By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
New, Improved Michael Irvin
Moving: I thought your treatment of Mr. Michael Irvin's life and struggles was excellent ("Back in Bounds," September 5). Straightforward, moving and void of the sort of clichés such a story often breeds. Neither condemning nor glorifying, the facts were objectively presented, and a strong, compelling article was the result.
I enjoyed the article immensely and am grateful to you for sharing Irvin's story with me.
Passion and faith: What a story! It had me laughing; it had me in tears.
While my life, background, race, advantages and whatever you can think of are diametrically opposed to Michael Irvin's, for reasons that you have superbly illuminated I have never wavered to root for him! He is the lowest and best in our society all embodied in one individual. Go figure.
Michael Irvin is now in a position to do so much good on so many fronts. That is heartwarming and encouraging to many who are devoid of passion and faith.
Like he said once--"This chapter is not over."
Thanks: I just want to say that the story you covered on Michael Irvin was absolutely wonderful!
Strong woman: Wow! I am so impressed with Michael Irvin and his conviction to show others that despite the roads we choose, God has a different plan for our lives. Sandy Irvin should be hailed as an example of unconditional love. She has surely shown us what God meant by love being patient and kind.
Defending Cheryl Smith
Get a clue: As a Hispanic born and raised in the Dallas area, I have to commend Cheryl Smith on a very accurate story on 2001 and 2009 ("Blue-Collar Nights," August 15). With all the negative comments received that she's singling out one type of person or she's being racist, come on, people; if you guys are so educated, read the story again and you will see that indeed her facts are true. She's not being racist, she's stating the facts! Yes, not all immigrants go to these clubs, but 90 percent of the audience is indeed immigrants who are lawn mowers, maids, etc., which she clearly states in her article.
For all those readers who can't comprehend that this article was not directed to them personally, you said you were educated, doesn't sound like it to me! It's investigative journalism! Get a clue.
Ashamed of the working class: I was disturbed to read the very negative comments about the author of "Blue-Collar Nights," Cheryl Smith. One of your readers wrote a letter stating that Cheryl only added her time in Mexico and the Tex-Mex border to receive less criticism (Letters, September 12). This is simply not true. Cheryl has a passion for the Latin community. She spent time living in Ecuador and Monterrey, Mexico, in order to learn more about this culture. She majored in Spanish in college and now speaks the language fluently. If she is so "racist," then why has she devoted her entire career to this culture? Those of you who have been so offended by this article have obviously not taken a look at your surroundings--there are in fact many people who are dishwashers and lawn-care personnel as well as white-collar professionals who frequent these clubs. Are you that ashamed to be associated with working-class citizens who are such an important part of our society? Maybe it's you who are prejudiced--not Cheryl Smith.
Straight Outta Fiction
You believed the hype: I have just finished Jeff Liles' "Straight Outta Left Field" (September 12), and I am angry. To suggest that the pervasive problems of the black community can be attributed to N.W.A., a mere rap group, is ridiculous, idiotic and just plain stupid. I have never been a fan of N.W.A. nor of gangsta rap. I deeply resent the imagery that they project. However, to blame N.W.A. for the societal ills that plague the black community inflates their importance! Black-on-black crime, the disproportionate number of blacks incarcerated and police brutality existed long before N.W.A. came into existence.
Mr. Liles' article, disguised as a music critique, was really an opportunity for him to spout his views on the black community and to perpetuate more stereotypes. Mr. Liles, I believe that in hindsight, you personally feel a little stupid for having been a fan of N.W.A. and for believing their rhetoric. White suburban kids like you were the ones who made N.W.A. famous, not black kids. You believed what they said, having no real exposure to the black community, and now feel ridiculous. N.W.A. was only a group, not a lifestyle. I am sorry you believed what they said in their songs, but that is your issue, not the black community's.
Who do you think you are to decide what the problems in the black community are and assign responsibility for the creation of those problems? You give N.W.A. too much credit. I would like to suggest that you go out and actually meet and talk with some black people and perhaps get our opinions before you decide to diagnose our problems and assess blame. Your poor decision-making skills are your problem, and just because you were fooled by N.W.A., please do not assume you know how black people were also fooled.