To the editors:

Bill Wyman’s defense of Public Enemy in the August 31 Reader is certainly well-mounted, but it leaves a lot of questions in one’s mind nonetheless. If Wyman knew of a white supremacist band that blew “every other rock ‘n’ roll band on the planet away,” would he be so eager to share that fact with us? If that band handed out hate literature in its press kit, would he call this “amusing” and “just the sort of provocateuring that any self-respecting white power band should be engaging in”? Would he cheer them on for not giving “a fuck what anybody black thinks about anything” (“White to the bone!” shouts the group’s leader)?

Are we supposed to give a group points because its “paternalism” represents “serious progress” from its “former gross sexism”? Are we to assume that an “enthusiastic” homophobe will suddenly see the error of his ways and recant? And would Wyman write of a neo-Nazi punkster who chants “Down with niggers, Jews, and queers” to a really good beat, “he’s just the most exciting figure in rock, and not perfect yet”?

Patrick Harris

N. Sheffield