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May 13, 2008

Erosia(Letters to the Editor) for 5-14

LEO welcomes letters that are brief (250 words max) and thoughtful. Ad hominem attacks will be ignored, and we need your name and a daytime phone number. Send snail mail to EROSIA, 640 S. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky. 40202. Fax to 895-9779 or e-mail to leo@leoweekly.com. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.Vote Your ConscienceThis letter is in response to Ricky L. Jones’ Message to the People column published in the April 30 LEO, titled “Obamamania wants your soul. Just ask Tavis Smiley.” I agree with Mr. Jones after watching Mr. Smiley conducting interviews and being interviewed that indeed Mr. Smiley is no shyster, bum, nor intellectual lightweight. It is not only Mr. Smiley’s right to raise thought-provoking questions that demand in depth answers of both candidates, regardless of color, but also his obligation as a television personality and commentator. I have listened to the Tom Joyner Morning Show on some occasions while driving to work, but not of late, and have therefore not heard the anger directed toward Mr. Smiley because he does not promote Sen. Obama simply because he is a black candidate. Some of the names directed at Mr. Smiley are uncalled for and death threats are inexcusable. What ever happened to the notion of utilizing critical thinking skills and not just following the herd mentality? Do we need to revisit the novel “The Oxbow Incident” to get the basic premise of the argument that every individual should have the right to ask probing questions of each candidate and follow the dictates of their intellect and conscience rather than what their peers are harkening is “the right thing to do?” Moreover, is it fair to be considered a traitor to his own race if one actually does decide that the person of another race is a better-qualified candidate? As Mr. Jones has pointed out, Mr. Smiley has not stated that Barack Obama is a poor candidate, or that he supports Hillary Clinton. As a female who has worked within the judicial system, an argument has been posed to me that I should support all female judicial candidates over male judicial candidates as a way of stacking the Jefferson County court system with as many female judges as possible, regardless if the female candidates are less qualified than the male candidates/incumbents. To that I say rubbish! That may be one feminist or politically correct approach that some embrace, but I, for one, like to think that I can still utilize some critical thinking skills and look at the exercise of jurisprudence and temperance of the incumbents in addition to the qualifications and backgrounds of the judicial candidates. I too will vote for Barack Obama in November if he wins the Democratic nomination. I just think that people of all color should have a choice and be able to express it and in that process be free to ask probing questions in order to reach a reasoned decision. Yvonna Brown, LouisvilleSojourn’s dedicationPlease excuse my tardiness for weighing into this mini controversy, but I am an older fellow with limited communication skills. As a construction contractor I was there from day one when these kids started to convert the abandoned Shelby Street school into the church it has become. My skepticism has since turned into a grudging admiration and respect for the dedication and zeal that these young folks apply toward their mission. I am not a member or even a religious man, but I feel fortunate to have been included in some of the clean up the neighborhood missions, and would work for free if asked.These young people are not working out of a glass tower in the East End of Louisville, and most all of them have dirty fingernails or calloused guitar fingertips. No one there cares if my wife’s name is Paula or Paul, and when the subject has come up my indifference to religion is more of a curiosity than a sinful condemnation.I hope the Sojourners keep doing what they do, and I will keep showing up to do what I can do to help them along.Jim Lindley, LouisvilleRead Between the LinesContrary to what one of your letter writers claims in the May 7 issue, Jim Welp’s referring to a redneck as a redneck in print is NOT the same as referring to an African-American by using “the N-word” or referring to a gay person by using “the F-word” for the very simple reason that the rednecks who can read do not read LEO.James Bevarly, Louisville
More Crossing DangersIn your April 16 cover story, you omitted one intersection that is very dangerous: Third and Broadway. Several years ago, while in the eastern crosswalk walking north across Broadway, I was knocked down (and out) by a truck turning left from Third. The driver had a green light, but according to the police report, I had the right of way. Result: an ambulance ride to the hospital and several injuries, including a broken jaw.I suspect that the driver had turned from the middle lane rather than the left-turn lane. An arrow painted on the street or an overhead sign indicating that the two middle lanes are for traffic continuing south on Third might have helped.St. Francis High School is located on this corner. The crosswalks should be striped, as other school crossings are, or another accident will surely occur.As to walking in my neighborhood, try to get from Broadway to Chestnut on Second Street. On the west side of Second, there are eight curb cuts in that one block. They can be avoided by walking on the east side (only two curb cuts) if one does not mind inhaling the exhaust from cars backed up waiting to get into the JCC parking lot.Thanks for bringing up this issue.Sara L. Bein, LouisvilleFired UpLike a lot of people, I think LEO is a fine publication, except for one thing: You just don’t have enough pictures of the roof fire at The Courier-Journal. I’ve counted only about 15 to 20 so far. What are you trying to do, cover this up?Consider, after all, that no one was injured, no equipment was damaged and the production of the newspaper was not affected in any way. Given these powerfully important consequences of this fire for our whole community, I would think LEO would go large on this story.George Morrison, New AlbanyEditor’s Note: George, George … The photo is now used for illustrative purposes to accompany the weekly “Gannett Watch,” which delves into some tidbit of news as it relates to The C-J’s parent company, Gannett Inc. We find the photo’s unintentional metaphorical qualities too rich to pass up.