I wholeheartedly sympathize with Erin Aubry Kaplan’s righteous response in his March 23 article, “American black anger and the pulpit,” just as I wholeheartedly sympathize with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright for his forthright remarks on the subject, and as I similarly sympathize with U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s “profound, nuanced speech” (March 17) in which he offered his reactions to Wright.

Indeed, it is truly right and just for them to feel not just anger but even fury amounting to madness, as they reflect on what their forbears as African Americans have had to suffer over the centuries from the time they were first deported — all too often by English pirate ships under the command of villains such as Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake — from their native Africa to the stranger shores of America.

I am not an African but an Englishman, of the same race as Hawkins and Drake, but my sympathies lie all on the side of their poor African victims, while I condemn those fellow countrymen of mine as villains. My condemnation applies not just to those English pirates, for whom it had become a way of life, but rather to that English government under whose tacit approval they were acting as they did and, above all, to that “wicked queen” who went so far as to confer knighthood on them.

The so-called Elizabethan myth seems to be flourishing as never before — in spite of what modern historians have brought forward to show the other face of Queen Elizabeth and her cruel ministers.

peter milward