Caucasian Umbrage

Letters published May 30, 2007

racial prejudice Case Western Reserve University Catholicism religious sacrilege
Racial issues a black-and-white matter? I must take exception to Michelle Hamilton's letter in the May 16 issue of Scene. She says: "As horrible as this country is to black people . . . " In what country do black people have it better than in the United States? In what country do they have better employment, education, health care, and other quality of life? The focus should be on how horrible blacks are to whites in this country.

Ms. Hamilton reveals having attended mostly white schools. I doubt very much these schools had a Beat Up a Black Kid Day. Kids in the predominantly black Cleveland schools have Beat Up a White Kid Day. In The Plain Dealer, Regina Brett reported how May Day is celebrated, with black students beating up on white students. Brett explains how the beatings have become such a tradition that teachers do not even give homework on May Day because so many white children fear to come to school. Cleveland has been a black-run school system for decades. No white-run system would tolerate this.

It is also horrible the way whites have been forced by blacks to flee their neighborhoods. Even the monied white liberals of Cleveland Heights are fleeing for whiter environs ["Paradise Lost," May 21].

Ms. Hamilton also speculates on the "laziness and scheming attitude of white culture." She attempts to depict all whites as belonging to unions that demand "exorbitant wages" and force American corporations to relocate overseas in search of people willing to work hard. But Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW and Hyundai all have factories in the United States.

Ms. Hamilton also refers to the "embezzlement and fraud" permeating white culture. No doubt there is corruption in white culture, but in what other culture is there less corruption? Can Ms. Hamilton name a white-run school system where there has been as much corruption as in the Cleveland schools? Can she name a city run by whites where there has been as much corruption as the City of Cleveland?

Seeing Ms. Hamilton using words like "the laziness and scheming attitude of white culture" brings to my mind the way Klansmen used to talk about blacks in the Old South. The South was a backward region for many decades because of these Klansmen. I believe Cleveland is a backward region today because the majority of blacks in this region have the same hateful attitude toward whites that the Klansmen had toward blacks.

Bob Gross
Garfield Heights

Harris a hero -- at least to students:
Coach Harris ["Saving Coach Harris," May 2] was somebody who stood up for what was right instead of what was popular. I have had a chance to play under him as an athlete and work for him with the sports camp in the summer. He has personally fought for students when the university was unjustly dealing with someone. I know because I am one of them.

He is your biggest fan and biggest critic. He was also a surrogate father to me when I first came to Case. He is a big reason why I have succeeded. I know for a fact that other students feel the same way. Coach Harris' firing just shows that Case Western Reserve is not an institution concerned with the interests of students.

Steve Anthony

An Artful Offense
A Catholic prays for pictorial respect:
Thank you very much for your article "Sex, Lies, a Priest, & Elaine Presser" [May 16]. It appears that your story was well-thought-out, professionally written, based upon facts, and thorough in its review of this unfortunate situation. However, I do take exception to your use of a picture of the rosary on the cover.

For some 800 years, the rosary has had a special place in the life of Catholics. Many look upon the rosary as a holy symbol of their special connection between the Mother of God, the Church, and Christ.

No author would depict the sacred Western Wall in Jerusalem or a Torah scroll in an article concerning a rabbi who got himself in trouble. Jewish people and people of faith would consider their use sacrilege.

When the Imam Fawaz Damra was convicted and subsequently deported, I never saw pictures of a symbol sacred to Muslims depicted in any of the news articles. Any such depiction would have been an offense.

In this same vein, may I kindly ask that you consider the sensibilities of Catholics? Out of respect for those Catholics in your reading area, might you not use the picture of the holy rosary in such a manner?

James Konchan

Statistical Nightmare
Student claims Pilla's a really bad number:
I just read your article ["The Edge of Reason," May 16]. It's a good one. I just graduated from Case and took a lot of courses from the statistics department in the last four years. I know the professors well. Pilla is the worst person I have met.

She always wants to take advantage of others. She had a honey time with many professors at the beginning, and they stopped talking with her after they knew more about her. She is arrogant and treats students as free slaves. This bad reputation makes graduates avoid her, even in the hallway.

Though her methods got grants, her work is still not accepted by peer-reviewed journals. She hasn't had any good publications in the last four years. Dr. Loader's comments about the department and Pilla are very biased.

Guan Xing
Princeton, New Jersey

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