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O'Malley Needs Help

Brian Morton is right (“Polls,” Political Animal, Oct. 6). With local Republicans fed up and Robert Ehrlich getting some good early numbers, Gov. O’Malley is hitting the airwaves heavily—mostly the African-American radio stations—and even going so far as to bring in President Obama to gladhand for him. Looking at the job he has done so far and the current shape of Baltimore City, he will need all the help he can get.

Curtis Kidwell

Larnell, Racism, and the Law

Do people realize that racism and bigotry are two different things? Do people realize that racism’s institutional and bigotry’s individual? Do people realize how stupid they sound when they accuse a relatively powerless bigot of being an ogre-like racist? (“She Prefers the Term ‘Afrocentric Feminist,’” The Mail, Oct. 6). Of course not, ‘cause most people are stupid. This is a topic I’ve been debating for years, and Esler’s letter simply reminded me of why I’m not stupid. Hitler was a racist, Larnell Custis Butler is a bigot whom I more often than not disagree with. And Eric I. Esler’s an idiot.

Rhino William Edwardz

I just don’t seem to understand why City Paper continues to publish the racist ramblings of an obviously mad woman. Larnell Custis Butler is so hateful and I doubt very much City Paper would publish letters from a white supremacist. She obviously backs Pat Jessamy not because she was doing a good job but simply because she is black. Oh yeah, that’s a great way to elect officials—skin color. Gregg Bernstein was elected because that’s who the people voted for. Perhaps we’re all just a bit sick of our law-abiding citizens getting tolchocked and the eventuality of the perp being set free. Ya think? Yet she sums it to a white man throwin’ a nigga under da bus. How incredibly insulting. Very insulting to open the paper and frequently see this filth in print. Shame on this woman for the enormous chip on her shoulder and likewise to City Paper for making its readers bear the burden.

Richard Smith

We Should Be in the Drug Business

I’m writing without much hope that it will do any good. I’m getting too old (and tired) to believe anything will change any time soon regarding the drug-taking-and-ignoring-it culture we’ve all been living with for the past 40 or 50 years.

Edward Ericson Jr. also seems to be burning out writing about it, as the last article, concerning living spaces for addicts (“’We Are Not in The Housing Business,’” Feature, Sept. 29), left me wondering what he was trying to say. It’s a complex issue, and I suppose that is conveyed.

Mostly he repeats what everybody knows, and that is that property and making money are more important to Americans than saving lives.

We’ve grown accustomed to paying someone to “take care of” society’s woes and keeping the problem out of our direct eyesight. So why is anyone surprised when they learn that the drug trade has taken a white suburban life? The spoiled-ass lifestyle of suburban kids lends itself to drug-taking—especially when they see their parents and other leaders of the community regularly getting intoxicated on liquid drugs. Does common sense prevail when drunk?

So let’s be honest: Giving people drugs in order to save property and money is by far a better approach than the lock ‘em up (if they’re poor, black, Latino, etc.) mentality espoused by those of a “conservative” persuasion. But it is also morally the right thing to do. You stand a chance of helping to change someone from a drug abuser to someone who can do something more positive with their time. If a small percentage find sober life impossible, then it is still a safer, cheaper way to deal with it, and need I add, saner. My hope is that within the next 100 years America will grow up.

Mike Brown

Your commentary about Baltimore’s recovering addicts, how they are housed, who pays, how much, and that “the answers are hard to come by” is not true. The answer is easy: Paul Graziano is the Baltimore Housing Commissioner. It was he who turned many senior citizen homes into mixed communities by lowering the age requirement to less than 62, thereby putting drug addicts and dealers into senior citizens’ homes (somewhat). Since drug addicts are recipients of SSI, the feds are paying for it. And the city government who appointed the Housing commissioner is condoning it.

Leo A. Williams

HFCS is a Sign

I think that Henry Hong missed the point a bit in his article about fructose (“What The Fruc?”, Eat Me, Sept. 29). Certainly there are fringe nutrition freaks who really think that the sugar fructose is unhealthy. That said, I think that the majority of us who are educated on the subject realize that the industrial food use of fructose serves as a marker for what is really just crappy and cheap food; if it uses fructose, then the other ingredients are likely to be equally cheap and bad. Some of those other cheapo ingredients are likely to be less than healthful and maybe harmful.

Nick Mantel

Editor’s note: Go through your hard drive and flip through your notebook: It’s time for City Paper’s annual Fiction & Poetry Contest. Enter your short story or poem by Nov. 5 and you could win a cash prize and see your work printed in the Dec. 1 issue of City Paper. Got to for the full rules and details.

And it’s also almost time (believe it or not) for, er, the holidays. We don’t want to think about it either, but we must in order to prepare City Paper’s annual Holiday Guide, out Nov. 17. If you have information about a holiday event—anything seasonal, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve—send the details to by Nov. 5 and we’ll do our best to include it. High-res photos welcome too.

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