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Tammy Bruce's Censure

December 17, 1995

"NOW President Condemns Leader of L.A. Chapter" (Dec. 7) omitted important information. It is not only black women in the National Organization for Women that have "grave concerns" about the comments uttered by or attributed to Tammy Bruce, president of the L.A. chapter. Women of all colors, regardless of what they felt about the outcome of the Simpson trial, have great cause for concern about Bruce's comments.

As white women who have committed ourselves for years to a wide range of social justice issues concerning women, it would be an understatement to say that we were appalled.

To infer that the rebuke of Bruce is strictly a black-white issue within our organization frankly mirrors the politics of polarization that too often characterize media coverage of issues where race is a factor in general.

Bruce's response to national NOW's request for an apology also seems to miss the mark. We don't believe that anyone in NOW is attempting to silence Bruce on the issue of domestic violence. Bruce's statements regarding race are what has brought about a repudiation from many of her colleagues, not statements she has made about domestic violence.

As local NOW chapter presidents, we share a commitment to ending domestic violence and have spent years working locally to raise awareness through the Clothesline Project, Take Back the Night rallies, direct support of our local shelters and rape crisis centers, lobbying politicians on relevant legislation, and through providing women with the personal tools to create change in their own lives.

JEAN MORRISON, San Fernando Valley / Northeast L.A.

SUSAN BASLER, Long Beach

PATTI HUDSON, Simi-Conejo

*

* Patricia Ireland's statements at her Dec. 6 press conference are a perfect example of political correctness run amok. Somewhere along the way, the National Organization for Women decided it can't work to better women's lives, lest it might offend someone. How sad to watch the pathetic last gasps of a powerless leader and how inspiring to witness the work of the dynamic new leader they so wish to silence.

SHIRLEY LOVACHEFF

Anaheim

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