Inbox — Aug. 6, 2008
Letters to the Editor
ON THE DEFENSE
Regarding the “Attack of the activist” article in the July 30 LEO Weekly: Phillip Bailey should be fired. First of all, I am a journalist, and what you have here is “biased reporting.” His friend, Attica Scott, decided to take full advantage of his employment with the LEO. This is a situation that could have been resolved within the Kentucky Alliance. Historically, people in the movement have had their differences, and for the sake of the organization, they have resolved them from within rather than from “without.” If Anne Braden was alive, this would have never happened.
For the “unity, survival and progress of black people,” Bailey should seek to print only the facts and truths about black people. Bailey should be the primary source for accurate, reliable and complete information on issues of concern to black people. He should be about the business of exposing all distortions, misrepresentations and omissions. Bailey should publish only the truth. This did not happen in this case, which should have been resolved between the two people. This is a personal incident that unfortunately will have tremendous implications for the organization.
When he called my home seeking a statement, I simply said “no comment” because I didn’t see myself giving a comment about an in-house situation. Furthermore, why should I give him a comment when he is defending his friend and seeking to destroy me in the process? Bailey has never marched, and he has never contributed nothing to the advancement of black folks.
Furthermore, he had no credible story to report. There was no attack verbal or otherwise on (Scott’s) son. Additionally, there were adults in the building at the time the alleged incident took place, including his mother. Nowhere in his article is there any mention of her attack on me, nor the letter of apology that was sent to her. Most importantly, none of the people that was interviewed and made statements were there. So, on this issue, everyone needs to seek “God’s perspective” and you will discover the real truth.
This is not the first attack from Ms. Scott on veterans in the civil rights movement. Ms. Scott and Shameka Parrish-Wright and others attacked the Rev. Louis Coleman last year about his stand on a school board issue. I have been attacked under the “guise of her son.” Now, who will be next?
Gracie Lewis, Louisville
Editor’s Note: As Lewis pointed out, the newspaper contacted her requesting comment and she declined. Further, Bailey’s article was a reported piece, not an argued one.
PASS THE BATON
I am writing this letter because I was moved by the article “Attack of the activist” in LEO Weekly last week. I felt a personal connection to this piece because I know and have knowledge of the people involved, and I also have had similar experiences of my own. I know Attica Scott personally and I have had the pleasure of serving next to her in the social justice fight. I also know her very brilliant son who was the actual victim of this incident.
Over the last week there have been members of the social justice movement chiming in to not only bash Attica but also other social justice movement members, and even make attacks against a whole generation that they claim to be fighting for.
The social justice movement is a relay race that should not end until justice has prevailed for all people. What happens when certain members of the team believe the race is all about them and their contributions? The most important part of that race is passing a baton. You can’t win if you don’t. Ultimately we’re supposed to be fighting for the same thing, and my question is this: If you treat the social justice movement as a job that you have to fight to keep, if this movement is your very existence and esteem in life, wouldn’t you naturally be defensive when smart, younger talent presents nontraditional ideas?
You don’t own the social justice movement, ladies. As a matter of fact, many of your methods are severely outdated, and so are many of your attitudes. So do us all a favor and resign. Or, I should say, pass the baton.
Afrykah WubSauda, Louisville
It was obvious to me that the Rev. Humke had not read the LEO Weekly June 4 article in which the Church Hopper authors explained their intent in visiting several churches in the Louisville area. In no way was it the intention of the authors to evaluate the sermons or the way in which the services were conducted from a professional or a theological perspective. Their only goal was to offer an “opinion,” strictly from a layperson’s perspective, on their encounter as a new visitor to each of the selected churches. Thus far, I do not feel they have been disrespectful or derisive in their reporting. I, personally, have found their articles informative and look forward to future issues.
William Sanders, Louisville
This is in response to Allan Day, who commented on my letter about Alejandro Escovedo (LEO Weekly, July 23): I bow to your love of freedom of speech and am also a big supporter of it. I even shook Mario Savio’s hand once in Berkeley. Maybe since we do not know each other, you took my “Get rid of this guy” seriously. I was using it like you might say “Get out of here!” when you find something you don’t believe. Do you leave the room when you hear that? I am glad we both agree on the music. “Break a leg!”
Lary Saltzman, Louisville
May I join in this little letter war regarding the review of the Escovedo record? It was a poorly executed review. I was tempted to write in at the time myself. But now, Allan Day’s attack on Lary Saltzman’s “attack” is even more ill-conceived than the review. Sure, Berkowitz’s firing was too much to ask for — that’s a given. But to bring freedom of speech into this silly matter is just silly.
But where I think Allan is truly misguided is in praising the reviewer for his “honest opinion.” That’s not what reviews are for. Reviews are for dispensing objective guidance to the relevant market of consumers. And that is certainly not what happened in the review in question.
The reality is, however, that even the most well-rounded and objective reviewer has bias. I suspect that Berkowitz knew good and well that he was the wrong person for the job. Bottom line, though, is that it was an unprofessional and needlessly pissy review.
But don’t confuse any of this with defending the record. For although his form was bad, in my “honest opinion,” Berkowitz was, in essence, right.
Richard Kemp, Louisville
Upon reading the retort to Larry Saltzman’s berating of Peter Berkowitz by Allan Day, I had to go back and re-read Berkowitz’s review of Real Animal. Berkowitz, just like any “critic,” is indeed entitled to his opinion. Like it or not, that’s how it is. Maybe what is being missed here is that the review reads as if he didn’t even listen to the record. Outside of criticizing one tune, he just goes on to poke fun at Escovedo and Chuck Prophet. There is certainly nothing journalistic about that.
R.L. Bolton, Louisville