Special guest: Lil Black Sambo? The package tour has nothing to do with the decline of hip-hop performances or records ["Big, Bad Package," August 8], but rather the establishment (i.e., music corporations). They have reduced hip-hop audiences to hedonistic social deviants with no appreciation for art, and they promote and support the raunchiest, most degrading artists. So when it's time to put together a concert, it's no wonder you have the all-stars of hip-hop's armpit as the lineup, featuring rap's hardest-working thoroughbred.
America has always liked to see two types of African Americans: those who shuck and jive, and those who have assimilated. Those who don't perpetuate stereotypes don't have nationwide tours like Screamfest, and this extreme in American music makes it impossible to compare hip-hop to rock without bias.
This plant's no lucky charm: I grew up in Fairport Harbor ["Badlands," August 1]. I am now 37 years old and was diagnosed with lymphoma at the age of 33.
I'm currently in chemotherapy. There is no known cause for what I have, and as a young female, I was not someone expected to be diagnosed with this disease. I often wonder if it is because of that toxic site. My grandfather worked at Diamond Shamrock.
You couldn't pay me to live on that site, and I would never recommend it to anyone. I can only hope that it's cleaned up enough so that no more families have to endure what those in your article have had to. It's so sad.
Painesville Township's last Resort: I just read your piece on the Painesville Township Diamond Alkali site. I want to say it is one of the best articles I've seen on this subject. The facts have been known for years by a lot of the local people. I would like to pass this on to our township trustees.
We did have an article printed in the News-Herald telling everybody how the cleanup was well on the way and all was good and moving right ahead. The resort was to be the best thing to come to the area in years, with the waste all cleaned up and taken care of.
Free Hazmat suit with condo fee! I thought "Badlands" was very interesting. Isn't there a way to somehow let potential buyers know about all of this? I mean, if I were going to buy a condo and knew about this, no way would I buy. I think you should have it in the local papers (Plain Dealer, News-Herald).
Welcome Mat Provided
Don't drag crap into Lakewood's houses: As a resident of Lakewood since 1979, I was very hurt and insulted by Joe Carter's letter to the editor [August 1].
First, he accused the Lakewood Public Library of racism, citing the closing of its computer center a few weeks ago. The center was temporarily closed so it can be moved to another part of the new library they just built. This was publicized throughout the community. Does Mr. Carter truly believe that a library would permanently close their computer center so poor and black people can't use computers?
Then he says the city took down basketball hoops in a park where "mostly blacks played." Stereotype much, Mr. Carter? The only city park that closed where people played basketball is at Woodward and Madison. That's because Lakewood built a new school on that spot. Having lived down the street from that park for seven years, it seemed to me that the racial makeup of the players was about equal. If you are a hoops man, why don't you go to the new YMCA on Detroit?
I and a majority of Lakewood residents have voted for every school levy presented to us since I've lived here. We also voted in favor of the new library and YMCA. That's right, the library, the YMCA, and three new school buildings, paid for on our fucking dimes. Do you pay real-estate taxes, Joe? Wealthy suburbs would be envious if they knew what we have in the city I call home.
Finally, Lakewood has always been welcoming to all new residents -- white, Middle Eastern, black, whatever. I have never, ever heard of someone burning a cross, spray-painting racial epithets, or beating up people based on race in this city. And if that did happen, you can bet your ass that the community as a whole would turn the culprits out.
Mr. Carter, what Lakewood doesn't need is some guy with a monumental chip on his shoulder, spewing racially divisive and ignorant nonsense in the newspaper. Don't bring your shit into my house, sir.
Should we build a wall? In response to "Shh! Rich people reading!" [Letters, August 1]: Cities need to make decisions for the betterment of their communities. Willoughby and Wickliffe are examples of those having problems with their outdoor facilities.
In Brooklyn, we had to employ someone to check our residency cards before we could use the basketball courts. There are too many complaints and racial problems. I don't think it's fair for residents not to be able to use their own facilities that their tax dollars paid for, while others bring all their friends and take over the place.
Our library has time limits on the computers. I think there is going to be a paper limit next, because some people abuse the privilege. There have also been problems with misbehaving youths. It's always a few who ruin it for everybody.