Letters From the Issue of Thursday, May 3, 2007


From the Kia dealer/activist himself: Regarding The Bird's column ("Bigot Bash," Stephen Lemons, April 19; also see "Ready Racist," The Bird, April 26), United for a Sovereign America believes in the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, including free speech, as colorful as some attendees' speech may be from time to time.

Calling Janet Napolitano "Crappy Nappy" (as you did) is a prerogative afforded by the First Amendment and, besides, everyone knows who they're talking about.

We believe in the rule of law, an immigration policy that is orderly, legal, and brings those who wish to become Americans and who have something to contribute to this country, rather than preferences given by means of this free-for-all for the uneducated, illiterate, unskilled, non-English-speaking foreign nationals streaming across our southern border without a care in the world about breaking our laws.

Your determination that those exercising free speech are racist and/or xenophobic is apparently based on the fact that you don't agree politically, prefer socialism, communism, anarchy and/or illegality to the rule of law.

The rule of law is not racist, it's practical.
Rusty Childress, Phoenix

Third-grade reasoning: About your distasteful left-wing propaganda on Rusty Childress Kia, what does selling legitimate Korean cars have to do with illegal immigration? Is it illegal to sell Korean cars? Your reporter comes in with negative left-wing slander on issues that you don't have correct facts on.

As if your rag isn't nasty enough, now you just add your racist remarks on true patriots of America who believe in the law. Half of what was said in your article with name-calling is completely untrue.

I hope your readers are not as naive to believe this anti-American sickness that you express. I have seen third-graders write better stories then this one.
Name withheld by request

Pot calling the kettle, um . . .: You go, Steve. Show your bigot colors! You talk about "bigots" on the one hand, but you begin your gossip column by using a slur against a minority person, who I'm sure will forever be identified by you as only that one thing, as if she were nothing else: lesbian.

"Butch-lesbo" is a slur. It's the same as a racial slur, but it's sexist and homophobic. And as a straight man, you are not allowed to decide whether or not I qualify as "butch," a term which I do not appreciate or agree with. And it's not your place to identify me as a "lesbo," which is a pejorative term, just as much as the terms radio personality Don Imus recently used. I've reported you and New Times to GLAAD for your bigotry.

[See also New Times' cover story on Lawless and her Mexican flag-burning ways: "Burn Baby Burn," Stephen Lemons, February 15.]
Laine Lawless, Mesa

Got some ísplaining to do: Would Stephen Lemons kindly explain exactly why he considers Don Imus' calling a predominantly black women's college basketball team "nappy-headed hos" to be "far less offensive" than Republican pundit Ann Coulter's referring to politician John Edwards as a "faggot" ("Apology Addicts, The Bird, April 19)?

Any Democratic presidential hopeful is obviously a legitimate target for any of the right-wing attack dogs, and Coulter's hate speech is well-documented. On the other hand, the Rutgers ladies worked their butts off and succeeded beyond everyone's wildest dreams, but instead of receiving the acclaim they so richly deserved, they had to suffer Imus' remarks, which were both racist and sexist.

Imus' comments were offensive to women, in general, and young black women, in particular. Coulter's jibe was so pathetic it was almost laughable.
John Rycraft, Phoenix


The wife/playwright sounds off: As the playwright and co-lyricist of Diet! The Musical, I do agree with one [sentiment] in Robrt L. Pela's review ("Crashed Diet!," April 26). I feel absolutely no need to apologize for presenting humorous stereotypes to address the social prejudices and emotional challenges faced by overweight people in our cruel and superficial body-conscious culture.

It's too bad Mr. Pela evidently lacks the intellectual capacity and the basic human compassion to recognize that I place my characters in shocking situations to expose the harsh realities faced by folks who don't fit the mainstream media's myopic idea of "beautiful," "desirable," or "socially acceptable."

Mr. Pela had no way of knowing that I write from my own experience as an obese woman who has battled lifelong eating disorders and, at times, faced romantic and professional rejection because I wasn't a perfect size 2. If my words push buttons, they should. The show's protagonist, Lynne, struggles to acknowledge her inner beauty when her reflection can't compare with Angelina Jolie's. Roommate Pat, who is truly obese, faces job discrimination because of her size. And, yes, Pat finally meets a man who truly adores her Rubenesque figure. (So did I.)

I found it really sad that Mr. Pela couldn't find the beauty of my gay character, Fabulous Freddie, Pat's benevolent fairy godmother who is unabashedly effeminate and truly proud of his sexual orientation. (Does Pela also have problems with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?) One wonders if Pela has worked through his own sexual-orientation issues, considering the size of the chip on his shoulder.
Susan Simpson LaFave, Phoenix

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Dan Luker
Dan Luker

I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food. But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue. Then came the poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table...everywhere. Then some of the birds turned mean: They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket. And others birds were boisterous and loud: They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food. After a while, I couldn\'t even sit on my own back porch anymore. I took down the bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio. Soon, the back yard was like it used to be...quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal. Now lets see...our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, free education and allows anyone born here to be a automatic citizen. Then the illegals came by the tens of thousands. Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free services; small apartments are housing 5 families: you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor: your child\'s 2nd grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn\'t speak English: Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box; I have to press \"one\" to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than \"Old Glory\" are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties. Maybe it\'s time for the government to take down the bird feeder.

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