Letters from the week of March 11, 2004

Charles Huber
Via e-mail

Can't we all just get along?: I am a freshman currently enrolled at Millennium High School. The article written accusing Millennium of being racist was completely out of line. To start things off, the Impact club should not be allowed to perform to a song that has the word "hell" in it. No other club is allowed to, and it's against school policy, so why should the rules be bent for one club? The dance line performed to the song "Born to Be Wild." How is that in any way even remotely similar to the rap and R&B songs the Impact club wanted to perform to?

I am a manager for the boys' basketball team. I can honestly say that Tim Butler is in no way racist. Have you seen our varsity basketball team? Two or three starters every game are black, and more than half the team is black! Whoever said that no black kids made the JV team was wrong. This whole argument was just some parent who was mad because his kid didn't make the team.

Millennium teaches about many diverse cultures and backgrounds. All of these problems and accusations were blown completely out of proportion. If you took a look inside the day of a student at Millennium, you wouldn't see racism, you would see students of different races getting along, and being friends. If you ask me, parents are the problem. They are the ones who build hate.

Amy Wong
Via e-mail

Neither "new," nor improved: I am a 2003 graduate of Millennium High School, and currently attend ASU as a computer science major. I have seen and experienced racism, both blatant and "new" (it isn't new; people are just noticing it more), as I am multi-ethnic (Indian, Peruvian, Native American). I was born and originally raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the melting pot is certainly more pronounced.

Arizona has a long way to go before it will reach that level of integration. I don't even feel bad about saying Arizona is fairly rife with racism, whether at stores, on the street, or at one of the largest universities in the world. But I can say that Millennium was a place where I generally didn't experience that.

I met some of the greatest people I have ever met in my life at Millennium, staff and students. People -- not white people, black people, brown people -- just people. I learned that at Millennium.

Racism has changed in our country. It isn't nearly as blatant as it used to be. It wouldn't allow our society to function. Rather, it has migrated to our thoughts, feelings and acts. We do little things that we don't notice, and when others do, we don't understand how they do, and get angry. Racism has become so institutionalized that some of us have grown complacent, and don't wish to fight anymore. Even if there is not a real problem, the fact that people feel that way proves that there is work to be done. Instead of ignoring it and calling it sensationalism, why can't there be a summit, where feelings can be expressed? Use it as an opportunity to grow. Apathy and perpetuating the myth of racism being extinct are as harmful as racism itself.

Robert Srinivasiah

Reverse racism: I had to laugh at this black man who is yelling "racism" because his own kid didn't make the basketball team "because he's black." I laughed out loud at that one!

Then this idiot claims the school doesn't have a "black student union," which would, of course, exclude all other races from joining! Talk about racist, this guy is a walking definition of it, just with a different skin coloration.

Then finally, he yells racism because the school doesn't devote every minute of the month of February to "black history." Why not spend time on "Hispanic history" and "Anglo history" and "Asian history"? Why is this guy so racist that he demands only one version of history be taught?

Sometimes I wonder if the old racist plantation owners died and came back as some of these super-racist black people who base everything on the color of skin they were born into.

Lawrence Pearse
Black Canyon City

Tempe Town Wake
Election follies: I'd like to thank New Times for running John Dougherty's recent exposé on Tempe mayoral candidate Hugh Hallman ("The Mouth That Should've Roared," February 26). Even though I lived in Tempe a few years ago, the extent of Hallman's inconsistencies was unknown. Jeez, for a while there, I thought I was reading about Scottsdale's city council follies!

Seriously, the people of Tempe ought to do themselves a favor and vote for Dennis Cahill. "At least we know what to expect" from a "popular and easygoing retired owner of a masonry company." Good thing, too. Maybe there needs to be some rebuilding of Hallman's governance abilities.

Scott Hume

A facilitative leader: John Dougherty, when you're done bashing downtown Phoenix, why don't you come spend some time with Tempeans to get our views on Valley leadership? Do you really think that DPP and PCA are the only sources of problems in how our metro region is being developed? Do you think the influence of the Phoenix 40 stops at the municipal borders? Do you really think one junior, "outsider" councilman is going to go up against that machine on his own in his first years of office?

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