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ONCE AGAIN YOUR PAPER has targeted the African-American community, only this time you have gone beyond your limits (“A House Divided,” 6/9). Molly Rath needed to research the history of the United House of Prayer, but let me give you a glimpse into the alpha and omega of our church. For generations, “the Church” (be it the United House of Prayer or smaller denominations) has been the foundation from which the African-American community has cradled and nurtured itself. It has sustained us through our struggle for equal rights. It has been the sacred place where we have found comfort, hope, and reverence. We have had our problems and power struggles.

It is deplorable to think that your paper would sink so low as to inquire about a church and its finances. The question remains, what business is it of Rath or anyone else how much revenue the United House of Prayer has acquired? It awes me that your paper has set its sights on this particular church. How many churches in this community gross far more than the United House of Prayer? Why has this particular church been singled out? I believe the answers to these questions are: 1.) It is an African-American church; 2.) it is a wealthy African-American church; 3.) this church continues to associate itself with the mayor of this city. You seem to throw cheap shots at our mayor in every article regarding an aspect of the African-American community. How happy your paper and many other whites would have been to see Marion Barry cower, back down, and disappear from this city. I will offer my help with your dilemma: A large glass of water to help you swallow and dissolve this pill.

I have always been an objective individual. I have read many of your articles with an open mind. Your last two articles regarding African-Americans and their positions in this community lead me to believe that you are on some sort of crusade to depict our community as corrupt, and now with “A House Divided,” evil, deceptive, and money-hungry. I offer you a challenge: Seek out the true corruption that has plagued this city for years, the deals and bargaining that have brought down the stand ard of living and made life harder for the working class of this town. If this article ever comes to the front page of Washington City Paper, I can almost bet not many African-Americans will have their names, financial records, or personal operations included in that feature.

Capitol Hill