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What Did The Ravens Do To You?

Did the entire team come over, tell you they love you, and then left you in the middle of the night with 20 bucks and an all day bus pass on your nightstand?

It seems to me that you, like so many other people, spend a lot of time on something you hate so much (“Stark Raven Mad,” The Mail, Feb. 6). The Baltimore Ravens feed on the negativity of people that don’t even know them. You go on to say “I hate the Baltimore Ravens team owners and all of the football players who are Ravens.”

Did the entire team come over, tell you they love you, and then leave you in the middle of the night with 20 bucks and an all-day bus pass on your nightstand? It’s not the “job” of the Baltimore Ravens to take care of your neighborhood and your emotional, Afrocentric, feminist, white-verse blacks in the world of sports views. Sports are there to give us an outlet from our day-to-day lives. We yell at the people on the TV instead of the people in real life. We celebrate with complete strangers and feel closer to the people in our city that “looks like an impoverished third-world country in many black areas” (says you). Maybe it wouldn’t look like that if the drones of derelicts standing on the corner, yelling obscenities at me while throwing their liquor bottles on the ground when there is a perfectly good trash can two feet away from them, would do something for their community like Play 60. The rich stay rich by keeping the races divided and you seem to be helping that right along. So you keep hating and I’ll celebrate Purple Fridays, The Wire, Sisqo, Veep, and every other positive aspects my city has to offer. And by the way, boxing, like football, does “resemble apes jumping up and down to get white folks’ attention.” Also, let’s not forget that the very-white Art Modell did NOT get into the Hall of Fame this year and Jonathan Ogden, an African-American, did. That is all.

Knicole Cox

Baltimore

We’ll Take It

I have to admit it, for a Leftist Leanin’ Stinkin’ Pinko scandal rag, you have good Ravens articles.

Sal FIli

Sparks, MD

Why New Fees?

The Feb. 13 article is one-sided (“Mayor outlines tax cuts, trash fee, pension changes,” Mobtown Beat, Feb. 13). Is there a rational explanation why city residents who are already paying city taxes should pay for trash collection?

Leo A. Williams

Baltimore

with gun rights come gun responsibilities

I usually don’t pay attention to letters that start out listing democratic loyalities before beginning a conservative rant, but the points made by Tweefie Millspaugh (“Guns don’t kill, criminals do,” The Mail, Jan. 30) deserve a response, as you hear many of them during debate over how best to avoid the next Sandy Hook.

In looking at whether to restrict ownership of certain types of weapons, “Owning a regulated, registered firearm” is a right, says Millspaugh. I agree, as do most supporters of gun control, WHICH IS WHY NO ONE IS PROPOSING TO ELIMINATE THAT RIGHT.

Let’s instead go to the facts—there’s no pending legislation that would prevent ownership of any single-action weapon. Hunting rifles, most shotguns, revolvers—I can find no example of anyone with any influence or power in this country calling for restrictions on ownership of these types of weapons. In fact, I can find no bills that would restrict most semi-automatic pistols and even some long arms, as long as clips/magazines are limited in some way. Bottom line—if you can’t get the job done with what will, and will remain, legal, you have NO business being anywhere near a gun.

Instead, what is suggested is that like all constitutional rights, the Second Amendment is subject to both certain limits and a certain level of responsibility. Others have pointed out restrictions on the constitution we make in other areas (often allowing searches without warrants or good cause, restricting various kinds of foul language and pornography from public access). There’s no reason that the Second Amendment shouldn’t be held to the same standard.

Finally (leaving aside the “cost of insurance argument,” which is just silly), if a gun is stolen from someone, if they took care to keep the gun safe, they obviously would not be held responsible. All we are asking is that anyone who buys a weapon assume responsibility for the weapon—a gun lock or safe is all that would be needed here. If you simply leave the gun on the kitchen table, you SHOULD be held responsible (particularly as most gun deaths are accidents and suicides more than something like murder). Again, rights AND responsibilities.

Gun control is not a magic-bullet solution to the problem of gun violence. But the bottom line is that today, citizens of other advanced countries watch the same TV and movies, play the same video games, listen to the same music, jail FEWER people than the U.S., and are LESS religious than the U.S (all those factors trotted out as the reason for social trends in the U.S.), and yet have much less gun violence than we do. Guns aren’t the only things at fault, but it’s ridiculous not to think that they have something to do with that and it needs to be addressed.

Dave Kittross

Columbia

While I am a devoted fan of the Baltimore Ravens, I can understand that others may not like our team. I was, therefore, not surprised to see a letter in the City Paper criticizing the team—raining on our victory parade. However, the letter, “Stark Raven Mad” by Larnell Custis Butler, was so factually inaccurate, it demands a reply.

In the letter, she claims that black head coaches of the Colts and Bears were fired after this season, leaving the NFL without a black head coach at any team next season. First of all, the Colts did not fire their head coach, Chuck Pagano (who happens to be white) at the end of the season. Lovie Smith of the Bears and Romeo Crennel of the Chiefs were the two black coaches who were recently let go.

Secondly, there are currently three black head coaches in the NFL. Marvin Lewis, a former defensive coordinator of the Ravens, has been the head coach of the Bengals since 2003. Only Bill Belichick of the Patriots has a longer tenure as a current head coach for a single NFL team. The other two black NFL head coaches are Mike Tomlin of the Steelers and Leslie Frazier of the Vikings. Ron Rivera, the coach of the Panthers, is Hispanic. So there are currently four minority coaches in the NFL. While this number is woefully inadequate for a 32-team league, it is more than zero, as asserted by Ms. Butler.

It was only six years ago that coaches Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith faced each other in Super Bowl 41, leading some to remark that thatwas the first time that two brothers coached against each other in the Super Bowl (not the Harbaugh brothers in Super Bowl 47). Clearly, the state of minority coaches in the NFL is on the decline and worthy of criticism.

But this is a league-wide concern and not specific to the Ravens. The Ravens record in minority affairs has been stellar. Ozzie Newsome is the first black general manager of an NFL team. The Ravens hired former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell after the 2011 season as an assistant coach and promoted him to offensive coordinator when Cam Cameron was let go. Many have attributed the Ravens Super Bowl run to this move. Jonathan Ogden has just become the first Raven inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Many Ravens players have generously given back to Baltimore’s black community. Anquan Boldin visited Africa last year and is leading efforts to end poverty in East Africa.

Since the Ravens won the Super Bowl and didn’t lose, as Ms. Butler wished, perhaps this is an opportunity to point out positive aspects of the Baltimore Ravens from an Afrocentric, feminist perspective, while noting room for future improvement.

Fred Shoken

Baltimore

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