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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Hip-Hop Flap's Missing Ingredient: Respect

March 18, 2003

In "Stop Dissing Hip-Hop Nation" (Commentary, March 13), Jimi Izrael laments to Rosa Parks that "the hip generation gots love for you, but you gots no love for us." But Mrs. Parks' boycott of the NAACP Image Awards was about the relationship between love and respect: If you wants the love, you gots to show the respect.

Back in the day, you may have laughed behind Grandma's back at her fat ankles -- which she got from standing on the back of the bus after being on her feet all day doing menial work to take care of you -- but if you were foolish enough to disrespect her by saying something to her face, you got knocked into next week. That may be old school, but Parks' response to her perception of having been dissed in "Barbershop" teaches a simple lesson: Even if you are as funny and talented as Cedric the Entertainer, Grandma can still take you to school.

Daryl G. Nickens

Los Angeles

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Thank you for running Izrael's recent columns from a young and black perspective. Perhaps Parks, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton could remember their own youthful feistiness and give young African Americans a break. Cedric the Entertainer has nothing to apologize for. Don't people remember the corner men in Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing"? They weren't exactly models of decorum, but they were hilarious, and so is Cedric.

Margo Kline

Santa Barbara

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