Confusion Junction

I’m calling in reference to “That Could Never Happen to Me” (July 19 cover story). I was kind of disappointed. I love your stories; you do good work. But with this one here, you blew it. You combined two stories under the same heading. You combined the shooting, and the attempted rape, which is kind of hard to follow, until I figured it out. I’m reading along and then I realized I was reading a totally different story.

Patch it up next time. Other than that, you do good work, and I appreciate it.

Yahweh Badea
via voicemail

Grisly ESP

I started to read “That Could Never Happen to Me” (July 19 cover story), and the collateral massacre [in Aurora, Colorado] started to happen. It gave me goose pimples and cold chills. That picture on the front could have been James Holmes. It’s like you guys knew that something was about to happen. I still get shaky thinking about it.

Caser Lopez
Chula Vista


This is concerning your article on July 19, the cover story, “That Could Never Happen To Me,” that’s concerning the plight of the security officer that was shot a decade ago at Santana High School.

I can understand his anger, and his frustration, and his feelings of alienation and being left out and not recognized for the service. He was shot by the gunman three times, I think. For the kids to get out of the way and try to summon the gunman towards him, he’s considered a hero to me.

I don’t think he got his just due because of the stigma of security people. I work security for the San Diego Unified School District. I’ve been a security officer for 28 years, judicially educated, with an upper security-management degree. The profession is getting better. However, I think his recognition didn’t come because people think, “Oh, he was a security guard.” The public’s opinion of security guards is not too great. It’s not a good thing. It’s unfortunate. However, the police and firemen were commended for bringing some donuts.

Yes, we should commend our firefighters and our police officers, but we should also commend our security officers who are doing a good job, and who are saving lives and protecting people’s property. They should be recognized. That’s not good that we get a bad rap being security officers.

My hat’s off to the man. I commend you. Here in the security community, we commend you. Keep up the good work. It’ll get greater later.

I just wanted to respond to that story because it’s sad. But he’s alive, and he’s still performing a service for the community, and specifically for the district that he’s working for. He should keep his head up and keep on moving on. We’re going to keep advocating for security in Sacramento to make it better for security officers, so it doesn’t have to be a profession that is looked down upon, or that has a black stain, if you will. There’s a lot of great security officers out there that are doing a great job and, unfortunately, get no recognition because of the low pay and the stigma that has been bestowed upon security officers.

Hurray to all security officers and especially to that man there. We’ll just keep doing a good job for the public and, hopefully, we can turn it around.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Afro Quote

Your choice of quotes on the front cover of the July 12 issue, “Afro Puffs,” is negative, untrue, insulting, and harmful for all humans — especially for children. The quote, “My three-year-old daughter has a beautiful afro” would have been a better quote.

Your cover this week, July 19, is negative and fear-promoting. There’s a difference between truthful reporting and the celebration of violence.

You have done good stories in the past, Reader. Please support a healthy community.

Helen Bourne

Bad Head

The article on page three of the Reader, “Consultants Suddenly Appeared,” by Dorian Hargrove, is a great article. Great editorial. However, when I go to the Reader online, its title is “Consultants Ate Your Baby.” That is not an appropriate headline. I don’t know if that’s intentional, or if it’s an error, or what happened. Who did this? You’re not going to get many people reading that — and people should be reading this.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Trash Bash

That article on the front page of this week’s Reader (July 12, “Afro Puffs”) is terrible and, as I read it over and over, I find that it makes no connection to the horrible cover. Trash, trash, trash! Everyone on Facebook is trashing the San Diego Reader. Who approved such negative opinions to be published — especially on the front page?

Ugh! Disgusted ex-reader.

Name Withheld
via email

We Don’t Need Problems

I am a mixed in nationality, but I am truly offended by your article in the Reader (“Afro Puffs,” July 12). It’s a form of discrimination. We have enough problems in the world already without our own people of color adding to the problem. I wonder how messed up your children will be, since you are going public with this the way you have. We have already been through so much in life. Oh, maybe you didn’t, but your forefathers did? Hmmm.

via email

If It Quacks Like An Editor...

RE: "Afro Puffs," July 12.

Dear Editor/Journalist/Publisher:

You should be ashamed of your publication and the quack editor you employ. Your pathetic attempt to cause a stir worked. But, thank goodness, due to your ignorance, you will lose readers. That’s how stupid you are.

Francyne Martin
via email

The Truth Hurts

I’m responding to the cover article on July 12, “Afro Puffs.” I think that it was a legitimate article. You’ve gotta look at it with an open mind. Me, being an African-American male, I don’t think it was offensive to the Africa-American woman.

I know that a lot of African-American women, and African-Americans in general, are upset by this article, but I think it has some legitimacy to it. It was progressively written, and has some good pointers. Sometimes, the truth does hurt.

I didn’t get out of it that nobody likes black women. I don’t think that’s the case. I read it with critical thinking, and I think it was decent; it just needs some clarification. A lot of different races, Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, even African-Americans, love black women. You see it every day in San Diego, where we’re only six percent of the population in San Diego County.

She made some strong points and I think it explains a lot about what is going on with African-American women. I think it was a positive message.

The African-American woman is beautiful, and very smart, and very successful.

Pierre Westbrooks
Spring Valley


I’m outraged over the front cover of your July 12 issue (“Afro Puffs”). It’s very offensive, biased, and racist. I don’t appreciate it, as an African-American woman. I think it needs to be recalled, and I think we deserve an apology.

Rashida Collier

The Fat Truth

Your cover story, “Afro Puffs” (July 12), says white girls like black guys. It should say, “Fat white girls like black guys, but if the black guy has a lot of money then he can get a thin white girl, cause she just wants his money.”

Don M.
via email

We Are Wanted

I have a complaint about your front-page article concerning African-American people, the “Afro Puffs” article (July 12). I really find that very derogatory to black females. It’s very derogatory. I couldn’t get past the front page to even look into the article. It’s very racist, to say the least. You guys would never make a statement like that about gay people!

You’re going to find out that that’s not ok. This is not a threat or anything like that, but I am going to have to get some people involved in the situation, because it’s not okay for you to put a statement out there like that, that no one wants black women. You don’t know how people will receive that.

I’m very well within my skin, but I think that’s a very negative image to put out there for young girls who are just trying to figure out who they are in life, and their culture. That’s very negative. I don’t see you putting anything up there about white people like that. Don’t do that. Don’t single people out like that. That is very racist.

I’m going to have to contact Al Sharpton and some other people. I’m sure that Michelle Obama feels that someone wants her children. She’s black too, if you hadn’t noticed.

via voicemail

Kids Can’t See This

I have a concern about your issue with the little girl on the cover, “Afro Puffs” (July 12). I read the article, and I still don’t understand what the cover has to do with the article. I have two daughters. We’re all mixed, African-American, and that’s what people see when they look at us. It offended me.

I’m throwing it away everywhere I see it, because I don’t want my daughters to see it. I don’t want their friends to see it and feel bad about themselves. I don’t know why you guys would put that out there like that. I wanna know who I can talk to. It’s very disrespectful, and it’s very untrue.

Jessica Neal

Vanishing Black Couples

I’d like to make a comment on the “Afro Puffs” article (July 12). To a degree, I totally agree with the Reader. I’m reading all of the complaints from the other readers, and I somewhat agree with what the article contains.

I’m from Los Angeles, but I have lived in San Diego for about seven years now. I am a black woman. I have a black husband. And we can literally count on our fingers how many black men that we see with other races. It seems there aren’t any black couples living in San Diego. All the men love white women and Asian women. You just don’t see any black couples anymore.

We were in a grocery store in Clairemont, and we had a black woman come up to us and say to us that we were cute. I asked her, “Why are we cute?” And she said it’s because you don’t see black couples together anymore.

I’ve just noticed that is a factor in San Diego. Seems most of the black men are with Hispanics or Asians.

I’ve had this discussion with black men and they say that black women are crazy. But their Asian counterparts and white counterparts are just as crazy as we seem to be.

I disagree with the other people who aren’t agreeing with the article. They obviously don’t have their eyes open. But, I also think that maybe the title of the article could have been changed to not offend anyone.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Don’t Understand

I saw the cover today, July 12, about the article called “Afro Puffs” with the statement that no one likes black girls. I just don’t understand the irresponsibility of the Reader. Basically, what happened is that my younger sister read it — a young, half-black girl — and said, “What do you mean no one likes me?”

Maybe even if you had just acknowledged who said it; that it was a quote. I know that’s not really how you guys work. I know you guys do these things to shock people, but I just feel like it’s irresponsible, because you don’t know who’s reading it and who could be affected by it.

Think of all the young girls out there that are like, “Great. No one likes me.” I just feel like it’s irresponsible. I hope there will be some kind of statement in your next magazine expressing something to the people who have taken offense to it. It’s really offensive, actually. I haven’t seen any other Reader cover that talks about race like this.

Amber Dilan
via voicemail

Very Offensive

To Elizabeth Salaam or whomever wrote this weeks article (“Afro Puffs,” July 12):

Very offensive quote on the cover of this week’s cover story. Elizabeth, you make me ashamed to be a black woman from San Diego. If only you really loved yourself.

Clearly, you want to earn your title, and want your recognition and acceptance in the Eurocentric society that we live in. The sad thing is, at your best you will only be used as a pawn to further perpetuate stereotypes of the indigenous people of the world. Sadly, you will succeed at it.

Go learn about your melanin. Do you even know about what makes you black? Do you know that the first human being looked like you?

Let me guess, you pray to a white man named Jesus too? LOL.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

We’re The Queens

I’m calling regarding today’s Reader that came out on July 12. I’m an African-American woman and I’m very proud of who I am. I find that statement very degrading, that “no one likes black girls.” Black women are the chosen women. They are queens and everybody else falls under them. So, maybe next time you do a story you may want to put that on there.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Get What You Pay For

This is only a comment, and I’m sure you guys have received many. The July 12 front cover is inappropriate. I have no desire to read the story. I could care less what the story says. I just know whoever put that on the front cover, that was so inappropriate.

I will never pick up another Reader. I don’t care if it is free. You guys can keep your Reader. I have no desire to pick it up anymore.

I’m very angry with what I read on the front cover. I could care less what the article says. I just think it was so inappropriate. I would just hope that in the future, you guys would do better. Maybe that’s why your magazine is free. Bye.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

One Big Bash

I am highly offended by your cover page (“Afro Puffs,” July 12). I don’t know what you were thinking when you decided to print the cover page with those words on it but I don’t find it funny. Being an African-American woman or black girl myself, I think that you printing this cover page is racial gender-bashing, and it is wrong and crude, and to me it’s very harsh and unsettling. I would like to know what your thoughts and your reasons are for printing such a horrible statement. I think that you are irresponsible. I am going to see that this is taken care of properly. I am quite put off and don’t like it one bit.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Check Yourselves

I would like to say that the cover of this week’s Reader (July 12) is offensive, and I took it as racist. I understand you guys do a lot of sarcasm on your covers. This one was not needed, not during the times that we’re going through. We just had a young black man killed by a white man. We already know there is a lot of white-on-black crime.

I am a black person, and, trust me, a lot of men love me. I don’t have to put myself out there. I don’t have to sell my ass. I don’t have any attitude, but when I saw this issue, I was very offended. Yes, we know a lot of woman like black men, but do we know why those women like black men? It’s because black men have big dicks. I’m just going to be honest. They have bigger dicks than any other race in the world.

I just want to let you guys know that this was offensive. It doesn’t really go along with what the writer was talking about. I understand where she was coming from when she wrote her story. But for that to be on the front cover — I’m almost certain a white person wrote it.

You guys should really check yourselves before someone gets hurt behind something so stupid. And you guys just wanted to be sarcastic and were trying to be funny? Well, it wasn’t funny and you’re offending a lot of people. I’m spreading the word out there. I hope you get a lot more pissed-off letters to the editor.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

No Context

I’m calling about the Reader that is out right now that has “Afro Puffs” on the front (July 12). I’m an African-American female, 53 years old, and I have three daughters between the ages of 20 and 29, all African-American. The statement on the front and the article that it’s referencing has no relation to what’s on the cover. If you want honest opinions on this particular issue, then you need to have us — African-American females, who have African-American daughters — respond and write about the issue.

Now, the issue is legitimate. The statement is true, but what she said in the article has no bearing on it whatsoever. So, I don’t know where you guys were going with this. It’s not explained anywhere in the Reader. It’s exacerbated. It has no context. It’s just unbelievable that someone would put that on the cover of the magazine and not be able to elaborate on it extensively. It’s very personal and offensive because it’s not explained,

This article has flared up a lot of tension in our community, and we are not happy about it. At all.

Maria Reese


I feel that the heading on the July 12 Reader, which is “The white girls like the black guys, and the Mexican girls like the black guys, and the Filipino girls like the black guys. And the black guys like them, too. But no one likes the black girls.” is RACIST! Point blank period.

Keyona Hampton
via email

Enjoyed Jeff

I thoroughly enjoyed Jeff Smith’s eight-part series, “The Big Noise: The Free Speech Fight of 1912.” This appalling segment of San Diego history is not often talked about nor written about in our finest city these days. Mr. Smith’s well-researched episodes recalled how, a century ago, the powers that be took the law into their own hands for the “good of the city.”

Now, when I hear a politician or pundit blather on about benefitting “our heritage,” “our legacy to the people,” or the “good of the city,” I always try to discern just whose benefit, legacy, or heritage they are empowering to serve.

Thanks to Jeff Smith for this well-written series. And thanks to the Reader for maintaining fair and truthful reporting. The truth sometimes hurts but it needs to be told. Lest we forget.

Timothy Carr
via email

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i have a picture that say's it better then i do

it's time for the world to become colorblind

diversity is wonderful until it breeds prejudiced....then it's outlived it's usefulness

I have a difficult time understanding the letters about the Afro piece. It shared points of views concerning race and inter-race, with some narrative by the author. I finally had to read it in order to try and understand where all of the vitriol was coming from, and I'm not getting it. I think some people just like to write angry letters and phone calls.

If a black woman "feels" that white males don't care for them, then that's a perception on their part, not a racist statement. And, it isn't true, at least not in this neck of the woods. But that's their perception in some instances, probably from an unfortunate personal experience or two.

The stuff that goes on the cover, which usually includes the headline and blurb, are written in order to draw readers in. The blurb was taken as a quote from someone else in the article. Did anyone bother to read this before launching a tirade about racism?

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