Responses October 31, 2001

“Readers Respond”

Putting together the "9.11" issue was a labor of love for me. It felt good to share the many experiences and varied perspectives of theHotness readership. Psychologically the events of September 11th have placed us in emotional pockets that we are all struggling to reckon with. How we respond has not just become a matter of sensitivity, but a cathartic release. Since that issue we’ve received a number of notes, letters and even one rhyme in response to the tragedy and to our issue. Here are some of your notes and letters.

In moving forward we have decided to take a brief hiatus in order to better respond to our growing Hotness audience and to the love that y’all are bringing. We are putting the finishing touches on and hope to have it completed by the end of the year. With our increasing numbers we are also moving to a new list serve that can better serve our needs. We will be back soon (maybe sooner) with exclusive interviews with Cree Summer, Margaret Cho, Ursula Rucker and more. Meanwhile thank you for your continued support. We appreciate your letters, your opinions, and your edge. Know that we are inspired by just that.

~ Nicole Moore, Editor



Winston Jeune
New York,
New York

This Great Chain Of Being ~ ~

Last night, in between sips of hot ginger tea, I was immersed in yet another pool of thoughts, sadness and frustrations about this unspeakable horror that has finally surfaced on current American soil. I use the word "finally" because I have to keep reminding myself that what we experienced, as horrible as it was (and will always be), was unfortunately nothing new. It's just on new soil. The course of human events speaks this truth every minute of our lives. The tragedy of violence should never be dependent upon our proximity to it.

Like many others have mentioned, I have heard many different views, frustrations and political theories about the tragic events of September 11, 2001. And as progressively complex as the events both leading up to and following that tragic day are becoming, the same thought still resonates louder and louder:

"This 'great chain of being' that we as individuals sometimes ignore in the flood of our daily lives has now tugged at us even tighter, or maybe we just realized the force with which it has always held and connected us.

At the core of everything…

I hope that our government does not make yet another mistake in dealing with this situation. I hope that it, and we, as a race of human beings sprinkled around this sphere, now understand that we are, and have always been, one world-- as big, as small, as connected, as fragile.

I hope that those who don't know what to do with their anger will choose NOT to misplace it on the bodies, souls and beliefs of those who look or believe differently than they, but instead show sincere compassion and humanity for their brothers and sisters.

I hope that we all will strive to become more aware of what happens in front of us, behind our backs, while we sleep and in places we never knew existed.

Understanding makes the blades of division that much duller.

But most importantly, I do hope that we ALL will learn to value LIFE, everyone's life, as much as our own. Beyond politics, money and religious doctrines, cherishing life is what will save us and as cliché as that may sound, it is all we ever really have.

Lynn d Johnson
New York

Emails From Brooklyn ~ ~

Over the course of the day I sent dozens, many dozens of emails to friends, family and listserves. Here is a sampling of the messages that Tuesday spawned.

Can see the fires out of my window. Just saw the reports on the news. Having problems obtaining any reports online at this time. But they have pretty much confirmed that both towers of the WTC have explosions.

The second building just collapsed I am crying. This is sad.

I saw everything from my Brooklyn apartment it was unbelievable. I was in the street awhile ago and traffic is backed up in Brooklyn. Folks are walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. Many of them with ash in their hair and on their clothes. I am just now beginning to smell it through my window. Until now, there was no odor.

I no longer smell the smoke. I no longer hear the panic in the streets of Brooklyn, nor the ambulance, fire truck, and police sirens. It simply seems that all things are quiet. That everyone is in shock. I have to admit, before the buildings went down, I was glued to my window. Now I am glued to the TV.

There is no way to tell whether this is all over or not. There could be more on the horizon. A wind just breezed past my window, it is the smell of smoke again.

9:05 pm
Somehow, I keep thinking about the book of Revelations.

This has been a day unlike any day I have ever known. Or probably will ever know again. I walked into the street around 11 a.m. and there were people covered in soot, running, trying to get home. Sirens all damn day. Just on and on and on. I cannot even say I know what it feels like to be in one of those countries where there is war in abundance. But I do know, I was afraid today. I do know I cried. I do know I prayed. I feared for my safety. The safety of this country.

Tonight I go out. Police are circling around my neighborhood to protect the Muslims. The black smoke, dense like fog, entering my chest, causing me to cough. I have never experienced this before and hope I never will again. I cannot imagine what it was like to be there up close.

I cannot imagine the pain of the victim's families. War has not touched our soil since Pearl Harbor. This is a serious feeling of being totally vulnerable.

New York,
New York

Revelations ~ ~
911 a fatal day in New York.
But a wake up call for those of you who thought
something like this could never happen here.
From this day forward you better keep aware.
A New World Order is about to begin,
Especially for African Americans.
Thousands of every race, color, and creed
trying to make a living for their families,
died an awful death that day.
Why couldn't you protect them Mr. CIA?
Didn't your high technology show the planes go off track?
Why didn't your naval airfighters attack?
Or were you too arrogant to believe what you saw,
or are all us civilians casualties of war?
After all, history shows war makes money
that is
for those that already have,
There is Iraq and Iran
to whom Daddy Bush and Reagan sold contraband
trying to conquer their land
But Sadaam wasn't going for that, he held back
but let it be known thanks to them he had the means to attack.
Sins of the father
could this be or maybe its just a reality
Throughout history
US has dominated and conquered
and now the enemy can stand it no longer.
African Americans there is a special message for you.
You better get ready its not WWII
It's far more worse than any war there has ever been
is this really about the Taliban,
or Osama bin Laden or is the enemy within.
A day after the World Trade Center attack
FBI finds over two hundred material
witnesses and suspects—snap, just like that?
Yeah right c'mon think of who your dealing with
the same country that gave black men syphilis as an experiment.
A black person can't even get a paycheck equal to a white’s
and I’m supposed to believe
absolutely no one knew about the flights?
The week before security at the WTC was heightened
Innocent people asked then to be enlightened.
What’s all the new safety measures for?
"Oh just a precaution, no need for alarm, ignore."
Little did they know what they were really in for.
The mayor repeats they are hopeful for survivors
Then how come a rescuer told me
they're only searching for fallen cops and firefighters?
What about the innocent people that died
and were a part of our nation?
Will their families be included
in the distribution of billions of donations?
We are entering a state of Marshall Law
similar to what FDR had installed.
You thought you were tired of profiling. "Stop and frisk."
Brothers and sisters wait until you see this.
You will have to be home by a certain time
and they will trace your whereabouts through your cell phone line
You can't protect me as I fly and make me feel safe
while you pay airport security minimum wage.
In my heart and mind I will always remember
that cold dark day in September.
Don't bother watching channels 2,4 and 7
The only One you can trust is God in Heaven.
No mask or vaccine will save you, Hmm I'm still surprised
"The Revolution will not be Televised"
Keep alert to the subliminal, learn the history of our nation.
Try to prepare so that you find salvation.
Stack up on food, non-perishables and adhere to your faith
try to stay strong, ladies and gentleman IT IS ON!
The Fall of America, Behold a Pale Horse,
the book of Revelation in the Bible of course.
It’s all been written that this time would come,
now its in the hands of the only true One.
I hope our names are written in The Book of Life,
don't be blinded by selfishness, love of money and strife.
I pray for the ones that we will never know lost in the rubble that day
I pray that someone shows us the way
Yes, I leave it in your hands Father, dear Lord above
To my friends, family and to all be safe, stand firm,
PEACE, One Love.

Deborah Green
Chicago, Illinois

In Chicago on Sept. 11th

Tuesday, 7:50 a.m. While listening to Fox News, waiting for the latest update regarding Whitney Houston's condition...all of a sudden, a Special Report...Flash! The Twin Towers, in the middle of a beautiful blue sky, on my 50" television, and one building is on fire. All of a sudden, another plane crashes into the second tower. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!

Meanwhile, my 10-year old son-- whose favorite past time is collecting post- cards of tall buildings and visiting cities with the tallest buildings and planning, one day, to build the world’s tallest building-- watched as his favorite buildings the World Trade Center were Violated, Raped, Killed, Murdered! HORRIFIC!!!!!!!!!!

To say the least, my baby was devastated, crushed and confused, not to mention how I'm feeling. My plans for his 11th birthday was a surprise visit to New York City to take a helicopter ride and view his favorite buildings. Still upset? You bet I am!

Uma Amulura
New York, New York

Your issue on the events of Sept. 11 was profound and moving – and I especially appreciated that you represented the opinions of minorities who have been and continue to be ostracized and punished for the misdeeds of a few people. The only way to educate is to get the word out and make it hit home that not every Muslim, Asian or brown-skinned person is responsible for what happened. So thanks!

Maya Walker
Brooklyn, New York

Thank you so much for distributing Bahia Ramos' commentary- I too am Panamanian and was beginning to feel as if we're the only ones that truly remember how hypocritical the US is infamous for being...umm, thanks again.

Danyel Smith
New York, New York

Thank you for theHotness… I like it and can't wait for the site to be up. Stay safe in these times.





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