Rap and Race: The Reaction : "The Uncivil War," last Sunday's cover story on rap music, has prompted a heavy response from readers. A sampling of their views:

All of the rationalizing, dodging and downright dishonesty cannot, in this instance, hide the brutal, ugly truth. Time Warner, acting through company President Gerald M. Levin and the others responsible for giving a half-baked street revolutionary like Tracy Marrow (a.k.a. Ice-T) a paid forum, is actively promoting the murder of police officers, and profiting thereby.

In my opinion--and I'm speaking as a citizen, not on behalf of the court--the lame excuse that the album won't be pulled because of concerns about "censorship" is just that, a dishonest excuse.

Time Warner intentionally misses the point. The issue isn't censorship but responsibility. For example, just because there are sick people in this country who would gleefully buy tickets to witness a 3-year-old child being raped does not mean that Time Warner must rush out and market a video of the event. The fact that it may be legal to burn a cross in public does not mean that one should do so. The fact that it is legal for someone to utter a racial or religious epithet to another person does not mean it's right to do so.

It is clear that Time Warner doesn't care how many police are killed on streets made more dangerous by Marrow's cultural ministrations. I know Time Warner must view police (and, I'm sure, judges as well) as being terribly un-hip, and certainly not having lives or families worth worrying about. Perhaps they are even seen as no more than pieces of "burnt pork," as their "artist" Ice-T describes them.

In any event, Levin and Time Warner have obviously forgotten that some things are simply wrong, and no amount of pseudo-intellectual gloss can change that. And the promotion of murder is wrong, even if it is lucrative.


Judge, Los Angeles

County Superior Court

Los Angeles

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