Letters from the week of February 15, 2001


Letters from the week of February 15, 2001

Rush Job
Ball buster: For three years, I covered JaRon Rush while he was at Pembroke Hill. As far as Greg Hall's article was concerned ("Drooped Dreams," February 1), that was probably one of the most destructive articles I've ever seen because Hall wasn't doing anything more than just kicking the guy when he was down. There are a lot of other factors that have gone on in JaRon's life that Hall didn't really think to mention. It's a very bad, bad piece, and I'm really disappointed because I thought Pitch Weekly was a newspaper that would take the time to go in-depth and give everybody the facts, as opposed to giving someone's opinion.

It's way too easy to kick Rush when he's down because he didn't go to KU. Well, I don't know if that's a major sin or not, but I think if Hall is going to write a story, he should take the time to come up with the facts.

Tony Washington
Kansas City, Missouri

Nothin' but net: Thank you for Greg Hall's insight into the future of JaRon Rush. He doesn't know the entire story, so he should do a little more research. I resent the fact that Hall and Kevin Harlan can give advice to people on where someone should send their child to school. I hope those two will allow me to advise them on where their children should attend school. Roy Williams is no saint, and you people know this.

Hall should get the whole story before printing only half-truths. He doesn't know what a person will do; he and Harlan are not God. He cannot predict the future. So I would appreciate it if Hall would get a life or some business so he can stay out of ours.
Jeanette Jacobs
Kansas City, Missouri

Teachers' Pets
Head of the class: Regarding Tony Moton's article about Southwest Charter School ("Unchartered Waters," February 1): Although I don't have children who attend the school, I know quite a few who do, and they have never mentioned the violent atmosphere you wrote about. They do tell me how beneficial their project-based learning is.

Last year, when the school was housed in Temple B'Nai Jehudah, over 20 percent of the sixth graders were eligible as Duke Scholars. The school's SAT 9 test scores showed major improvement from fall to spring.

I have a question about the separate piece titled "Notes From the Battleground." If Margaret Schmitz Rizzo had not had a baby in her arms when she "snatched" away Moton's notes, does "[T]he fact that she was holding an infant prevented an unseemly struggle on the part of the reporter to retrieve his work" mean that he would have used physical force to get back his notes? Please enlighten me on this point.

The second-to-last paragraph of the main story tells how Margaret Crow's oldest brother quit Southwest High School 25 years ago because "it was so dangerous back then." I was a senior at Southwest High School 25 years ago, in 1976, and I did not have any trouble with violence back then, nor did any of my friends.

I hope that the next article that comes out on Southwest Charter School gives more than one viewpoint. (Although I might add that most upstanding people in our community don't pay much attention to publications that also advertise pornography.)
Pam Meeker
Kansas City, Missouri

Tony Moton responds: I probably would have used the same amount of physical exertion Margaret "Fast Hands" Rizzo used when she forcefully swiped my notes.
Ignoble Savage
I'm with cupid: You won't find a better illustration of the kind of racism that exists within the gay community than what was published in Savage Love on February 1. In response to an Asian-American college student who was devastated about being rejected by white gay men because of his race, Dan Savage wrote: "I assume you've rejected guys; you can't be attracted to all men, correct? Well, your reasons for rejecting a particular guy may feel just as hurtful to him as 'I'm not into Asians' feels to you." The arrogance and insensitivity of these comments leave me seething.

I'll give Savage this much credit: He accurately represents the sorry mentality of many if not most gay white men. To them, not wanting to pursue relationships with men who are black, Latino or Asian or who otherwise do not confirm to their Aryan concept of beauty is as benign as, say, preferring vanilla ice cream to chocolate, or favoring Ralph Lauren over Tommy Hilfiger. These men would swear that they aren't racists, but it's painfully obvious that the meaning of the civil rights movement has failed to register with them in the most basic way. This is one side of what lesbian and gay people of color call the "double whammy": being victimized by racial prejudice when we try to associate with white gay people. The other side of that counterfeit coin is victimization by conservative elements of our own ethnic communities because of our sexual orientation.

On a more pleasant topic, thanks for the interview with talented Mark Reynolds (Scott Wilson's "Reynolds Rap," February 1). He's my favorite local musician, besides being awfully sexy.
Donny Hampton
Kansas City, Missouri


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