Al Lipscomb's betrayal
I lived in Denton for most of my life, and I'm still amazed at the control exerted by the downtown businesses in Dallas. I now live in Boston, where politics is a bit more confrontational.

I didn't always agree with the stands that Al [Lipscomb] took, but I hate see him treated so poorly by the black community ["Saint Al," April 16]. I think the black middle class needs to recognize that they enable the white power structure to maintain this shady system of politics in Dallas. Upwardly mobile blacks in Dallas need to decide what they stand for and stop deluding themselves by placing their brother on an altar they helped build.

I'm a member of an organization called the Partnership, which works to keep black professionals in the Boston area. One item I follow when all else fails is to lend a hand to people who haven't been as fortunate as I. Part of this means smiling and saying hello to all blacks and browns I encounter on the street. That simple gesture can empower an individual who may not have the correct style of clothes and may be in need of serious support from our society.

So I hope that despite what happens to Al, the black community will remember that when no one wanted to fight for the underclass, Al was big enough to voice his opinions despite working in the cesspool that is Dallas City Hall. He played all the cards dealt to him in a game he didn't invent.

Novie McAdams
Via e-mail

After living in Dallas for approximately eight years in the late '80s to early '90s, my sister and I clearly knew that something was just slightly off-kilter with the political system in Dallas, but just could not put our finger on it. We often felt that in a city known for its culture and arts, it seemed oddly behind step with some of the other major cities in the South.

This article, although about Mr. Lipscomb, basically enlightened us to the political climate of Dallas. For this we thank you, because it was like a lightbulb finally turned on for us, and we became aware of why certain systems and customs are still in place to this day in what is supposed to be a city on the cutting edge to much of the world.

Thank you for such informative and in-depth reporting.
Rhonda Tizeno
Via e-mail

Great story on Lipscomb. As a native Dallasite, I must say this was very well-presented--for both sides.

Gerry Isaacs
Via e-mail

Keep it coming, Mr. [Jim] Schutze. However, you might want to watch your back, because there may still be power brokers out there who don't want the truth to be told. You did a marvelous job in the The Accommodation, where you first exposed the sordid past of this city.

Via e-mail

Something special in the air
I want to thank the editors for publishing "Straighten up and fly right" [April 16] regarding militant Christian organizations' attempts to bully American Airlines into being more suitably homophobic. The piece was remarkably thorough, more than anything I've ever read in the gay and lesbian media. I wish mainstream publications such as yours would more often print such insightful pieces.

Colin Wright

I am one of those dreaded, hateful, right-wing fundamentalist religious psychos. I was pleased to read yet another leftist, pro-gay story in the recent Observer. I really appreciate your typical bigoted, yes bigoted, caricature of people of conscience and faith. You open-minded lovers of freedom and freedom of expression treat anyone who opposes your views as "the enemy," and intolerant. I hope you remembered to throw Jerry Falwell's name into your article. It wouldn't be complete without such buzzwords.

I do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle, but wish no ill will to any gay or lesbian person. I work with a gay man whose lover died of AIDS. I have no problem with him, except that he likes to tell us often about how gay men are superior to normal men. Hmmm, that sounds slightly bigoted. Besides that, who cares what he does at home? I only am miffed when such people take their cause to the streets to cram their lifestyle choice down the throats of other Americans.

To me, the term "right wing" is a bigoted phrase, and you liberated people have no problem throwing it around. I seriously doubt that you would accept any person that was outside your narrow ideology as a decent person. You guys probably believe in Hillary Clinton's "right-wing conspiracy" without even bothering to look at facts from a non-biased source.

The Observer has gone downhill since the former owner died years ago. He would not allow all the sex-oriented advertising that now outweighs your actual articles. I guess it would be hypocritical for you to make a non-politically correct stand concerning gays, when you yourselves subsidize your paper with any matter of filth, just as long as the client pays.

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