Letters for February 14, 2002

Racial rants

 Ready for reportage: Why is it always a fear of something? Why not title Jeff Stratton's January 24 Bandwidth column "Disgust of a Black Chili Pepper?" Stratton is the one afraid to tell the truth. I suppose he worries about job security in times like these.

Let me enlighten you of the truth, even though I'm sure it's pointless: The "hip-hop" crowd is self-professed violent, criminal -- thugs! They are proud to proclaim themselves as such! Black or white, thugs are still thugs. Their slogan is "Thug Life"!

Now, let's address the fear issue. Fear would indicate being afraid. My friends and I are not afraid of them. We are disgusted with not being able to walk by the Chili Pepper to go to the Poor House or Stereo without being accosted by drunk (and/or high) thugs! We go downtown to have a good time, not fight a war, and if you think that it is anything less, you need to do some real research.

More than once, I have been involved in confrontations in the area between the Chili Pepper and the Poor House. Two of these instances have been a result of bumping into someone in that crowded area. One time, it was not crowded and a black man purposely walked into my female cousin. I am not sure if that is a thug's idea of a come-on line, but then, instead of apologizing, he proceeded to start a confrontation with me.

Why would I not want to get dressed up, take my hard-earned cash, go downtown, and get gang-jumped and possibly arrested or killed on a Sunday night? Oh, I know why. Because I don't want anyone to think I am a bigot! So let me ignore the facts to be politically correct! Hey, I am ready to be a reporter for New Times!

I have been advised by the [Poor House] staff, with whom I happen to be old friends, that the place is a "war zone" on Sunday nights. Friday and Saturday nights haven't been a picnic, either, since the Chili Pepper went to a hip-hop format. So Stratton's reporting is rather bigoted and unfactually based.

Michael Lemaster
Fort Lauderdale

Fathering diversity: Regarding the recent Bandwidth column about "black night" at the Chili Pepper: A neighbor of the Chili Pepper complained that his business was being ruined on the one night a week that blacks were in the area. He has been in business long enough to know better. Why not capitalize on the presence of a large minority group that night and be more inviting to other members of that group? Schedule some minority- oriented events at the same time.

As for those members of the community who are afraid of interacting with different cultures, they are the losers. I know that anytime I have entered a nightclub catering to a "black" clientele, I have been treated with respect. At one place in a rundown area, the patrons went so far as to rearrange the parking lot so that my then-girlfriend, now-wife, and I did not have to leave the premises on foot.

I know I can afford to live in White-Bread land, a.k.a. anywhere west of University Drive. This would afford me the luxury of limiting my daily dealings with minorities. I don't! I prefer to live on the east side of Broward. I am glad that my son is growing up and attending school with members of other cultures, etc. So far as I can tell at this point, he has not acquired any racist thoughts, and I will continue to encourage him to believe that people are the same and chastise him for pointing out differences. My father was a true bigot. I hope I have learned and am teaching my son otherwise.

Jeff Hamilton
Pompano Beach

Wallet-driven censorship: I'd like to make a comment on Chuck Strouse's January 17 column, Ax, Lies, & Audiotape, that reflects the G-d fearing, Bible-believing, freedom-loving, anticensorship, libertarian American.

Sorry, Shakespeare; to be or not to be is NOT the question. The question should be: Why is government involved with the arts in the first place? Food for thought: If the government (at any level) kept its paws out of the "arts" and taxpayer dollars were not being squandered on the merde, mierda, dreck, basura that passes for art today, the "artists" could paint whatever they liked. The reason: When you use my tax dollars, I can demand a say; however, if you use your own dollars, I have no say. What you sculpt or create with your money is your business. If you want to blaspheme G-d, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Virgin Mary, be my guest. You'll spend eternity burning in hell, not me. Whatever you do, do not use my hard-earned tax dollars. Hey, if you insist, I have a brother-in-law who sells asbestos coats. Such a deal for any friend of mine.

Bottom line: No governmental involvement; no use of the poor, hard-working taxpayer's hard-earned dollars. And no censorship.

Fred Bluestone
Pembroke Pines

Listen up, Stratton! I wanted to thank Jeff Stratton for reviewing our satirical, antiterrorist song medley "Jihad Rock" (Bandwidth, January 17). Contrary to his opinion, the songs have been extremely popular and have developed quite a following. "Jihad Rock" and "Jihad Johnny" were played daily, for a month and a half on the Neil Rogers Show. The songs are currently getting tons of requests on KFI-AM (640) radio, in Los Angeles. We are up to number 20 on Mp3.com (political comedy).

Stratton states that we used "the most stereotypically offensive voice imaginable." Duh. That was the whole point, Jeff. (I did try to hire a well-known Taliban session singer, but he was all booked up until after Ramadan!)

I'm sure that a number of your readers would like the opportunity to listen to the songs and form their own opinions.

Bruce Yarock
Yarock Productions
www.yarock.com
via the Internet

Hold on, Bruce: I wholeheartedly agree with Jeff Stratton's review of "Jihad Rock," "Jihad Johnny," and "Terrorist Nightmares." Among other things, he writes that the songs used the "most stereotypically offensive voice imaginable." I heard these songs several times on the radio and was both disgusted and enraged by their blasphemous and hateful characterization of our Islamic brothers. Finally, there's a voice of reason in this wilderness of needless anger and hostility.

Ibrahim "Tony" Mafahdiq
Dearborn, Michigan

For the money men: I just finished Jim Gaines's January 10 article on [Linda] Davis's current housing situation, "Corporate Grinch," and find myself feeling sorry for her. But my feeling comes with a double-edge sword. I work in the mortgage business and deal with GMAC/Homecomings investors quite a bit. I can't speak for their issue, practices, or current investigations, but I can speak for the business itself that I feel you are slandering with this article. The Davis family must qualify for a mortgage with strict regulations on debt-to-income ratios as well as loan-to-value constraints. As I have been dealing with this particular investor, I can say that it holds to its guidelines quite strictly.

When the Davis family applied for the mortgage, it had credit issues (as stated in the article), but what type of credit issues? Collections, judgments, bankruptcy issues? How many late payments have they had in the last two years? All this information needs to be reported.

As a matter of fact, GMAC or Homecomings, whichever you choose to call them, has mortgage products that are less strict in their guidelines so that people with damaged credit can obtain a loan and not be left to fend for themselves.

Also, no one can foresee getting ill and missing work. What happened to [Davis's] reserves? What about her divorce? Now there is only one person making money, which creates a debt-to-income problem. Remember, when they qualified for the loan, it was two incomes. It is not the lender's fault that they got a divorce and have income issues now.

So, in conclusion, when you decide to "slam" the mortgage industry, remember that we are providing a valuable service to clients who need our help. They are fully aware of all the terms of the loan.

Jonathan Weiner
via the Internet

Part 3631: This is in response to "Blast from the Past" (Letters, January 3). This coward who withheld his or her name is the typical, cry-baby, liberal Democrat who infests that sick, twisted party.

He or she wrote that Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton's butt-buddy, "is one of the most widely respected leaders in the world." Is that so? Truth is, he has strong Communist ties. He just refused the United States' request to help root out terrorism after we sent billions of U.S. tax dollars to aid his country. Got his ass out of jail also!

He or she also wrote that "our contemporary apartheid American-style" government excluded blacks from the voter polls. Truth is, that has never been proven, even under federal investigation by "Bobbing Bill's" pro-black, anti-Christian, fascist regime.

He or she cries about slavery, yet it is a fact that blacks captured blacks during tribal wars, then sold them to international slavery rings. I don't hate anyone for his or her color. My best friends are hard-working black men and women. I do hate lies. Be sure to print my name.

James Hammers
Fort Lauderdale

Hate, hate, hate -- all Harvey does is hate: In response to the January 3 letter from "Name Withheld by Request": "Exiles" hate Mandela's "friend" (Castro), not Mandela (I think)!

It was mentioned that: "A few years ago, the Cuban exile community chose to shun Nelson Mandela, one of the most widely respected leaders in the world, when he visited our state."

To clarify: The Cuban exile community and some in the South Florida Jewish community shunned Mandela when he visited this area because of Mandela's admitted "friendship" with such respected world murderers and terrorists as Fidel Castro, Yasir Arafat, and Muammar Kaddafi. Until Mandela renounces these three murderous terrorist butchers, I'm sure he would be shunned again by these two local communities of people.

Harvey Slavin
Hollywood

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