Letters published April 11, 2002

Emerald Ire 

Letters published April 11, 2002

When Irish eyes get pissed:

Cute idea to run comparisons between the Chieftains and the Saw Doctors ["Micks and Match," March 7]. But isn't there someone at Scene with a little more knowledge of Irish culture than Michael Gallucci?

Corned beef is not Irish. Virtually no one in Ireland eats corned beef, and to that nation's credit, the pubs and restaurants haven't started serving it to satisfy American tourists who just know corned beef and cabbage is traditional Irish food. And what's corned beef and cabbage doing in the oven anyway? Mike, corned beef gets cooked in a large pot on the stove. Green beer? No Irish American with any pride in his or her heritage would ever drink the stuff. A whiskey, neat, chased with a pint of porter.

The Saw Doctors played the Guinness Fleadh as often as the Chieftains did. The title of the Saw Doctors' biggest hit is "I Useta Lover," not "I Useta Love Her." The Chieftains do not have anyone in the band named Peadar, and only one Sean. Peadar Mercier and Sean Potts left the Chieftains many years ago. "The Long Black Veil" a Chieftains song? Since when? This was a hit for country star Lefty Frizzell in the 1950s. The band did a version of it on its Music From Big Pink (1968). Johnny Cash included it on Live From Folsom Prison about that same time. The Chieftains worked with many more rockers than the few you mentioned, as well as American country, folk, Cajun, and jazz artists. What this has to do with the title of the Saw Doctors' first album I can't figure.

Steve Byrne
Cleveland

Crackheads and coroner's reports:

What was the purpose of "Fallen Angel" [March 14]? Wyatt Morrow spent his life working hard to help others. His spirit could be felt, and it drew people to him. He was easy to smile, no matter how tired he was. He was devoted to his family, his church, and the troubled kids of Cleveland. He was a good human being.

Is there some hidden lesson or moral that we are missing through repeated readings? The story tells of a devoted man and his triumphs in life. Anyone who knew Morrow would testify to these truths. Then, through accounts rendered by longtime criminals and a crack-house operator, a concerted effort is made to destroy this man's reputation. I ask again: What was the purpose of this story?

Cathy Mauk
Cleveland

White patsies have had enough:

I am writing in response to "White Power Outage" [March 7]. I was not surprised to find it every bit as simple as your usual fare. It is much easier to lead our mundane lives if we believe everything our government, media, and Oprah have to tell us. Who thought an Austrian house painter could turn the National Socialist German Workers' Party into a movement that would encompass millions as the Nazi Party? Go to the library, and you will see the pictures of the working class turned into a force to reckon with.

The white race is tired of being a patsy to the mud races. We are tired of being passed up for jobs we are qualified for because a colored face must have it to fulfill affirmative action quotas. I am tired of all media insisting we must be racially "tolerant." Yes, it is so much easier to say we are derelicts and idiots who will just go away. One need only look to the back of Scene to find columns for derelicts, freaks, and homosexuals.

Your newspaper can make light and soothe all those with blind eyes and bleeding hearts with your race-mixing messages. True, many of us are not creating chaos and beating down fags and muds. Many of us are just raising our kids and working hard. Rest uneasily, because we are out here in Ohio.

Renae Walter
Canton

The ol' point-the-finger trick:

I am happy to see more white-pride groups. Racism does not mean hate. Racism is merely an appreciation of one's own history and morals. Mexicans have Mexican Month. Blacks are allowed Black History Month. Both of these months include so much misinformation that home teaching is the only solution. If whites tried to have a White History Month, blacks would all be crying "Racism!" at the top of their voices.

And about the Jews? They are building "yeshiva" schools by the thousands that are off-limits to everyone except Jews. No whites, no blacks, no Mexicans. Now that's racism. Your article shows a white neo-Nazi. Now when was the last time we had a white riot in Ohio? I saw two black riots just last year in Cincinnati. Did you write the fact that the Black Panthers had sniper rifles and were on rooftops?

All of the skinheads and hammerskins I've ever had the pleasure to meet are the most well-bred, polite, courteous, and helpful young people I could ever hope to meet. I cannot say the same for the scum at Antioch College, who are rude, destructive, and often violent at their "peaceful demonstrations."

Racism is the cry of the weak and afraid. Racism is being proud of who and what you are. Racism is about standing up for your God-given rights and not feeling guilty about your opinions. The next time you hear the word "racist," look and see who is pointing the finger and notice that there are three more fingers pointing back at him.

Mark Martin
Covington, Ohio

Some of those watchdogs bite:

Congratulations to David Martin for a well-done piece of journalism ["White Power Outage"]. Devin Burghart and his Center for New Community (CNC) have been spreading similar nonsense in their publications for a few years now, and in this respect they follow the same modus operandi as quite a few other "watchdog" groups.

There is, however, one big point you missed: Why they do it. There is obvious incentive for the watchdogs to exaggerate how many Nazis lurk in the shadows, since without a looming enemy to crusade against, the anti-haters would be hard-pressed to justify their own existence. A cynical observer might even notice the symbiotic relationship between the two sides, or how the watchdog groups often seem to be serving as PR firms for individuals who in reality are marginal -- and usually to the point of obsolescence.

Groups like the CNC issue their "reports" to raise money. The lazy journalists of mainstream media swallow the exaggerated claims hook, line, and sinker, and publish regurgitated versions of whatever they've been fed by the Burgharts of the world. The media coverage is important for the watchdogs, since it lends legitimacy to their original claims, no matter how baseless they might be. The watchdog groups then use the news clippings in their press kits when they apply for foundation grants and solicit well-meaning donors for cash.

A few years ago, a dubious group called the Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity managed to soak the Ford Foundation for $600,000 using this strategy. While these groups flaunt that they are "nonprofit" organizations, their employees actually profit quite well from such schemes, since they draw salaries. They can further supplement their incomes with speaking engagements and "educational tours." As proof, one need only examine the finances of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the granddaddy of watchdogs, to see that it has well over $110 million in its coffers.

Otherwise, you did a brilliant job. You're way ahead of most reporters, who apparently believe that uncritically recycling the latest alarmist reports that land on their desk constitutes "investigative journalism."

Michael Moynihan
Vermont

Congrats to Jimm Poleman, winner of our Spot the Maiden Font contest:

Cleveland is fortunate to have two shitty socialist liberal rags littering the streets and padding the coats of the homeless. I'm forced to pick them up because, bless your hearts, it's still the best way to find upcoming shows. I rarely bother to read articles, because it's the same old schlock I can hear from any free thinker on Coventry Road. Today, however, I thought I'd jump on your case for something completely inane.

I found the font used on the cover of the March 7 issue to be in rather poor taste. It is dangerously close to the font made popular by the British band Iron Maiden. You were even clever enough to use red and white, the colors Iron Maiden used throughout most of the 1980s. This is about on par with every shitty baby-eating paramilitary group in Europe using Iron Maiden's "Trooper" single cover, with their own shitty flag replacing the Union Jack within the image. I realize Sanctuary (Maiden's parent group) may not own the font, and you may differ enough not to be a direct rip, but it's close enough. Slander by implied association is still slander. I hope every dude in Cuyahoga County with long, feathered hair and a back patch throws a beer bottle through your window.

Jimm Poleman
Kirtland Hills

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