JUAN WILLIAMS PROVIDES A CLEAR PIC ture of life according to Rayful Edmond {"The Mind of Rayful Edmond," June 24}. Edmond dismisses drug use by saying, "People abuse anything . . . Like men have good women, and they abuse them. People have nice kids, and they abuse their kids."

For three years I have worked with women in a D.C. homeless shelter. In our support group we hear over and over of women being brutalized by fathers, uncles, mothers' boyfriends and neighbors. It is painful to hear of their hurt, their shame and their passive acceptance. They seem to believe that Rayful is right -- mistreatment of women and children by their men is "just part of life." They accept that they deserve no better.

If recognition of a problem is the first step toward change, Rayful's observation could make a contribution. If we hear it.



care of crack babies? He should live the rest of his life taking care of what he helped create. Let him see and hear firsthand the end result of the poison he helped distribute. He sees himself innocent and "a good guy" because he himself has never known a life without drugs.

KATHLEEN H. NALLY Yellow Springs, W. Va.

I WAS SHOCKED TO SEE RAYFUL Edmond on the cover of your magazine. I read the article to see if there was any reason why you were giving this criminal such publicity. Maybe he had repented in a big way. Perhaps he was going to donate his drug earnings to a drug rehab center and spread the word that selling drugs is not an occupation to aspire to. But no. In his own words, "You can be guilty of something, but that doesn't mean that you have to get found guilty of it." In other words, he's only sorry he got caught.

In a city where all youth in general and black youth in particular need positive role models, you should be censured for giving Edmond so much attention.


Please address letters to: 20071, The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number and are subject to editing.