DEAR EDITOR: I recently read Charles Mudede's article "Black Flag" [Oct 25], regarding the "Black response to America's tragedy," and all I could do was ask WHY was this article written? As someone who grew up in the "ethnically diverse" N.Y. area, I am constantly shocked by the way "liberal" people in Seattle are constantly reminding us that African Americans are different.

Blacks aren't different--they are people with diverse hopes and dreams and they come from various socio-economic backgrounds and some of them lost their lives on September 11. Why is it so hard for some whites in Seattle to accept them as people, people whose opinions vary just like everyone else's? I thought the picture and comments about Dr. Dre were exceptionally offensive. Charles Mudede describes Dr. Dre as being a "prosperous Capitalist." That comment, along with the picture, implies that Dr. Dre is a sellout and his motives for writing the song "Kill Bin Laden" are nothing more than greed. This again shows the subtle prejudice of the article, implying that Dr. Dre, a wealthy African American, couldn't possibly have been moved and angered as an individual by the September 11 acts because he is Black, therefore his motives are simply driven by greed.

The Stranger is basically saying Black people are not like other people, their thoughts and opinions are completely different then the rest of humankind. They are subtly reinforcing age-old prejudices, just "liberally" sugar-coating them to make them appear as if they really care. I realize that Black people do not have it easy in our society, and they have a lot of hurdles to jump and battles to fight, as do many other minorities in this country.

The tragedies of September 11 have affected us all in different ways, whether we are Black, White, Asian, Muslim, Jew, or Christian. Let's learn from those tragedies and grow as a people and a country. Thousands of people were murdered for no other reason than [because] they were American. Let's stop the bullshit: Black people are people, but they will never be viewed as being the same as long as articles like Charles Mudede's are published and people still hold on to the archaic idea that Blacks are "different." As DJ Riz Rollins said, "I wish white people would just chill out."

Anonymous, via e-mail


EDITORS: My. "The Black Response to America's Tragedy"? How about: "The Response of Four or Five Black People, Most of Whom Appear to Possess the Intellectual Heft of a Green Pea, to America's Tragedy"? How about: If a white person cited "Carl," an unemployed bigot, or DJ Riz Rollins, as representatives of black America's response, said whitey's shit would be jumped on (undoubtedly by Mr. Mudede) for presenting a racist and unbalanced portrait. How about: Are we to think that the only black Americans who died during the attacks on September 11 were either security guards or doormen to whitey, or that perhaps it was their fatal misfortune to be inhabiting lower whitey Manhattan when debris rained upon them? Are we to think that no black executives worked at the WTC or the Pentagon when both places were vaporized? Perhaps Carl and Mr. Mudede need to check in with Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice about "whatever shit" this country has done to provoke the incineration of 5,000 human beings.

Furthermore, if Mr. Mudede and his panel of experts on the black experience really believe that Osama bin Laden's gripe has to do with the mistreatment of the Middle East (excluding, of course, the Jews) at the hands of white America, well--I can only salute their unmitigated ignorance.

It can't have escaped Mr. Mudede's razor-sharp mind that Osama bin Laden's net worth probably exceeds that of our very own whitey capitalist cur, Bill Gates. Nor can it possibly have eluded the ever-brilliant Mr. Mudede that bin Laden seeks not decent treatment for the downtrodden (check the standard of living for citizens under Taliban rule), but power for his own fucked-up self.

Only those incapacitated by liberal white guilt would submit to the pseudo-intellectual and racist garbage repeatedly heaped upon them by Mudede. How about: "An Interracial Response to the Embittered Token Hack of a Left-Wing Free Weekly"? Try airing your seditious crap in Angola.

Anonymous, via e-mail


HI JEFF: One-Night Stand this week [Nov 1] is wonderful. I was initially unsure how I would feel about the column when it began, since The Stranger has a penchant for tearing down rather than building up, in my estimation. But you've proven that your intention is to provide insightful, thoughtful criticism rather than just snidely abusing the poor folks who take the risk of putting themselves onstage at a low-profile gig.

Most of my peers hated Everett True for being such an asshole. I pretty much despised him too, for the very reasons I mentioned above: He wasn't helping anyone with his smug, babyish dismissals of the music people were trying to craft in public. The only thing I could ever say in his defense was that his attacks served to shake Seattle music fans out of their complacent acceptance of what all the hipsters had deemed cool. He forced us to ask ourselves why we liked what we liked, to justify our taste in music.

But your approach is better. Rather than having to feel defensive about my favorite band, I prefer to be curious about your latest find. Thank you for a consistently well-written column.

Matt Garman, Seattle


DEAR EDITOR: Jeff DeRoche's review of the Kareem Kandi Band is the worst music writing I've ever read [One-Night Stand, Oct 25]. Over the last few decades, jazz has been denounced as elitist, self-indulgent, uncompromising, and incomprehensible, and rightly so. However, what gives jazz fans faith is that on any given night, the musical performance can capture a kind of beauty and power unattainable by any other genre. In the right hands, the saxophone is an instrument that does not annoy or bore.

DeRoche's premise, "saxophone bad, standards dull," invalidates the entire article with its sheer dismissive shallowness. Furthermore, he can't seem to spot the difference between Huey Lewis and Cole Porter. It's kind of like saying, "I hate Jon Bon Jovi because he plays guitar and sings songs. I also hate Woody Guthrie. He plays guitar and sings songs, too." Hipster, hipster, hipster. Please stop him before he writes again.

Igor Keller, via e-mail


EDITORS: Well, apparently you're quite willing to join the ranks of those who like to make inane comments about film.

Audition [was] quite provoking [Film Shorts, Emily Hall, Nov 1]. Considering the loneliness, yearning, abuse, coldness, etc. in many societies, I think Audition took a nice little look at things. Quirky. Inventive. Japanese (Asian). Not glaring. Not noisy. Not loud. Not distant. Not close to Hollywood gratuitous.

But you were able to say "fucked-up." That is so gutsy. So right-on. So insightful. Oh, and "disingenuous"--that's a pretty big word.

T. Stenning, via e-mail


"Hello, David [Schmader] this is Max. I'm just calling to complain about Emily Hall, the movie critic for The Stranger. Seems like she's real off-base on most of her reviews, and the review she gave about Audition being the worst movie ever made was really off the mark. It actually is a really good movie, and a lot of other people feel the same way, and two critics from The New York Times thought it was really good too, so I don't know what she knows about moviemaking or movies but just wanted to let you know. Thanks, bye."

Max, via voice mail

EMILY HALL RESPONDS: I didn't say it was the WORST movie ever. I said it was the most FUCKED-UP movie ever, which is something entirely different. I actually liked it quite a bit, but felt it necessary to warn people that it's entirely sick-making. And just because I don't always agree with The New York Times doesn't make me off-base. Do you see the movies, or just read the reviews?


There were two mistakes in last week's endorsement guide ["2001 Endorsement Guide," Nov 1]. First, City Council Member Nick Licata did not, as we reported, vote to amend the All-Ages Dance Ordinance. He voted to repeal the Teen Dance Ordinance and replace it with the All-Ages Dance Ordinance. Also, Michael Preston is not 50. He is 51. We regret our errors.