Dirty and ashamed: I know exactly how Jim Schutze felt as a child ("Crossing Division Street," August 22). I grew up in rural Michigan, and one day I asked my mother if I could have a friend over. When I told my mother my friend's name, she replied, "No n----- is coming to my house!" I was 9 years old at the time. I had never even heard that word before. But I knew that it must be a terrible thing to be.
When I had to break the bad news to my friend, I felt dirty and ashamed. And, for the first time in my life, I felt different from other children. This sort of attitude was pervasive in the "liberal North." No small wonder that at any one time we never had more than one black family in my hometown. Usually, they ended up moving to the next town over within a year or two after arriving.
My mother still insists that she is a liberal and does not hate anyone because of his race. However, I will never forget that feeling of confusion when I heard the blind hatred for a little girl of 9 years old she had never even met--just because of the color of her skin.
Ridiculous, isn't it? That we have to define one another in shorthand by calling names is ignorant. Forget tolerance, we should learn and teach acceptance.
Looking forward to Act 2: I just read your review of A Class Act ("Class Dismissed," September 5), and my friends and I who saw the show couldn't agree with you more. We all look forward to your review of their next show.
Yankee snob: Dave, dude, I like the sociology in your reviews...I think you even like that part more than the food ("Cook Out," July 25). You don't fool me, though. You are not a Texan.
Stay that way.
Workers of the World Unite
You're the stiff: Your article about clubs 2001 and 2009 was terrible ("Blue-Collar Nights," August 15). Ms. Cheryl Smith, who most likely added that she has worked in Mexico and along the Tex-Mex border to receive less criticism, failed as a journalist. Her article was very choppy and one-sided. Ms. Smith obviously did not do her homework and did not create a very well-rounded portrait of this club. When she listed the patrons as lawn cutters, hedge trimmers, construction workers, maids, dishwashers, etc., she failed to mention students, professionals and possibly even free-lance writers. And I wonder how she is going to prove that "many" patrons struggle with English if they speak it at all. Maybe she can stand at the front door and take a poll next time. Oh, wait--I'm sure she already did.
2001 may be more traditional, but 2009 is a very progressive club. I have frequented 2009 in the past and have witnessed many a white person, many African-Americans, oh, and maybe an English speaker or two--no, wait, maybe I was too drunk and couldn't stop gawking at the women. My first language is English, and the last time I checked I wasn't a working stiff; neither are any of the blue-collar workers I know. In fact, many are more relaxed, laid-back and have better values than white-collar stiffs.
I've worked in clubs for many years, and these kinds of things happen in clubs across Dallas every Friday and Saturday night. Next time you want to do some investigative or even print-worthy journalism, maybe you can try some other ethically or morally challenged clubs. It would at least make for a juicier story. I've been reading the Dallas Observer for many years now and have to say this article was really a disappointment.
Reality check: Hello: I believe that your article is very real, and you have done a great job. Congratulations.
Melting pot: I really resent your portrait of Escapade as a blue-collar bar. All of my professional friends go to enjoy the music and atmosphere. It's a nice place for Hispanics to have fun and feel safe no matter what their social status!
No right to talk like this: I will invite you to meet nice Mexican people. You don't have the right to talk about our Latinos like this. Talk about your cheapie Anglo girls dancing in clubs almost having sex. You will cry if you go to Can Can or Matamoros if you see your American citizens--"nice and pretty people." I just feel sad...again, not all people are the same.
One day soon: As the son of two college-graduate Hispanics, we fight daily against the kind of idiocy stated in Cheryl Smith's racist article. I've noticed in pompous Dallas, Texas, that WASPS think they're the goddamn second coming or something. Let me clue you into a fact, your high and mighty white highness, your ancestors came here on a boat. Hispanics that come here to work, study, etc. contribute to this economy. God forbid that your people would stoop to do the jobs these people undertake. That's OK, because we laugh at your white trash at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth. We're fine, though, because we are growing in number, and one day soon we'll be the majority. Guess what, not all of us work in restaurants, cutting grass or some other menial task. Be careful, because one day your boss may just be brown.
Victor Carbo III