Outrage over Timothy Thomas' death at the hands of Officer Stephen Roach ("Long Live the Rebellion," issue of April 5-11) morphed into frustration with what we all know but don't talk about. Take two kids, one white, one black. Both struggle through the Dick-and-Jane-Go-to-a-Farm reading level. Unless he's 7 feet tall and shoots hoops like God, the black kid can plan the rest of his formative years around a lamp post.
The white kid, well, he can work the Good-Ol'-Boy Club, a society cultivated around board rooms and putting greens. That's how we got a governor who invests millions of taxpayer dollars in his buddy's missing coin collection and a president who makes his wealthy friends wealthier while sending America's best and bravest to a thoughtless trillion-dollar war.
Ten thousand blonde cheerleaders stuck in New Orleans would have launched a rescue operation not seen since Dunkirk. Hell, I'd have gone out and bought a boat.
I grew up respecting and still do generally have great respect for cops. They have a tough, thankless job.
I assumed Officer Roach acted as I might have under extremely difficult circumstances. I gasped when it was revealed that his forgotten sidearm got jacked in a courthouse bathroom. Now I ask if Thomas was victim of a club that allows such men to carry a weapon.
— David Hughes, Former Owner of Warehouse Nightclub Cincinnati
You Guys Are So Sorry
Gregory Flannery is either naive or delusional ("Long Live the Rebellion," issue of April 5-11). Not surprisingly, the cover story talks about the riots, which seem to be discussed in 95 percent of your issues. He insists that the riots were not that bad and that the city and the police were to blame (surprise).
This endless drivel gets monotonous. If there was wrongdoing by the police, it should have been decided in the courts, not violently in the streets. I know a girl that took a brick to the head through her closed car window. She now lives in Newport. Countless incidents like this took place but, due to the chaos and the police being afraid to do their jobs, many went unreported. Simply because people did not get arrested does not mean crimes didn't occur.
If the goal of the so-called black leaders was to improve conditions for black people, they failed miserably. The legacy of their actions has been more disinvestment in struggling neighborhoods, more losses of taxes that support community services due to people leaving the city and more violence. They should have been bringing black, white and Hispanic people together but were more often a polarizing force.
The riots were not some sophisticated political movement. This was an excuse for people to randomly attack "whitey." The subsequent condoning of the violence and the attitude that crime is good has led us to three murders in Over-the-Rhine in two days. To me, that has been the legacy of the riots. Unfortunately, while you constantly point out the 15 criminals who happened to be black killed by police — I count three that should have been investigated — you never mention the 200 or so black men that have been killed by other black men since the riots.
We all want a police department that treats everyone fairly, but we also want a city where people take responsibility for their actions. I hope that the city doesn't continue rolling in the direction set by the riots but becomes a place where all can live happily and safely.
I also hope that the police step up efforts against crime and black leaders begin marching against the violence we are seeing. Unfortunately, there are little money and notoriety in simply doing what is right.
It seems the police are abiding by the collaborative agreement, but the community is not. I look forward to Flannery's next apologist piece of writing.
— Tom Singer
Turn Ohio Around Now
Margo Pierce's story "Regulating the Female Body" (issue of April 5-11) demonstrates why it's so important to have alternative press in Cincinnati. Filled with useful information for any woman who is concerned about her reproductive health, the article was a wake-up call that rights can never be taken for granted.
The Republican-dominated General Assembly in Columbus is responsible for all of this anti-woman legislation, both pending and passed. Only if enough people vote and vote Democratic in November will we turn this state around. Women's lives depend on it!
— Kathy Helmbock, Oakley
Matt Will Be Missed
Wow, and what a blow to the Cincinnati art scene with the loss of Matt Distel at the Contemporary Arts Center ("Matt Distel's Exit Interview," issue of March 29-April 4). The only reason to go to the CAC is for the shows curated by him.
Beautiful Losers was one of the best shows to come here in years. I know Cincinnati can't hold back a great talent, and we will hear about his work for years to come. I wish Matt the best in his new opportunity in New York.
— Karen Deime, Oakley