Letters for January 2, 2003

Complimentary Copy

 She's a minority of one this week: Most people write to complain about something. I am writing to compliment Wyatt Olson.

We were truly amazed by his December 26 article, "Barred for Life." His perception of people and issues is unreal. He described us and our surroundings perfectly, down to my toe rings and our cats. He wrote about details and emotions that most people wouldn't catch. His article, from beginning to end, is just incredible.

I believe it will truly help others or at least open a door for them. Again, thank you.

Robin DiFranco

North Miami

What about the white club, dude? I'm writing in regard to Bob Norman's December 19 article, "Down on the Plantation II." I'm a 20-year-old resident of Plantation. I live very close to the location of what was formerly the Brickhouse and remember the nightclub. I also remember the real reasons it was closed. I found his article to be nothing but a bunch of factless, ignorant, and racist liberal garbage.

This article was one of the most childish things I've ever read. The way he reduced the issue to some simple-minded, Star Wars-like epic in which the evil white City Council oppresses the helpless black community made me ill. I remember very clearly driving home with friends or family on more than one occasion and having traffic held up while the club's patrons stood in the middle of the streets talking and trying to act intimidating.

And that was not the only problem. There is housing behind the club, which existed long before it. Often, people complained about clubgoers parking on their lawns and walking through the neighborhoods making noise at very late hours. I myself witnessed that at midnight and even later, hordes of people piled out of the club talking loudly. If that weren't enough, trash was thrown around the streets, and more often than not, fights would break out. Shortly after the club opened, police "had to" become a regular fixture.

This area is not some kind of business district or strip mall with bars and restaurants all around; it's a neighborhood. It seems Mr. Norman either did no research whatsoever or he just doesn't care about individual and homeowner rights. Somehow I think that if it were his neighborhood, he would be more than a little unhappy.

Norman waxes poetic about the evil white City Council as if it is some kind of inhuman force littering the "helpless" community with its magical conservative seeds of evil. I'd love to read your paper and not have to vomit every time one of the articles talks about racial issues. It makes me want to go out and oppress other cultures, and I can think of a fair number of people who feel the same. Yet as always, it seems a good number of liberals don't care how the majority of people think or feel; they just cling to whatever happens to sound good at the moment.

Oh, and by the way, I am white, in case you were wondering. And no, I'm not racist. I have a black roommate, but I'm sure he'll turn me into some kind of redneck, unhip, white, racist, trailer park-living punk, but he can think whatever he wants in order to not feel like an idiot. Guess what? I'm the youth of America, and so are my friends. And more of us are tired of this crap than you think!

Matthew Magula

Fort Lauderdale

Ken Jenne would never do anything like this intentionally, right? Following up on Bob Norman's stories about the pervasive and enduring racism that abides in Plantation: Strawberries had its liquor license suspended by a state agency -- an action that was in place by the close of business Friday. The suspension could have been handled administratively by a simple call to the owner informing him or her of the suspension. Instead, a raid was mounted at peak time on Saturday night; authorities appeared more like a conquering army than police.

This raid was nothing less than a total act of contempt directed toward the black patrons of Strawberries, who foolishly believed in their equality. The police saw it differently. Their mission was to bully, intimidate, and humiliate the black patrons -- in short, to keep a nigger down. This expensive, wretched abuse of enforcement powers was brought about by the most powerful politician in Broward County -- Sheriff Ken Jenne.

Paul Kearns


The Seminoles beat just about everybody: In regard to Wyatt Olson's December 5 cover story, "Indian Wars," which dealt with Leon Braun's legal battle with the Seminole Tribe over a fish-farm business:

When the U.S. Continental Army took on England, it could not also fight the Native Americans. So the Continental Congress cut a deal. If tribes would not attack Americans, then America would grant tribes "Sovereign Nation Status." (This is something neither England nor Spain had done.) Mr. Braun would take the same business risks if he did business in Saudi Arabia, France, or Nigeria.

In 1792, Congress added the 11th Commerce Clause to the Constitution, because Native Americans were being "scammed" by state governments over the price of beaver pelts -- they lost millions of dollars (and their real estate). Mr. Braun has a better chance doing business with Native Americans from California to Florida than with his "fellow" American citizens (check the business lawsuits in state and U.S. courts).

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