A Painful Lesson

Letters published February 8, 2001

Drug sentencing issue hits home: I would like to congratulate David Martin on a well-written piece -- painful, but well-written ["The Average Inmate," December 14]. I have always believed that the drug sentencing laws were unbalanced, but never did I imagine the issue hitting so close to home as it did for our family.

My mother would tell us over and over again, "Following the rules gives you control. When you break the rules, you give up control to those who may not always have your best interests at heart." Sure, it took something like this, but I feel that Jabar understands this now, and we still support and love him.

Tiffani Butler-Young (Jabar Butler's sister)

Blue collars need their own Committee W: After reading Carrie Spencer's excellent piece ["Class Ceiling," January 25] on the struggle for equal pay for women faculty members at Kent State, I think this needs to be said: All of us as taxpayers are subsidizing outrageous discrimination of this kind at public institutions. I applaud Committee W, the brave contingent of women who fought KSU in the courts. But other facets of the arrogance of Kent State administrators are often overlooked.

Taxpayers and those in academia might consider KSU's economic assault on the more invisible employees at Kent State. Outsourced non-union personnel are like African American voters in Florida -- they simply don't count. The evidence lies in how the "cultural self-study" [mentioned in the article] was conducted. KSU bureaucrats oversaw an "independent" research firm and determined who was and who was not to be included. All strata of the KSU workforce were polled and interviewed except privatized, minimum-wage employees. A solid third of them or more are African American, many of whom work for thousands of dollars below what is nominally considered a living wage, many with no raises.

The whitewash didn't stop there. President Cartwright failed to report that the major finding is a very pointed, explicit criticism detailing how university employees on all levels -- at least the ones they spoke to -- felt disrespected by the administration.

If Committee W wants allies in their battle against sleazeball corporate behavior, all they have to do is ask; this is a public issue. And if they were to actively ally themselves with their marginalized co-workers who are one paycheck from the street, perhaps some of that out-of-control Kent State arrogance can finally be put in check.

Lorie Fuller

Punching punks as wedding fun: In response to Tom Coste's letter that appeared in the January 18 issue: While I understand your frustrations "with little punks with no respect for fellow human beings," I am confused about why a grown man would make an ass out of himself in front of his new wife and entire wedding party. Have you ever thought you should have just talked to those kids, instead of threatening their lives just because they, God forbid, walked in front of your wedding party?

I am tired of people who think violence is the solution to all the problems inherent in society. As an adult, it's your responsibility to set an example for your kids. You failed miserably. I'm ashamed of you. I pray you don't procreate. ICP rules.

Dan Shramo

More fan mail for the resident band-basher: I am absolutely appalled that such bashing reviews are given to local bands. It's one thing to criticize someone else's artistic expression, and it's another to totally demoralize them. Whatever happened to supporting local musicians? I, at least, feel something positive could be said [in a review]. It's just too bad that Mr. Jeff Niesel doesn't see it that way. No wonder you're just a writer for Scene magazine, Jeff, and not anything more.

If this doesn't get printed, I wouldn't be surprised, because when the shoe's on the other foot, we'd all understand if you didn't want everyone else who reads Scene to know what we really think of your reviewing capabilities.

Neil Bauman

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