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After swiping the last tear, I wanted to send an e-mail of congratulations to the Washington City Paper staff and writers who put together the detailed history of crack in D.C. (“The Crack Issue,” 9/8). The tears were generated by Stephanie Mencimer’s story, “Suffer the Little Children,” which raised concerns about the future of seven youngsters and their current health—quite traumatic to the grandmother raising them but also to any who care about life, which has been thrown into uncertainty by the crack epidemic.

I was shouting to high hell about the perceived dangers back in 1985, writing on the drug problem in the Washington Afro-American newspaper. No one listened. I quit and took on regulation day jobs, which paid well but did nothing to quiet my heart, which was aware of the pending disaster.

I’d like to see someone (besides myself—I still write on the topic) address the root causes of the crack epidemic and its associate, the AIDS crisis. Seems few people are willing to view the fact that both crack and AIDS came into D.C. on the same boat, as it were, and both are currently surfacing in drastic volumes in South Africa. What a tale lies behind the dastardly juxtaposition of those two crises, which, when all is said and done, will be shown to have

similar roots.

Congress Park