June 3, 2009

Inbox — June 3, 2009

Letters to the Editor

No Apologies

Regarding David Williams’s Inbox letter (LEO Weekly, May 27):

To David Norton and Company:

The incident that happened at Woody’s Tavern over a year ago is still very much alive in my mind and spirit. Mr. Williams, obviously sympathetic to Norton and his “anger problems,” seems to think that me and my friends misunderstood the racist and sexist exchange. Mr. Williams, are you serious? Being called a nigger and bitch is racism and sexism — flat out! Perhaps he was just having a bad day and we caught him at a weak moment? Perhaps he was running behind on his bills? Or maybe he’s just a racist and misogynist? Besides the exceptional e-mail from a shady associate urging me and my friends to “please call off this witch hunt,” Mr. Norton has made no amends. 

Mr. Williams, the real tragedy is, here you are a prominent member of Louisville’s LGBTQ community and you’re attempting to apologize for racist and sexist actions. This is a prime example of how white supremacy continues to function in this country and in this city. If David Norton’s actions were not racist and sexist, then what actually qualifies someone to be?

Your letter is a prime example of why my friends and I were not supported by Louisville’s LGBTQ community last year. Louisville’s LGBTQ community must come to terms with the fact that we have a lot of work to do to end racism in our community, and dressing up racism and calling it “anger” or “fits” is not a good start.

Kaila Adia Story, East End

Christianity In Decline

I have recently been bombarded by countless articles and TV news programs on the decline of people claiming to be Christian. Surprisingly, in almost every report, it is being covered as a crisis, and the same questions are being asked: “Why is this?” and “What can be done to stop it?”

It seems I am alone in thinking that this might not be a bad thing. First of all, since kindness and morality are not exclusive to Christianity — or any religious organization for that matter — we should look at this event with more of an open mind. It may just be a migration of moral people choosing an alternant route through life. Our founding fathers were clear — we were not meant to be a Christian nation but a place where any beliefs and backgrounds were to be accepted.

The church and Christians should be looking at this as a challenge, not a crisis. It could give them a chance to come together and refocus on a common goal. I can imagine it must be difficult to teach a message of unity and harmony with so much turmoil and division within the church itself. A lesson not practiced by the preachers cannot be expected to be effective. It could also be an opportunity to refocus on the true message of Jesus Christ and many others like him, an example of peace, love and acceptance. A message of love and kindness toward your fellow man in these crazy times could go a long way and would be more readily accepted. Just think of what could happen if that still-large percentage of people started trying to be more Christ-like, not just Christians.

Joseph T. Lynch, Old Louisville

Old Farts

I read recently where some members of the RNC in Maryland have suggested to draft a resolution to arbitrarily change the name of the Democratic Party there to the “Democratic Socialist Party.” If it is possible for one party to decide what the other party should be called, then as an Independent voter with nothing to gain, I would humbly suggest that a petition be started to change the Republican Party name in Kentucky from the “Grand Old Party,” or GOP, to the following: “Fascist American Republicans Troop,” or FART. After all, when you vote for a FART, you are voting for a mighty wind! Smell the change in the air?

Or possibly this renaming of the GOP: “Socialists Hate America Republicans Troop,” or SHART. Think of the logos and slogans for them! Such great T-shirt ideas as “I SHARTed for America!” or “SHART: A stain you cannot wash out!” spring to mind.

Jeff Grammer, Middletown

Pace Yourself

If you hadn’t heard, Rep. John Yarmuth has introduced H.R. 2140, the Parimutuel Conformity and Equality (PACE) to end the current federal requirement that forces wagering facilities to immediately withhold federal taxes of 25 percent on winnings over $5,000 if the odds on the bet are at least 300-1. His website calls the current withholding unfair and claims it is “wrong to assume that horse racing fans will cheat on their taxes and unnecessary to force racetracks to act as agents of the IRS.”

I believe the PACE Act is dumb legislation. Track withholding was created to protect people from themselves. Unlike our congressman, a lot of Kentuckians aren’t used to having a lot of cash in their wallets and are therefore unequipped with the skills necessary to keep it (for ourselves the following week, much less for tax day the following year). What happens a year from Derby when that superfecta winner has income taxes due and has already spent his winnings paying bills and whatnot?

To say it’s wrong for the government to assume people wouldn’t pay taxes on their winnings is hypocritical, as he isn’t proposing abolishing regular income tax withholding. And unlike the tea people, I want our government to collect taxes. I’m a fan of things like good schools, clean and safe roads, swine flu vaccinations, law and order, etc. I don’t mind our government collecting cover charge for us to get up in this club. It’s a good deal. Seriously, isn’t it obvious that Rep. Yarmuth is just doing a little “Go, Baby, Go!” for Churchill Downs? He can’t tell us that he was lobbied by a plethora of trifecta-victim winners? Did they protest? That’s just crazy talk. I’m a Democrat who expects better. It’s time to start paying attention to issues that matter.

Curtis Morrison, Downtown 

No Apologies - Tolerance Begins At Home

By David G
The terms "Nigger" and "Bitch" are hateful and should have no place in our public discourse. Unfortunately, they are common terms in the "Hip-Hop" lexicon. I feel that since these terms are used so frequently in Hip-Hop culture that they are valid terms for everyone to use. The notion that these terms are OK for African-Americans to use and not OK for others to use represents a separate but equal doctrine. That doctrine is the core of Martin Luther King's teachings and the civil rights movement. If we want to rid ourselves of these terms then they should be universally abandoned. We can't hear these terms being used by popular artists and then be expected to not use these terms in a similar manner. What are the chances that Kaila Adia has spoken these terms before herself? I'm sure she has spoken them herself towards others. Does she really want to be placed under public scrutiny for her use of offensive language as she is placing the owner of Woody's Tavern? Since when did the owner of a tavern become responsible for being a pillar of society anyway?