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Multi-Hued Empowerment

Posted 6/24/2009

Referring to the letter of Laurie Bezold in the June 17 issue ("White Empowerment vs. Black Empowerment," The Mail), I would like to respond by saying as a person of darker hue, and a musician and poet who has worked and contributed to the Red Emma's collective, I am offended by the idea of the organization being easily dismissed and labeled as "white" anarchists. Among them, I have only known the impetus to share, debate, communicate, and create ideas of a universal and transcendental nature to develop solutions for the betterment of the human species. Only through such portals of imagination, vision, artistry, and work, can we truly empower and educate, evolving the direction of our perceptions, building a substantial, meaningful, and everlasting change to our distressed societies of this world. As mature adults, some of us do not mind coloring outside of the lines.

JahHannibal Abba-Ra
Baltimore

Stealing Is Wrong!

Mr. Wrong, let me tell you how wrong you are.

Dude, you spent an entire column berating yourself because some disgusting lowlife helped himself to your ineptly stored, trashy ol' bike, which you admit yourself you had replaced with a better bike ("Somebody Stole My Bike," June 17).

Look, man, unless you had that bike sitting out on the lawn with a big honkin' free sign on it, or you ran an ad on Craigslist, Freecycle, or in the City Paper classifieds offering the bicycle for free and giving explicit directions as to its whereabouts, the scum who took your bicycle is a freakin' criminal!  The fact that you didn't have a lock on it or didn't have it embedded in concrete is goddamn irrelevant. The scum still has no right to appropriate your property without your permission!  Call the criminal the scumbucket criminal he is, and stop acting like the hideous "conservative" cliche of the pansy-assed liberal that apologizes to the criminal for leading him astray with temptation, not raising him in a better environment, and the like!

I don't actually want to wish harm or evil to befall another individual, but maybe if you went through the experience my wife did--being shoved to the ground and injured while having your much nicer primary means of urban transportation literally stolen out from under you by two thugs riding a scooter--then maybe you'd come to your senses and get pissed off at these goddamn bastards. (You might also discover, as my wife and I did, that the Baltimore City Police DO take such robberies seriously, to the point of having my wife look through a "photo line-up" to see if she could identify her assailants among two suspects that were later arrested.)

Alexander D. Mitchell IV
Baltimore

First Slash, Then Rip

Romance fiction about gay men written by straight women is not all that new ("Zipper Rippers," Books, June 17). There is what is called "slash" fiction, originally "K/S" fiction, concerned with a presumed relationship between Kirk and Spock, sometimes with explicit illustrations, and broadened out in time to other male pairs from movie and TV shows. That has been circulating for 30 years or so, and there was once a local bookstore that made a sideline of renting the material.

The authors (and most of the readers) were straight women, and from what I was once told about a convention devoted to it, overweight women. Not all white, if that means anything, since I recognized the cover of what was being read by a middle-aged black woman on the commuter train from D.C. one day.

Mark Owings
Baltimore

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