues against ensure that, in some measure, the underprivileged of our community can enjoy the civil rights guaranteed to all by the Constitution and are prepared to fulfill the responsibilities accompanying those rights.
La Puente, Calif.
I have nothing but praise for your article on Santa Fe: It's about time people realized that New Mexico is something more than long stretches of desert between Dallas, Denver and Phoenix!
Anthony J. Williams
Some of us native New Mexicans would also love to own a little land or a home in Santa Fe. However, because of the wealthy new residents and visitors, the average person can't afford the price of a motel room for one night in our capital city, much less afford to live there.
Las Cruces, N. Mex.
Picks & Pans
I must complain about your movie reviewer. Do you hire unemployed actors who are bitter? Your reviewer is never satisfied. In fact, he is downright bitchy. Recently he blasted The Wrath of Khan. Then this week he found TRON—a movie that I thought was enchanting—boring. I don't think your critic has much imagination. Carre Rodrigues