Down to the Grounds

You and Eminem: "Bean Waiting" (May 17) must have rubbed a few of you the wrong way. It damn sure pissed me off! How could I stay angry with such a great paper as the Dallas Observer? It uncovers a lot of corruption within our fair city--much of which is of grave concern to a man of color like me. So, I guess it is entitled to slapping black people in the face by penning articles like Rose Farley's.

I will keep it short. The next time you do an article on a business south of downtown Dallas, please pull your neo-supremacist attitude-totin' heads from your asses and realize that simply being in a majority black area does not mean you are in the ghetto! Sure, it was the interviewees with most of the comments--and if they are of color, they suck!--propagating the racist mentality of many of the self-aggrandizing, white, middle to upper classes by equating the presence of black people to ghetto environments. Of course, if they are not of color, I am not surprised. Though angered at first, I now feel like this was a failed attempt on the Observer's part to be "down with the black community" by trying to use the lingo to "represent," but it's sort of like Eminem calling a brotha a n*gga--he down but not that down.

I feel you owe all of the people of the southern sector of Dallas an apology for the slanted story you presented. At the minimum, you should have at least one staff meeting at the new Starbucks location to show your support of the brothas and sistas you usually do such a good job of "keepin' in the know." Let me know if you have the genuine concern for us by inviting me. I will be glad to attend, and I don't even drink coffee.


Mike Stephenson

Stomping on Oak Cliff: My wife and I, Oak Cliff residents for more than three decades, found the article "Bean Waiting" by Rose Farley very offensive. Oak Cliff is not in a "remote corner" of anything; it is most conveniently located in the heart of a great city. It is no more "rough and tumble" than the oppressively congested northern tier of Dallas ZIP codes (I personally believe less so). And it is not, in any way whatsoever, comparable to war-ravaged Israel. Ms. Farley and the Observer owe half the population of Dallas an apology. It is just such negative, prejudiced rantings that continue to influence good retailers to pull out and to needlessly alienate huge portions of the citizenry against anything across the river. The typical less-than-astute politicians will believe garbage like that, and they will act on what they believe to be true...that Oak Cliff is some black hole not worthy of attention and investment.

Give us a break--please!

Ardell Mitchell

Hate Kills

Shame on your questioning: Does it really matter who painted/desecrated the St. Luke "Community" United Methodist Church ("Mystery of St. Luke," May 17)? If this helps to pass a hate-crimes bill, then it was all worth it. Hate has been killing people for years in this country! Now what troubles me most is that people would have been a lot happier to see the word "nigger" painted all over that church instead of just a swastika. They would have been less skeptical of who did this crime.

Look at our society! Shame on even questioning who may have done this act, and "way to go" that the bill got passed!

Russ Vandeveerdonk

Deseg or Reseg?

Don't blame the court order: The article by Jonathan Fox on the desegregation court order and Dallas public schools ("Separate and Unequal," May 24) is not accurate in presenting the cost of operations for Dallas schools. The information is inconsistent with the official budget records adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Dallas Independent School District. (Editor's note: Superintendent Mike Moses provided the figures used in the article.)

More important, the article incorrectly infers that the court order is responsible for every problem in DISD. The comparisons made to the costs of schools ignore the fact that in every school district across the country there are variations in the cost of operating schools. Compare high schools with great athletic programs to their elementary school counterparts, and you will see a great disparity in the cost because of the program offered. I bet you won't find anyone to argue that the athletic program in a high school should be closed because the cost of operating a high school is different from the cost of operating an elementary school.

The magnet schools seem to be set up as college prep programs. But, no one would argue that a medical school program and a social services program on a college campus must have the same budget.

The desegregation court order also requires strong programs on each campus, and requires funding. And, no one could argue that DISD has great technology needs across the district. But, the desegregation court order did not cause the need for money for technology.

African-American, Hispanic and Anglo students have benefited from magnet schools, Vanguard and TAG programs. And the entire city of Dallas would benefit from strong public schools.

Virgie L. Grant-Brooks
Chair, African-American Advisory Committee

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