Next time you report on the Ku Klux Klan, I beg you, please do not call them Confederates.
Published: September 25, 2013
Next time you report on the Ku Klux Klan (The Nose, Sept. 11), I beg you, please do not call them Confederates. They are not worthy of being in the same category as my ancestor, who fought, died, and was buried on the same ground those pigs danced on last week. I almost cried when I saw that. And please don’t associate the same flag my ancestor fought under with these dogs.
The Confederacy and its flags were done in 1865. Remember? These creeps use my ancestors’ battle flags to make people look at them, that’s all. They may fly it privately, but in public you will see no Confederate flags at klan rallie, because groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans who use this flag as a national symbol will sue their ass if they do. Some people will do anything to get somebody to look at them, including stepping on graves at battlefields.
Dancing in the Dark
Seriously. For the third year in a row (Best of Baltimore, Sept. 18), you’ve neglected to both acknowledge obvious growth in dance in our city and neglected any kind of investigative research into the absences, obstacles, and challenges that have limited dance in our city for the past decade.
Here are some ideas. Mobtown Ballroom in Pigtown: the renaissance and history of social jazz dance forms in Baltimore City. Remember the Royale? Well, at least twice a week over a hundred people from across the Eastern Seaboard are swarming on a renovated church in Pigtown. Go to the Paradox and see what there is to be seen. Talk to Club DJs. DIY music and dance in Baltimore right now, they are linked. You are already covering the bands and artists beginning to sink their teeth into dance collaborations.
Don’t know how to write about dance? Do some research. From Jill Johnston, the feminist Lester Bangs of dance, to Sally Banes, one of the first to put pen to paper on the history of b-boying, there are excellent models available for how to write about dance in a way that excites a non-dance audience.
Any of these topics would be better served by a journalist’s grasp of the sociological complexities involving race/gender/class/structural violence so often covered by City Paper, than by an extensive appreciation for Balanchine’s oeuvre—though Balanchine’s ouevre is pretty fucking badass too. Move past the cliches and stereotypes of dance as pink frills and sequins, and dig into the art form that has historically been at the front line of embodying and addressing change, transition, and the most socially relevant issues of any community.
Look, dance is a subjugated art form. And that’s a complicated history a few writers at a weekly publication may not be able to change. As dancers, we know that. However, I hope that in the future, City Paper can join the ranks of the strong and sweaty to be part of the solution, not the problem.
Founder, Effervescent Collective Baltimore