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Author's Citizenship

March 02, 1986

Regarding writer Margaret Randall's attempt to reclaim her American citizenship after having renounced it (at the age of 31) back in the 1960s: As a feminist and moderate/liberal Democrat who came of age during the '60s, I'm sure I have some sympathies in common with Ms. Randall, but in spite of my political leanings, I'm writing this letter because I hope Randall never, ever regains her American citizenship. My reason is simple.

Tucked away in the middle of the article are one or two paragraphs telling how Randall used to wear a ring made from the wreckage of an American plane that was shot down over North Vietnam. In the article, Randall states that while on a visit to North Vietnam she was given the ring by a woman who had lost her family in the war. Randall claims that "hundreds of thousands" of Americans wore such rings during the war as a way of protesting it.

I'm heartily sorry for anyone who has lost a family member in any war, but this feeling in no way takes away from my outrage at such an insensitive, despicable form of protest. I suggest Randall confine her efforts for citizenship to Vietnam and that Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, etc. (who claim in their suit on Randall's behalf that they are being deprived of their constitutional right to associate with her) go visit her there.

Randall does not belong in America. To (borrow from) the great Woody Guthrie song, "This land is not her land."

MARY JOHNSTON-VAUGHAN

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