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Gang rape in Richmond

November 14, 2009

Re "A deeper lesson in gang rape," Column, Nov. 7

Good for Sandy Banks. She has grasped the disturbing significance of the Richmond High School gang rape. It is far more frightening than the shootings at Ft. Hood, Texas. No matter how terrible, the shootings were the act of one deranged individual. As Banks points out, the gang rape was a community event. Everyone shares the responsibility -- students, teachers and parents. It should be a wake-up call about the decay in our social values.

The "everybody keeps to themselves culture" at the school Banks describes will destroy our civilization.

Neil Haas

Los Angeles

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Banks did not go deep enough with her commentary. She barely scratched the surface of the cause of the recent gang rape of a Bay Area high school student and the lack of intervention by the many bystanders.

No one likes to admit a core truth about the underlying cause of much female abuse. We decry Islamic countries and African tribes that brutalize women. Yet major religious institutions in the United States -- Orthodox Judaism and fundamentalist Christian denominations in their respective doctrines, and Roman Catholicism in its exclusion of women from its governing hierarchy -- treat women as intrinsically subordinate humans. These institutions do not condone violence, but they foster the belief, even among women, that females are lesser and more negligible beings.

Many years ago, Kitty Genovese was assaulted and murdered on a street in New York as passersby and neighbors looked on. But no one remembers, and it's not important anyway.

Mary Dodd

Oxnard

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