To The Editors:
I want to thank Creative Loafing and especially Tara Servatius for exposing Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities and NCDENR for the way sewage spills are allowed to continue without concern or penalties. Being a resident of South Carolina and specifically a homeowner on Lake Wateree, we have been complaining for years about this situation. It is quite disheartening that a "neighbor" would be so inconsiderate as to let this happen continually and for the policing agency to turn a "blind eye" is criminal. How can we feel any level of trust in a situation like this? Studies have shown that CMU is responsible for the dangerously high phosphorous levels in the Catawba River as it enters at Sugar Creek. The recent announcement by Pat McCrory that they would spend capital to reduce the phosphorous levels was welcome news, but it was a joke that he played it up as a good thing to do for their downstream neighbors. Attempts to get this done years earlier were refused. It's amazing how politicians can be such "spin doctors."
In any event, thanks again for your efforts. It is the right thing for everyone and our fragile environment to be totally responsible with wastes. Keep up the good work.
Roger Britton, Jr.
Rednecks Vs. Good Ole Boys
To The Editors:
In response to Jeff Williams' letter ("Don't Use The R Word," June 5), while I agree that the use of the word "redneck" to describe race fans was inappropriate, I do not think the term was so much bigoted as it was inaccurate. Properly used, as most of us born and raised in the South know, "redneck" describes not a geographic origin or socio-economic class, but a type of behavior. Non-Southerners, and Southerners who weren't "brought up right," incorrectly use the word as a blanket term for all rural Southerners who happen to be white, poor and uneducated, if not for all Southern whites in general. Or they use it interchangeably with the term "good ole boy," which is also an incorrect practice.
"Good ole boy" describes a well-natured fellow who just likes to have fun and enjoy life, an apt description of the typical NASCAR fan. While a good ole boy's behavior may be egregious and even uncouth at times, he is always well-meaning and respects others. A redneck, on the other hand, goes out of his (or her) way to cause problems for others. While good ole boys spend their Saturday nights drinking beer with their buddies, rednecks spend theirs picking bar fights. Good ole boys make good husbands and fathers, while rednecks regularly abuse their spouses and kids. While most good ole boys are neither racist nor overtly homophobic, rednecks take pleasure in using the "n" word and bashing gays. Good ole boys are the easy-going guys anyone who isn't a snob would enjoy being around, while rednecks are the bad apples that give the whole South a bad name.
So as you see, "redneck" is best applied to those others might call "yahoos." The term should be used to describe a type of anti-social behavior, not a place of birth, ethnicity or sports interest. In its broadest sense, the use of "redneck" can be applied to anyone who displays this kind of behavior, regardless of from where they come. But to apply the term to people just because they happen to be white, Southern and race fans is incorrect, as well as insulting.
To The Editors:
I had a feeling that Tara Servatius' commentary on the newfound powers of the government would be a flip, historically ignorant and sensationalized leftist tirade ("Protected From Who?," June 5). My worst fears were confirmed.
Ms. Servatious' two-fold point is that the recently enacted FBI powers of e-mail hacking and church spying, etc., are merely megalomaniacal phenomena that would not have prevented the national tragedy, and that the current state of homeland security is dysfunctional despite the new policies.
To make her first point, she asserts that the government could have prevented the events of September 11 solely by using its existing constitutional powers. The fallacy of this argument is that the ignored FBI memos relevant to the attacks contained no specifics as to when and where the terrorists were going to strike, making only a vague reference to the White House. Such neccessary specifics could only be aquired through taking advantage of the broader investigative powers. Also, the FBI has always had these same operating freedoms, only with different technology, which was very effective in thwarting Nazi saboteurs on American soil (1930s) and those who were exchanging security-compromising secrets to the Soviets (1940s-1950s).
I don't see Ms. Servatius protesting the imprisonment of Japanese and German Americans in the 1940s -- is this because the the policy was, if anything, leftist? She does cry so about Martin Luther King being spied on that she cites the time of its occurrence as seven years after he was assasinated!
Lastly, don't insult everybody's intelligence with the bull manure that security is so bad, you can access the Government Center with a bomb or gun in your trenchcoat. Tara, I defy you to try that, and you'll see how good security can be!
Lee G. Kushner
Editor's Reply: Actually, as she reported in a column that appeared in the September 26, 2001, issue, Tara Servatius did successfully sneak a real gun past security guards into the parking deck of the Government Center and then accessed the Center itself with a hidden toy gun in tow.
To The Editors:
I'd like to thank Creative Loafing for its commitment to the visual arts. You partner with us in educating, enlightening and enriching our community. I especially applaud you for featuring our provocative "Black As" exhibit as your cover story ("Out Of The Box," June 5).
To Scott Lucas, I thank you for "seeing," for feeling and intellectualizing the work of Willie Little. You state "this show unfolds a piece of Charlotte that makes me happy to be here." I must tell you that knowing there is a perceptive, insightful critic, capable of tackling this subject with logic and sensitivity, makes me happier to be here. We have received numerous phone calls and visitors who responded to your words and are interested in seeing the work and furthering the dialogue.
To Tim Davis, I thank you for creating a seamless addendum to the critique. You provided an additional perspective for the reader to appreciate Willie's creative process, my commitment to the gallery and Willie Little's work.
You'll never know how challenging it is to bring "art" in its truest sense to Charlotte. Your article is affirming for the collectors who buy art, for the artists who create art and for me, who dares to present and avail art.