Letters to the Editor
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Talking About the Hush
To the editor: I read your article (“Hushed Up and Unhappy,” Aug. 3, 2005), and while I thought it was well written and made a valid point, one thing upset me. Some of the black leaders you represent in your article were involved in a protest of the magnet program at Morningside Elementary School. I was a student there at the time, and I remember many of those leaders trying to scare the students.
In particular, I remember the Rev. Wendell Cass screaming at students while wearing a goat mask. When you’re in third or fourth grade, that’s extremely scary. I think you should not gloss over the actions of some of the men you glorify, because they took out their frustrations with the school district on children who couldn’t understand the situation. These people shouted at us as we got on our buses. We had to have escorts around campus anytime we set foot outside of the school, and it was extremely stressful.
I’m not trying to ignore the rest of the article, or even deny that racism exists, because there is no doubt in my mind that people are treated differently because of race, gender, and sexual orientation. I was just concerned that you seem to overlook some of the things that some of the “heroes” in your article have done in the past. In no circumstance is it justified to terrorize children and use them as the object of frustration and anger, especially when they don’t understand what is going on. The only thing we understood was that there was a group of people standing outside of our school who hated us and wanted us gone.
To the editor: I’m a black native-born former resident of Fort Worth (the Lake Como area — remember the place?).
I just finished reading the entire article “Hushed Up and Unhappy” and felt that I had an up-to-the-minute exposé of the continuing disaffections of black and white communities in Fort Worth. I applaud writers Christine Stanley and Jeff Prince for the manner in which they presented the information. No one but those who were raised in that city would know, understand, and believe the subtleties of racism as they’re presented in the “hood.”
Military service took me away and kept me away until my mother’s passing in 1987. I wondered about the obvious changes that occurred in Lake Como when, finally, streets were being paved, sidewalks installed, certain “cosmetic” things were changing. But when I drove to the South Side, around Rosedale Street, Evans Avenue, Morningside Drive, and Cherry Street, I saw the reality: Nothing changes much.
As I read, I envisioned my earlier experiences in the Fort Worth Independent School District, how I thought I was prepared for the world with this “racist education.” What happened to I.M. Terrell, Dunbar, Como, Kirkpatrick, and the (then) segregated schools that did, I believe, pretty well?
The discontent within the city’s political system, the “Fort Worth way,” and the subtle forms of exclusion and indifference made me rethink whether I should return to my home. I’m looking for homes in the DFW area and was provided a copy of this article.
As evolution requires, what’s really stopping the city from growing within itself, one person at a time? I remember shopping at Leonard Brothers and how my mother, brother, and I were treated worse than second-class citizens. This article made me stop to take my hat off to those who stayed and are still trying to make a difference for our culture and where we live. What’s so hard to understand about that? Everyone seeks a level of quality in their lives. Why not us? Who is really stopping us?
Please convey my sincerest thanks to the authors of this powerful article. I’m going to pay rapt attention to everything happening in Fort Worth until I return. I will be prepared to deal, effectively, with those who prefer to deny me my right to be successful.
Herman W. Hill Jr.
Elk Grove, Calif.
To the editor: Thanks to Brian Abrams for reporting on local filmmaker John Keeyes (“A Nightmare Dream Come True,” July 27, 2005). As a fellow filmmaker, I admire and applaud Mr. Keeyes’ tenacity in an industry that feeds on its young. However, to say he is making a living at it is a stretch. Mr. Abrams mentions Keeyes’ income being “in the low to mid-$30,000” range — that teeters somewhere near the poverty line if I’m not mistaken. Being type-cast by the industry in the low-budget horror genre is not necessarily a good thing, and, although I wish the best success for him, I fear Mr. Keeyes is following in the footsteps of a former Fort Worth filmmaker Bret McCormick (“Attack of the Red Mutant,” Aug. 18, 2004). After years of struggling in schlock film production, he currently works at a FedEx counter in Tulsa, Okla.
To the editor: Your article “Hushed Up and Unhappy” was superlative journalism and presented in the real time of our politics, changing landscapes, and demographics.
The realities, as the story was written, go beyond compelling. Blacks have suffered as have other ethnic groups and have certainly endured discrimination. The key to all of it is avarice; money is the access to political proselytizing to gain favor in the circles of development for a prime company.
As your article points out, RadioShack devoured and displaced residents at the Ripley Arnold housing project and received a lucrative tax abatement for their new corporate office because of their lobbying efforts. Perhaps developers hesitate to renovate or build in black neighborhoods out of fear that the residents would want a prohibitive price for their property. If only developers would attempt to communicate and form a continuity with the neighborhood residents, they might be surprised and be rewarded with participation in their ideas to clean up the “ghetto-type” areas. It would benefit everyone and put the word “proud” in their vocabulary in reference to their neighborhoods!
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