Black and White
Blind squirrel finds nut: I can't believe you actually wrote a story about an African-American male who was neither a crack-smoking murderer nor one of those Ebonic-speaking, gold tooth-wearing, baggy pants- soiling, rapper morons. Refreshing! The majority of us are safe, law-abiding, ambitious, educated and firmly entrenched in the middle class.
Thanks for throwing out your negative stereotypes for a moment and writing about a collegiate-bowling black man with dreams of becoming a professional in a sport that is definitely minority-challenged!
Leslie H. Mabrey
We were just wondering what our millions of readers want: Why don't you just say, "Somebody forgot to tell this corn-rowed nigger Emil Williams Jr. that bowling is for fat, beer-guzzling honkies"? I'll tell you why you wouldn't print that. Because then you'd really be accused of racism by a lot of people. Nowadays people have become used to the double standard that you cannot say the n-word, but you can call white people whatever you want.
Well, I am accusing you of racism against white people. Maybe there's some truth to bowling being dominated by a certain demographic. But does the color of a bowling fan's skin have anything to do with their validity as people or the hobby they like to pursue? By printing the word "honkies," you suggest it does, and I don't appreciate that. Cut the racism bullshit. The millions of us reading your magazine just want to be considered "people." RFT, you've got some explaining to do.
Selfish is as selfish does: Everyone at Stages St. Louis wants to send a big old thank you to Deanna Jent for setting us all straight with her recent review of Hello, Dolly! ["Pass the Bucks," September 21]. Not until Deanna Jent pointed out how selfish Stages was did we ever realize it. Imagine a not-for-profit arts organization asking its patrons for support -- that is shocking!
We never would have known it was selfish to raise money for programs like our educational outreach to children with developmental delays without Deanna Jent pointing it out. We guess it is selfish to care so much about those special kids. We never would have known that raising money for the support of hiring St. Louis actors was selfish -- but if you say so, Deanna Jent, it must be true. And to top it off, we are extremely embarrassed -- and selfish -- for having the nerve to raise $40,000 for Hurricane Katrina relief and the American Red Cross during the run of Hello, Dolly! What were we thinking, Deanna Jent?
Some people thought it was foolish -- or downright stupid -- for one not-for-profit to compromise its own financial stability by raising funds for another not-for-profit -- but Deanna Jent has brought us down to earth and put us in the selfish corner.
So thank you, Deanna Jent, for not only reviewing Hello, Dolly! but for also reviewing the procedures of our organization. We didn't know this was the job of a "theater" critic, but you put things in such a sensitive and professional manner that we have to believe it came out of a pure and selfless intent.
We know Dolly Levi would have something funny to say about manure here.
Jack Lane, executive producer
Michael Hamilton, artistic director
Stages St. Louis
Just another generation gap: The references to quotes from G. Craig Lewis' Web site www.exministries.com in Ben Westhoff's "Rap vs. Rapture" [September 14] brought back memories of Lewis' first video, "The Truth Behind Hip Hop."
This popular video is sweeping churches across America. However, his arguments are horribly flawed on many levels. To argue the so-called spiritual origins of a few hip-hop artists without differentiating the art form of a musical genre is both weak and misleading. Rap or hip-hop is merely the latest form of music to take heat from some in the religious community. Jazz took the same heat, and be-bop is merely yesterday's hip-hop on the persecution list. Thomas Dorsey (the father of gospel music) was kicked out of churches because the old guard of his time didn't create or resonate with the style that most black churches embrace today. The underlying issue is generational warfare and a lack of willingness of some to allow the Word to reach others in a style that reflects the culture they live in.
We reach people where they are, not where we want them to be. God won't fit in our boxes.
Listen to Lady Mae: I am an employee of St. Louis Community College and am administrative assistant to the senior hiring manager for all the colleges. I also am a recording artist. My stage name is "Lady Mae," and my Web site is www.lady-mae.com. I said all that to say this:
I grew up in the church. To be more specific, the Church of God in Christ. It is and was very strict. Everything was a sin, so much so that as a young person I had nothing to do. Couldn't go to ballgames, that was a sin; wanted to be a cheerleader, that was a sin. My words to pastors who are against young people having good wholesome rap music in the body of Christ: It has nothing to do with your personal relationship with God and His son Jesus Christ. God is not going to turn his ears from you because you have been enjoying yourself dancing to some good music, and Christian music at that.
The church needs to come together and support their youth who are trying to do something positive for the next generation. Time out for stomping on everything and calling it a sin in the name of Jesus. I take my hat off to Kanye West and Kirk Franklin and the new groups here in St. Louis. Do what you feel you are being led to do. It is your relationship with a caring God that counts, not leaders who are stuck in the Stone Age. My message to these pastors as a Christian and a R&B/inspiration artist is that God is doing a new thing. Get with it. Not against it.