Letters & Comments: December 30, 2010 | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Letters & Comments: December 30, 2010

"I've been in Chicago for 4 years and must say that I've been disappointed with the apparent voluntary segregation mindset from all sides."

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Our Segregated City

Re: "Coming to Their Consensus: Blacks labored in vain to unite behind a single mayoral candidate. Meanwhile, all but one of the top white contenders have bowed out," by Steve Bogira, December 21

I've been in Chicago for 4 years and must say that I've been disappointed with the apparent voluntary segregation mindset from all sides. For many years I dreamed of living in this large urban mid-west city only to have been hit in the face by reality—so much so my wife and I are headed back to the east coast. —hismindhiswords

This article is an example of "old school/old guard" politics that will hopefully come to an end in the black community.

I am a black woman who is voting for Rahm if he gets on the ballot. I don't need, or want a "coalition" to tell me who to vote for, and a black candidate does not automatically get my vote. I know many who feel this way, and I wish the media would stop focusing on these stories. —dwn2earth

Speaking as a white person who eagerly voted for the first black President, I think racial polarization in Chicago is unfortunate.

It makes me nervous to hear that a black mayor would be more sensitive to black issues.

I will vote for the candidate that I perceive is sensitive to Chicago's issues. Black issues vs. white issues is a red herring. —ed hooks

"Post-racial" my ass. Chicago is still one of the only segregated cities in the whole world.

You'll never have anything valuable nor creditable on a global scale because of the hypocrisy and shit-eating grins of pretending that blatant, institutionalized racism don't exist.

Homelessness—have you actually seen and paid attention to the number of people sleeping on CTA buses, trains and at O'Hare Airport at night?

Housing discrimination—why do we still have this in a supposedly post-racial era?

What about the economy? Income disparities? Pain-in-the-ass gentrification? You call those public schools while the rest of the world laughs at your children.

The next mayor of Chicago won't have the luxuries of Daley. They will have a city with a ton of problems and an awakening populace.

Oh yeah, it would be a good idea to have actually lived, walked, breathed, dislocated, and slept in the streets of the city to really get a dose of reality. The suburbs are fine, and so is the Gold Coast, but that ain't the real Chicago they'll have to deal with, day in and day out over the next few years.

Sure, black people have paid their dues and should be heavily considered in the race. But at this time in history, we need more than black skin to alter the course of events in City Hall.

How about revising the city charter for a new form of open government, a preliminary approach to getting rid of corruption and greed, which is crippling the city? —Amilkar

The Biased Media

Re: "But sure to end on a note of optimism," by Michael Miner, December 21

Articles generally lead a little one way and little the other. There's no way to avoid it: the writer has an opinion, too, no matter how hard he/she tries to stifle it. Simple syntax can vastly alter meaning and interpretation.

The first ending—the way it was published—exudes a more neutral attitude, focusing on what, ideally, should be the focus of the issue at its core. —wallop

Lee, Spiked

Re: "Do the Right Thing," by Ed M. Koziarski, December 24

I was living in Birmingham, Alabama, the summer Do the Right Thing came out. Birmingham being, well, Birmingham, no theater in a white neighborhood would play it, so I went to a multiplex in a black neighborhood.

The scuttlebutt back then was that the movie provoked black theater audiences to violence, so when the film broke down—in the climactic scene, no less, as Radio Raheem and Sal, locked in combat, burst out the front door of the pizzeria into the street—I braced myself for the worst. Instead the other patrons, like me, sat there patiently until the projection was sorted out. So much for the racial apocalypse. —J.R. Jones

Spike Lee served up a fantasy-land ghetto to make the gullible feel better about their liberal pieties: the winos are sages, out-of-wedlock childbirth is funny, not disastrous, "Tawana told the truth", and young black men are killed by The Man, not other young black men (the number one cause of young black male mortaility).

The coup de grace is the Malcom X quote, advocating violence, prior to his compatriots taking him at his word and murdering him. —George_Costanza

Word. I'm not a big fan of the film, even though Spike Lee is technically excellent, but it was funny to watch all the white liberals at the Biograph staying to watch the credits like it was holy writ when it came out. —FGFM

A Fascinating Story

Re: "Now Playing: The Jackson Find: In 1967, Larry Blasingaine played on the first studio recording by the Jackson Five. The tape was lost for 42 years. The song still hasn't been released. But now he can finally listen to it—and so can you," by Jake Austen, December 23

Fantastic story! Can't wait to hear the recording in its entirety, and I hope this information will be developed into a book on the early years of the Jackson 5. It's a fascinating story and I feel like this will be such important information for the next generation of historians and musicologists who will undoubtedly be researching and analyzing Michael Jackson well into the future. —ultravioletrae

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