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The Plague Next Door 

Letters published 07-04-07

You can't quarantine this ugly disease: As an educated African American woman, it seems like the more educated I become, the more ignorant others get. Bob Gross [Letters, June 20] indicated that when whites are abused by blacks, the voices of racial activists are silent. He cited an incident involving a white woman who hit and killed a black child while driving. It wasn't the woman's fault, but it is possible that the blacks interpreted her dismissal as a white woman being protected by a white system. As a result, blacks retaliated. It does not excuse their behavior, but I understand.

What if the reverse happened? Do you really believe that the black person would have been protected by police? Do you actually believe that the scales of justice would have been in favor of the black person? History suggests otherwise. Whites are not afraid to live around blacks. Ignorant, racist, miseducated, and misguided whites are afraid to live around blacks.

Not all blacks are bad neighbors, just like not all whites are good neighbors. When you examine the history of race relations, you will see that blacks are often victimized by other blacks. Shit, if anyone should be running, it's me. But where would I run to? Would I run to an all-white neighborhood? No, because I'm just as afraid of waking up to a burning cross on my lawn and a brick through my window as I am of having a misguided black person come into my house because I have something they want.

The bottom line, Bob, is that ignorance comes in all colors. Until we take individual responsibility for our own behavior, we will continue to blame entire races for what one person does. I refuse to carry the burden of my entire race on my shoulder. Not every black person is my brother or sister, just like not every white person is my enemy.

So, when a white person moves out of the neighborhood because blacks move in, it does suggest an agenda. It suggests that some white folks are inflicted with an infectious disease that has permeated every race and nationality. Not every black is out to get you and your people. Injustice is injustice, regardless of race.

Monique Moore
Cleveland

Sick and tired of being sick and tired: While Bob Gross' letter is compelling, truthful, and understanding, it still seems you're not getting the whole spectrum of what it is you're saying.

There is no argument -- gangs are the evil pit of the city, which puts fear into everyone living here, no matter what race. But why is it that when so-called "gang activity" arises in areas such as Garfield Heights, Bay Village, or Sagamore Hills, it's news, and everyone wants to get involved? But if it's areas like Korman, Hough Heights, Prospect, or Kinsman (where I'm from), no one cares? If you think that I'm pointing fingers or looking for a scapegoat, I'm not.

Just like you, I'm a taxpayer who's sick and tired of being afraid of these kids in the street, whether or not they're going to rob me the moment I step out of my home. Just like you, I'm sick of these so-called leaders of the city promising something to the people, and it all falls on deaf ears. We are all tired. You are not the only one.

Tiana Wilkins
Cleveland

Suburban Rock
Make the housewives desperate: Regarding Scene's article on drug dealing in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood ["The Crackdown," June 13]: It would be interesting to see what would happen if the Cleveland police launched an effort to pursue suburban buyers. Every day, suburban crack addicts slip easily into this and other Cleveland neighborhoods.

In Tremont, before the old Valley View housing project was demolished, an addict could simply drive up Interstate 77, exit at West Seventh to buy drugs, and quickly return to the suburbs. What would happen if we cut off the demand? We never read of suburbanites who are busted for buying drugs during inner-city shopping trips. If these consumers were suddenly wary of the cops, wouldn't that reduce demand and thus curtail dealing?

Grant Billingsley
Sagamore Hills

Wave the Black Flag
Fugazi you, Rock Hall: Black Flag will never be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ["Rock the Vote," June 20]. They're more influential than any of the other clowns you brought up though, especially Metallica. Talk about overrated.
My nomination (who would also refuse to accept it): Fugazi.

Zaq Rizer
Akron

I see London, I see France: The Rock Hall is a joke. Instead of showing off Madonna's stained underwear or Patty Smith's used tampon collection, they ought to do things like:

1. Reunite the original King Crimson (whom they will not induct) to perform their first album in its entirety.

2. Do the same with the original Genesis.

3. Reunite the living Beatles -- Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr -- and get Eric Clapton and Jeff Lynne to fill in for John Lennon and George Harrison; and

4. Put Yoko Ono on trial for breaking up the Beatles.

And do all of it here -- not in New York.

Things like that would make the Rock Hall something people might give a damn about. Until then, let them have sparse crowds for Madonna's vagina toupee or Eddie Van Halen's empty vodka bottle collection.

Rick Ray
Perry

Maria Shriver's got better odds: I suppose this story means the Dead Kennedys have no chance, even though "Too Drunk to Fuck" might be the best rock and roll song title ever.

Chas Nebe
Eastlake

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