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Cover

Finally Richard Pryor meets Eddie Murphy (PEOPLE, July 11). They are the two best comedians around. Thank you for your article and the fantastic cover photo.

Jackie Henderson

Paris, Ky.

Pryor meets Murphy. Big deal. All I see from them is misguided anger at being born black. Where is their pride? Where is their ambition to make it different? They claim, “We cool” and “We don’t want to look stupid.” Yet all their money can’t buy them class or correct grammar.

Joan Minaglia

Seattle

Eddie, what is this trash about a white man not having to worry about his woman oohing and aahing over you guys? It’s a joke, right? I mean, if Apollo had been sculpted in black marble he’d still be Apollo, wouldn’t he? Come on! What makes you think that only black women can find you attractive?

Teresa Stroud

Nebo, N.C.

Death Row Activist

Our daughter, Elisa, would have celebrated her 13th birthday on July 7. Scharlette Holdman’s daughter, Summer, is the same age. The irony struck us because our little girl was kidnapped, brutalized and ultimately murdered 2½ years ago by one of the poor unfortunates on Death Row whom Holdman struggles so valiantly to save. Capital punishment is the law in Florida, and we feel the law should be carried out.

David and Wendy Nelson

Palm Harbor, Fla.

I wonder if Scharlette Holdman has ever taken time off from crusading for convicted murderers to talk with the families of the victims. My mother was killed two years ago. If Holdman aids the murderer who has affected my life so terribly, I think I’ll hold up a sign in court that reads, “Your client killed my mommy.”

Suzanne Dubberly

Jacksonville, Fla.

We’ll see how fast Scharlette Holdman hops to the phone to save another “underprivileged” life when the next crime hits home. Until bleeding hearts like her begin to empathize with the victims of violence, America’s judiciary system will continue to be jeered at for its absurd leniency.

Randi Locke

Massapequa, N.Y.

Capital punishment is not simply an issue of “an eye for an eye.” People should realize that the death sentence is not applied equally. Regarding her work in Florida, Scharlette Holdman said that “virtually all the prisoners were poor and without lawyers.” She should have added that nationwide more than 40 percent of the Death Row inmates are black. Until this country becomes one in which the rights of all of its citizens are fairly represented, this most severe form of punishment should not be used.

Robin D. Hart

Washington, D.C.

Percy Ross

Without all the pomp and circumstance and flashing of cameras, millionaire Percy Ross wouldn’t give anything to anybody. My family has known Ross for many years. After hearing so much about his charitable work, I approached him four years ago for a donation of $300 to help purchase wheelchair batteries for a quadriplegic friend who was a fellow student at the U. of Minnesota. This friend didn’t want any publicity because of a legal action that was pending as a result of the accident which crippled him. I said no to the media blitz which goes hand in hand with Ross’ philanthropy. No publicity: no donation.

Julie Ann Fine

Irvine, Calif.

So what if millionaire Ross wants to blow his gold-plated horn every time he gives away his money? More power to him! The Bible says it is more blessed to give than to receive. It doesn’t say you must keep quiet about it.

Colleen Todd

Tulsa

AIDS Hysteria

By showing the lack of conclusive evidence linking AIDS and donated blood, Dr. Alfred Katz of the Red Cross shed new light on a mysterious disease. As a 19-year-old college student and a regular donor, I have no fear of contracting AIDS through a blood bank. I give blood in the hope that it may help someone in need. It is painless, takes very little time and gives another person a chance at life. Perhaps your article will help reverse the 16 percent decline in blood donations.

Susan Carlson

Pendleton, Oreg.

Dabney Coleman

Dabney Coleman as Buffalo Bill is one of the most refreshing TV characters around. In what other sitcom could you see the star suddenly stop in mid-plot and dance around his living room in top hat, black tie and tails, singing “I’ll go my way by myself”? Coleman brings a human quality to his acting, whether in comedy or drama. He is a delight.

Kate Duncan

Lancaster, Pa.

Picks & Pans

To label the contents of Shirley MacLaine’s book Out on a Limb as “hogwash” is indeed a disservice to all seekers of the higher path. Science only discovers what already exists. Enlightenment and awareness of a higher power are hallmarks of the Aquarian Age. What is required are profound changes in individual consciousness. MacLaine deserves praise for stepping out on this limb.

Joan Halberg

Huntington Beach, Calif.

Take One

Why is someone spreading malicious rumors about Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown’s marriage? I was vacationing in Cozumel, Mexico when they were filming her new movie, Against All Odds, with Jeff Bridges. Because the cast and crew were staying at our hotel, we saw the newlyweds quite often. They were definitely lovebirds, not thorn birds.

Wendy Macey

Roseland, N.J.