In response to Fred Harde's letter in Free for All on May 22, I find nothing racist about "Boondocks." Is it from the perspective of a young black cartoonist? Yes. Does it present a different point of view from most strips printed today? Yes. I know that everyone did not read the article you had on Aaron McGruder some weeks ago [Style, April 26], but I did, and felt proud of him and happy that Universal Syndicate gave him an opportunity to present his work. I get a good laugh and often some new insights.

-- Joanne Merry

In reference to Fred Harde's letter criticizing "Boondocks" as racist, I beg to differ. Although I am white and southern, I have been pleased and stimulated by this new comic feature. Every morning I relish the images and ideas of this promising young artist; they are a breath of fresh air in an all-too-musty world. I have struggled to correct the racist prejudices that society imprinted upon me. I am confident that if the artist, Aaron McGruder, was guilty of the kind of racist ideas and attitudes that Harde alleges, he would be incapable of rendering them in a way that could be appealing to anyone other than racists. I applaud your paper for supporting a controversial feature that just might make a few folks (black and white) think.

-- John Bonitz

The relationship between Riley and Huey in Aaron McGruder's comic strip, "The Boondocks," is that of disciple and teacher. McGruder depicts Riley complacently adhering to the stereotype of the young black male in America.

The real focus of the strip, however, is Huey, a unique individual who has transcended societal expectations to become a whole person. His deadpan responses to the ignorant and prejudiced characters he encounters are as scathingly accurate as they are often hilarious.

McGruder's strip is endearing not only because it is entertaining but because it dares to address issues that will surely provoke both thought and discussion among the various and diverse members of our community.

-- Patrick Vitarius