Responsible Community

There needs to be a part two to the story “That Could Never Happen to Me,” (July 19) because there is more than one crime with these incidents.

It’s horribly unfortunate (but not so incredible) that another incident happened in Colorado the night this story was published. The crime (in addition to the incident itself) is how we, as a society, have not done enough to prevent these kinds of incidents from happening. I am not referring to gun control, nor metal detectors, but rather to community responsibility for mental health, and how violence in our entertainment might go too far.

Another crime, and perhaps the most important one, is that society is unaware of all that can be done to help victims of violence and other traumatic events recover and live a more “normal” life. It really concerned me that, at the end of the article, no mention was made of resources that are available to help. Yearly commemorations are only a beginning toward helping victims recover. There is so much more available.

I would welcome the opportunity to write more on this topic.

Kathleen Rapp, LCSW
via email

Joni Mitchell Flashback

Regarding Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama area and the decision to make changes (“Bypass Interception: SOHO to challenge Balboa Park Makeover in Court,” July 19). It reminds me of Joni Mitchell’s song from the ’60s. They took paradise and put up a paid parking lot.

Cesar Lopez
Chula Vista

Smith Picks

Re: “Secrets Corrode,” June 28 theater review.

I buy a ticket for a San Diego play if — and only if — Jeff Smith give the play a “Critic’s pick” — so, it’s important!

Name Withheld
via snail mail

We’re There For You

Things about the Reader that I like:

— All of your advertising.

— Calendar of events, such as music concerts and special events. Some of these are not covered by other newspapers.

— The pages on clinical research centers and things on health. Due to my own health, it is of help to me. Thank you.

You just have all-around good information about my city of San Diego. But my thing is the restaurants. Since I’ve been reading the Reader, I’ve found restaurants I’ve never heard of before and that I enjoy now — and I’ve been living in San Diego some 55+ years now. So, I can say keep up the good work.

Greg Harris
North Park

OMG! People Are Nice

To Cockatoo (Blog Diego, July 12):

Do you think you are the only one who is socially phobic? You’re not even a very radical loner. You talk to your parents...every week?!

I didn’t talk to my mother for at least the last 20 years of her life. There are plenty of us. We almost always love all animals except human animals. We also tend to be overburdened with empathy, including for people. Aren’t you a closet bleeding heart? I’ll bet you are. That’s one reason we avoid people, to avoid vicarious pain.

There is one more commonality, the overriding one: Our parent(s) didn’t like us. We were not necessarily abused or neglected. We were just never accepted into the society of regular people. We were the “others.”

You’re probably saying, “No way! I was favored by my parents.” It couldn’t be true. If it were true you would enjoy the company of other people.

It took me 60 years to realize that my parent didn’t like me. She had me fooled. I thought I was her favorite. If my father had liked me I would have been saved, but he was absent.

Here’s a bit of encouragement: At age 81, I suddenly, inexplicably began seeing people in a very different light. They are likeable, really — almost as likeable as cats. Simultaneously, people started to act as if they liked me. I was mystified as to why. Small children, instead of looking at me with alarm and hiding behind their mothers, started smiling at me and waving. I finally decided that my new attitude was vibing out to others.

Maybe it will happen to you, maybe before age 81. Best wishes.

A semi-recovered sociophobe
Pacific Beach

A Good Move To The ’Hood

Dear Ms. Salaam:

I recently read your article titled “Afro Puffs” in the Reader dated July 12, 2012. As a new resident to San Diego, I understand your concerns about your children maintaining and appreciating their culture.

I am fortunate to have raised my daughter (she is 29 years old) in a predominately black environment. She attended an Afrocentric charter school in Detroit, Michigan, and a high school where the vast majority of the student body was African-American. I am much older than yourself and grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. I tried to take my daughter to positive events where she could learn about our culture and that we were more than slaves in America.

She has matured into an intelligent and lovely young lady. She is not a black militant. She has had white friends, and has dated white men. But she prefers being around black people, and dating black men.

African-American youth are learning to hate their own race or themselves, and it is being taught by the media, black male celebrities (because they are always seen and seem to prefer white women or other races), and older black people.

I encourage you to continue to take your children to as many black events as possible in San Diego, or other locations nearby. Take your children to visit relatives where there is a large African-American population. You will not regret helping your children to understand and appreciate their history, as well as that of others.

It is scary when I read that black youth are making fun of black contestants on reality shows and making statements like “But no one likes the black girls.” What does that say about black males’ appreciation for black females? All other races respect and appreciate their own women, even if they chose to date or marry outside of their culture or race. You must love yourself before you can — or should — love others.

I can relate to your husband’s sister’s statement, “I need to get back to where the men appreciate how fine I am.” I moved from the whiter area of San Diego to the “hood,” where I can see my people all the time. Believe me, it is not easy to accept many of the bad habits we have adopted, but there is no racial group that does not have its troublemakers. Do not fall prey to the illusion that you are safe in a predominately white area. Most of all, I hope your children will emerge with a good concept of self, and appreciate black culture — and thereby themselves.

God bless you, and keep you safe and grounded.

Janice Butler

via snail mail

The Family’s Lawyer

The “Afro Puffs” issue (July 12)? Really? That is so messed up. Are you kidding me? I’ve seen some of your pointless cover stories, but you guys are total dicks! I am a beautiful African-American girl who happens to have a sweet Caucasian boyfriend.

You’ll be hearing from the family lawyer. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. This war has started.

Name Withheld
via email

Truth Behind It

RE: “Afro Puffs,” July 12

Ain’t that just like us white folks. Pick out the most inflammatory sentence. Place it out of context, in big letters, on the cover. And no worries about being called racist ’cause, hey — all we have to do is point out that it was written by a black woman. Never mind that those words where spoken by a young black teen worried about his younger sister, that it is a true perspective, something he feels.

Ms. Salaam’s article was an important view into what our young people are experiencing. I’m sure she wasn’t consulted on the cover. I agree it was a horrible sentiment to display in that way, but the article was enlightening. Thank you Ms. Salaam.

Diana Panara
via email

Mocha Moms

We are trying to start a Mocha Moms chapter in San Diego. Please forward my e-mail to the author of the “Afro Puffs” article (July 12). Please contact us through Scripps Parent Connect — subgroup is Families of African-American Children play group. We hope we can form a large and long-lasting play group network.

Ray Dickens
via email

Love Cuff

I’m calling because I love Off the Cuff and it’s not in there all the time, so I’m wondering if you can put that on the computer when you don’t have the room to put it in the Reader. That way we can pull it up on the computer. I would appreciate it because I’m really, really crazy about Off the Cuff. I look forward to getting the magazine to read it. Of course, there’s some other things I like in there too, but that’s my favorite, and I do hope you keep it going.

Victoria Gilbert

You can find Off the Cuff online at sdreader.com/cuff. — Editor

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