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Culture war, Stool pigeons & Wrestling memories

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No Justice, No Peace

Tara Servatius is showing some naïveté again, looking at the Band-Aid to try and compress the gushing neck wound of displaced poor people who have no other option but to steal to try and survive ("Drastic Measures," by Tara Servatius, Feb. 22).

In America, we don't look at the source of our problems, we just look at Band-Aids to hide the symptoms from the housewives so they don't have to see the ugly underbelly of the real world in their comfy suburban settings.

There is a war going on in America -- it's a culture war. If you don't follow this particular culture's mores you won't be employable in this country and you will probably wind up in jail at some point. This is the striking difference between a socialist state and pure capitalism, which is our current God.

Until we stop spending our money on bombing brown people and making the rich richer at the expense of the livelihood of the poor, we will have this issue, not just in Charlotte but the rest of America. You can put them all in jail, but hey -- does that solve the problem or make it a bigger problem later on? You can't have peace until you have justice.

The real problem starts in public school, where education is lame and discipline non-existent. And don't think for a moment this is not on purpose and by design. Public schools are designed to SUCK so that they create either menial laborers or criminals. Lock up the criminals and you have a fabulous uneducated wage-slave workforce that corporations can exploit for high profit margins. We have loosened up the discipline under the easy-to-swallow guise of caring for the children, but letting a kid do whatever the hell he wants with no consequences is about as smart as invading Iraq after the Mossad bombed your towers.

This is the ugly truth no one wants to confront.

So we play stupid games like this cop-shop talk, thinking that will solve the problem -- it might make the statistics look better, but there is still the same problem. Our citizens are not equally represented by this government at the federal level and our actions as a nation do not reflect the heart of the common man in America. As such, there will always be men looking for a shortcut to get the same benefits and monetary success other men were offered as their birthright because of who their fathers were.

The problem of higher murder rates is a symptom of a lucrative drug market and men with no ability to earn a living wage. Fix that problem, and you fixed THE problem. Anything else is bullshit.

Welcome to America, Tara!!

-- Anonymous, via e-mail

Stool Pigeon

"Fifty years later, racial nightmares still haunt the South. Can we ever get past them?" ("Still Divided," by John Sugg, Feb. 22)

When will things get better between the races? That depends on how much longer you continue to fan the flames of animosity and strife between the races.

This is another example of the propaganda and brainwash to keep the white man on his "stool of everlasting repentance." I, for one, have removed myself from this position of excuse making.

-- Robert D. Ross, Charlotte

Dino, Andre and . . . Jim Bakker?

In response to your "last rassler" article ("The Last Rassler," by Jared Neumark, Feb. 15): I was surprised that [George} South failed to mention the Cessna plane crash that occurred at Douglas Airport, where legendary wrestler Johnny Valentine's broke his back, and his fellow ringmates Bob Bruggers and Rick Flair were injured. My father and his brother represented both Flair and Valentine in the lawsuit against Cessna, where they subsequently recovered no monies for their injuries.

South also failed to mention the Aztec Lounge, once located in the old Downtowner Inn, adjacent to the now Cricket Arena, where many of the old wrestlers stomped. In later years, the likes of Paul Jones, Wahoo McDaniel, Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, Black Jack Mulligan, Sting, Lexx Lugar and Flair would congregate on Sunday night at the old Bennigan's location at Southpark, where Kinko's sits today. I was fortunate enough to witness a brawl there, where the professionals brought the event to an abrupt ending. Wrestlers Dino Bravo and Andre the Giant both visited my house growing up and were friends of my mother's around 1976. That summer, Jim Bakker of PTL infamy offered to buy our house on Fairview Road. He stepped into my bedroom and I sat up and said with exuberance, "Praise the Lord." I was 10 ... but that's another story.

One thing that South and I both agree on: Professional wrestling was at its zenith here in Charlotte. The likes of McMahon, Turner et al. owe everything to Jim Crockett and announcers like Toni Savani, not to mention the Minnesota carpetbaggers Fleihr and the Andersons (the father and son team passing themselves off as brothers), as well as the cavalcade of the "sports entertainers," transplants, one and all.

Memorializing this time long past may seem futile, but I remember it well, and fondly. Sometimes memories are all we have. Sometimes they're just enough.

-- Michael G. Plumides Jr., Charlotte

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