Letters to the Editor

PW readers sound off.

Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 2 | Posted Jun. 29, 2010

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Soft Talk

Regarding Tara Murtha’s recent column about B101 refusing to air child abuse ads unless explicit words are removed:

It’s appalling that B101 refuses to air ads about child rape. The following quote reflects an attitude that’s all too prevalent: “’Mommy, what’s that mean?’ is a phrase that makes [parents] feel that we have let them down as a radio station.” Correction: If parents can’t handle this question, it means that they as parents have let their children down. Such enforced ignorance makes children far more vulnerable to rape.

If they are to be empowered to resist unwanted sexual attentions, children must get a clear message that they own themselves and are entitled to decide for themselves what is “good touch” or “bad touch”—not have such judgments imposed on them by adults under the name of “love” or “protection.”

Hopefully, if anyone suspects a child is being abused they will, if possible, go to the child first with child-centered, non-leading questions like “Is someone hurting you?” or “Is someone doing something that makes you feel bad?” In this way, abuse won’t be swept under the rug, nor will children be traumatized by memories confabulated—or redefined as “bad”—in response to adult suggestion.

ERIC HAMELL, Philadelphia

Color Codes

Regarding our Summer Guide of lists:

Today I had a chance to look at the Summer Guide and noticed the paper listed the top bars “not to be white in” and “not to be black in” and I have to say I am slightly offended. It wasn’t that the paper listed bars that you might want to avoid if your either black or white because this is a rapidly gentrifying segregated city with a history of racial tension and if you’re a recent transplant you can easily stumble into a bad situation. My problem is with listing bars whites should avoid because the blacks there are crass next to bars blacks should avoid because the whites are violent, virulent racists. If the paper is going to list bars to avoid because they are unsafe for anyone that is of the wrong race that’s one thing but these lists place blacks’ safety next to whites’ discomfort and that for me was problematic.

CLAUDE BARNES via email

In Extremis

Regarding Brian McManus’ recent tribute to late PW scribe Steven Wells:

I have many fond memories of the stories Wells wrote on the soccer supporters group, the Sons of Ben. While the Sons of Ben may have had a large part in the creation of the Philadelphia Union and its new stadium in Chester, Swells must be given credit for bringing the Sons of Ben to the masses. He was the first journalist to take an interest in the group, and each of his articles swelled the membership ranks. The owner of the Union, looking for a city to put a team, learned about the passion of Philadelphia through the words of Wells. The rest as they say is history.

On Sunday, the Philadelphia Union opened their new home in Chester, and the Sons of Ben knew that somewhere, Swells was smiling.

DAN GONTKOF via email

I just read your nicely written and very funny collection of snipets. Unfortunately, I just finished reading this on the train and laughed out loud several times; much to the annoyance (and probably concern) of my fellow riders. It’s great that you can memorialize some of his writing to highlight Steven’s special writing “style”. Thanks for the laughs on my way home tonight.

DAVID LEFF, Furlong, Pa.

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1. Debbie Rudman said... on Jun 30, 2010 at 07:24AM

“In Aaron Kase's article on the DollarBoyz, I was especially intrigued by the mention of plans to create video for air on Public Access with North Philly News Network and YNOT. As the new Programming Director for Philadelphia Community Access Media (PhillyCAM), I would love to find out more about this project. Philadelphia's new Public Access station PhillyCAM is on the air! PhillyCAM is cable casting on Comcast 66/966 and Verizon FIOS 29/30. Currently we are accepting non-commercial videos by area independent filmmakers and local organizations who become members. Our next member orientation is Wed. Aug.11 at 6pm at 232 Vine St. PhillyCAM is providing Philadelphia residents and organizations with the opportunity to communicate with each other through the creation and distribution of non-commercial media and provides residents and community organizations access to media-making tools, training and a venue for sharing views and information on just about anything.
Debbie Rudman”

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2. Anonymous said... on Jul 1, 2010 at 10:21PM

“RE: Claude Barnes' letter about "Color Codes": I don't get it. I'm not saying I disagree, because I don't understand his point. Is he saying he's angry that whites were portrayed as "violent, virulent racists" while blacks were merely portrayed as "crass"? Or is he taking the delusional position that whites really are more likely than blacks to be "violent, virulent racists"? If it's the latter, I'd suggest he face reality and read some violent crime stats. Blacks are more likely to be the perps in all violent crimes (incl. so-called hate crimes), and attempting to deny that won't lead to any solutions to racism. That said, I found the original item to be a stupid, race-baiting piece of trash.”

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