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Keep the Government Off Our Children’s Penises

As Edward Ericson Jr. noted in a notice about a local appearance by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Baltimore Weekly Highlights, April 4), the writer/activist is “against female circumcision and other barbaric traditions of the Muslim world.” As he failed to note, she also opposes the barbaric American practice of male circumcision. If she lived in Maryland, she would undoubtedly be appalled by the fact that the state uses Medicaid funds to pay for this dangerous, disfiguring surgery. (Eighteen states have ended this practice.) Maybe we should start a campaign against this horrible misuse of our tax money. Maybe Ericson himself would like to join such a campaign, since he’s an avowed foe of the sexual abuse of minors, to judge by his recent articles on the alleged depredations of local creep Lester Sexton (“Committed,” Mobtown Beat, April 4; “Keeping Secrets,” Feature, March 14). Of course, to oppose Medicaid-funded mutilation would be to risk incurring the wrath of powerful religious groups and medical interests, but isn’t it a more worthwhile endeavor than beating up on a pathetic loser like Sexton?

Jon Swift


Correction: Last week’s Books piece (April 11) on I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters incorrectly reported that the book does not include source notes. City Paper regrets the error.

In addition, last week’s Baltimore Weekly Highlights (April 11) incorrectly referred to vocalist/flautist Rhonda Robinson as a graduate of the Peabody Institute. City Paper regrets the error.

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