By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Victims of their own choices: Yet another condescending "save the poor from themselves" article ("The Big Squeeze," by Paul Kix, September 8). People are free to choose whether to borrow from payday loan companies. It may not be the cheapest source of money, but these folks obviously can't get money from the bank or relatives, or they would. Instead, you're telling them not to take that vacation, fix their car or buy those Christmas gifts. These people aren't the sad victims you make them out to be. The real damage is to our constitutional right to make our own choices--good, bad or indifferent.
Limits on payday lending: Please look at the law in Indiana. This state recognized the need of the payday loan industry as many people do not have access to small loans. They came up with regulations that cap the interest and limit the amount someone could borrow (15 percent of monthly gross income). This keeps someone from getting too far in debt.
The one point many stories like yours leave out is the personal responsibility these people have in the process. These lenders are up front with the fees and the process to pay off the loan. The people in your article were not forced to do this.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Not so brutal anymore: Another great article by Jim Schutze, as always ("Race, Race, Race," September 1). But I have to disagree with Jim about "racist" being a brutal label...at least anymore. Being called a racist from the 1970s all the way to the 1990s was indeed a very nasty thing to be called. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement left us a proud, lasting legacy that bore good fruit. Few things in history achieved so much for so many. However, like all things human, it became susceptible to corruption. Civil rights, once the vehicle of justice for those suffering under the tyranny of discrimination, instead became the Big Payola for anyone smart enough to know how to wield it. Men like Jesse Jackson used words like "racism" to extort billions of dollars from major companies such as Toyota. No one could touch them without getting labeled a "racist." It didn't matter that it wasn't true. It was the seriousness of the charge that mattered. Soon, it wasn't enough not to be a racist, you also had to show "racial sensitivity." Racial sensitivity is loosely defined as being sensitive to anything that could make someone of a different race uncomfortable. Hence, by simply disagreeing with someone of color at your job, you could easily be labeled as not being racially sensitive...and forced by your employer to attend a racial sensitivity class.
So is it any surprise that we are beginning to see signs of "racial fatigue"? Of course no one read The Dallas Morning News article on the jury selection thing. These days, the notion of racism is being met with cynicism. For many Americans, a person using the word "racist" is either trying to extort money, bully their way to the top or get the law off their tail. Hell, even black comedians joke about it. Ever watch Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle?
Beasts of Burden
The incredible horse: Matt Pulle's article "All the Pretty Horses" (September 1) was riveting and heart-wrenching. This ought to be used as prima facie evidence to get the Washington legislators to issue a kill moratorium and shut down the plant for good. The health and safety issues ought to have enough merit to hasten the legislation.
Horses have been our subservients for thousands of years as primary "transportation vehicles," beasts of burden, warhorses, service horses for police and even utilized for therapy for handicapped children. They've been our farming machines, carried the Pony Express mail, pulled wagons westward ho and have certainly supplied hundreds of years of sports entertainment with their racing and jumping abilities. That's quite a résumé. These four-legged wonders are so trusting and are one's best companion--for life.
And now, state District Judge Means has given the go-ahead for continued slaughtering (executions) to two Texas processing plants for the purpose of human consumption--abroad! I thought we were more cultivated in this country and cared more for our animals than to allow this. During the Vietnam War, as the military was exiting, they left behind their $6,000 sentry-trained service dogs (usually large German shepherds). They either starved or were captured to be killed and served on some Vietnamese general's table, because dog meat is a delicacy in Vietnam! The Army big brass had the excuse that they couldn't bring these soldier dogs home because they "might" have a disease and couldn't be retrained for civilian life (all hogwash)--but it was OK for soldiers to return home with venereal diseases and drug problems!
So now, it's horse meat for the Europeans? How's that for quid pro quo for the incredible--and now expendable--horse?
Take to the streets: You should have called last week's Full Frontal "Baselessly Black" (August 25). It was obvious that the attempt was to embarrass black male leadership rather than report the news.