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Butler Didn't Do It

Posted 12/24/2008

To City Paper letter-writing fixture, Larnell Custis Butler, from this Eurocentric (Scotland) whitey--you go girl! ("The Butler Did It," The Mail, Dec. 17) One letter writer steers her on the race issue to some scientist on DNA. Great . . . all we need.

I suggest we watch what happens in the cases of Gov. Blagojevich (probably some Eastern European ethnic background) and Wall Street ponzi man Bernie Madoff (um, Jewish background.) Watch how these cases evaporate if only after the trials, if there even are trials! After Scooter Libby scooted free due to his Republican friends, I got to wondering if Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (my nominee for upright whitey--probably Irish--of the year) is only an apparition put there to assure us that there is justice after all. He goes after Dems! He goes after Repubs!

But guess what? When the fuss dies down, big money (capitalism) watches after its own. The same game goes on in criminal justice everywhere--little guys are locked up and the big guys skate free. Kind of a (fill in the blank) scheme. Shell game? And we fall for it every time.

David Eberhardt

Please do keep printing Ms. Larnell Custis Butler's letters. I agree with her opinion often, disagree with her opinion almost as often, but always find her letters to represent an interesting perspective not often represented in City Paper. I also always find her letters to be thoughtful and intelligent.

Which is more than I can say for the letters of her recent detractors. I don't know what Neil Ham teaches in his logic course, but it seems to me that if there's someone in front of you who tells you they are both a Catholic and pro-choice, then at least one "pro-choice Catholic" must exist, as empirical evidence in front of you. QED, professor. And racism isn't just a state of mind, it's a system of social stratification, and many mainstream ideologues do indeed seem to hold the fantasy that capitalism will somehow cure social stratification. (If you're still waiting for that, I wish you luck, and a lot of patience.)

And I wish I could say I was surprised that Sebastian Sassi believes that black people are "culturally disposed to commit violent crimes." I also wish I could say I was surprised that he was willing to say this in a public forum. I am, to my shame, somewhat surprised that he is under the impression this belief is compatible with being "as liberal and civil-rights aware as you can get." But come on man, get a grip. The casual observer would notice that violent crime in Baltimore seems to be correlated with extreme destitute poverty and the drug trade. Perhaps black people are "culturally disposed" to heroin addiction, and to being poor too. Come on man, look around you.

I'd rather read Ms. Butler's letters than those of folks like this any day, I can watch FOX News if I want to hear opinions like theirs.

Jonathan Rochkind

Specter 2010

I read Brian Morton's article "Silly Season" (Political Animal, Dec. 10) and found it informative. To be honest, I was saddened by the thought that Chris Matthews of Hardball fame would want to commit political suicide and risk public humiliation to run against Sen. Arlen Spector in the 2010 election in Pennsylvania.

As I recall in the gatefold of my mental brain, I first heard the rumor that Matthews was thinking of running against Specter from the sarcastic lips of CNN's Wolf Blitzer. I kinda felt that Blitzer thought the idea of Chris Matthews running against Specter in a political race was humorous, not a serious endeavor on the part of Matthews.

To be truthful, it takes me a very long time to trust most white people, and a premonitory, instinctive longer period of time to trust white politicians. Perhaps my age of 67, and a legitimacy of my history imbued in the horrible history of segregation in America is the reason that I do not trust most white people, if they come bearing gifts of "we're all in this together" mentality.

From childhood to adulthood, I have kept myself cautiously from most conversative-thinking white Southerners, and "Iron Belt" Northerners whose votaries' slanted political movements have been hidden in their unmistakable consciousness of BS. Such white folks are the kind who will be in the presence of a black person and use "wink-wink" eye signals at each other to convey their surety that their whiteness will be able to pull one over on a nigger.

In the November 2008 issue of Oprah magazine, Oprah Winfrey stated "Trust your instincts. Intuition doesn't lie."

Arlen Specter's religion is the secret of his political success, and with his family, who he loves dearly. He is a kinsman to every person in the family of humanity who wants to do the right thing as a citizen of the world. He is a strong person who never gives up on any evil tidings that come his way. He has battled through serious illnesses with redeeming determination. He is not afraid of a storm.

In my opinion, GOP Sen. Arlen Specter will win in 2010. I do not believe "black folks" will support Chris Matthews in Pennsylvania. Black folks don't know who Chris Matthews is in the state where he lives. Some dreams can be presumptuous.

Larnell Custis Butler

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