Unconquerable Racism?

To the Editor:

Hank Haines' descriptions of the "unconquerable spirit" he found in Hughes, Arkansas (Viewpoint, September 26th issue), may have been intended as a tribute, but his language reveals a deeper, more destructive bias.

In his narrative, nine individuals are mentioned, but only two are additionally described by race (black). Are readers just left to assume that all characters are white unless otherwise noted?

This is institutionalized racism, wherein the dominant group maintains such pervasive and insidious dominance that their skin color doesn't even have to be mentioned.

I challenge the Flyer editorial staff to insist on equity from all its contributors. As long as narratives containing such subtle racism are accepted, the Flyer will remain another institutional collaborator in perpetuating injustice.

If you're going to include race, include all races, not just the ones perceived to be different, therefore mentionable.

Rev. A. Heartsong

Byhalia, Mississippi

Lose the Sounds?

To the Editor:

I consider myself a music fan of pretty diverse tastes, but I don't see how any human with ears could think that the Lost Sounds are a good band.

Many bands have used their lack of instrumental skill as an asset (Stooges, Sex Pistols, Oneida), but the Lost Sounds, whos a couple of folks on your staff think are quite the combo, just don't really do it for me.

I have made the casual observation that the Lost Sounds are a bunch of meatballs who believe that the listener should suffer indescribable pain for what seems to be Jay Reatard's dating problems. Nothing wrong with that. It's just that the Lost Sounds take themselves way too seriously.

I believe they'd sound a lot better if they deposited their instruments into the mighty Mississippi.

If this is what the cool cities are listening to, maybe being a backwater isn't so bad after all.

Robert M. Gordon


Naive, Not Ignorant

To the Editor:

I am the person interviewed by the Flyer as "Dave Adams" for your "Up in Smoke" article (September 19th issue) about marijuana-growing in Tennessee.

In a subsequent letter to the editor, I was called naive by a Mr. Ray Bell (Brother Sky Blue) and was advised to have a few stiff drinks, as "the Lord and the Constitution allow."

Well, to quote the Lord from Gen. 1:29, "I have given you every herb-bearing seed to use." And as for the Constitution: Ever heard of a little thing called Prohibition? In the 1920s and 1930s, you would have been fined and faced jail time for a few stiff drinks. It was only when people realized that Prohibition did more harm than good that the Constitution was amended [and alcohol made legal again].

I would much rather be naive than ignorant.

David Phillips (aka Dave Adams)



To the Editor:

So Kenneth Neill thinks the UAB Blazers are "piss-ants" (Sports, October 3rd issue). So what does that make the U of M Tigers, who have lost to those pissants from Birmingham three years in a row? Whatever it is, it's lower than a pissant, which is pretty darn low. Such insults may make you feel better, but denigrating UAB after they've just cleaned your team's clock only makes you look silly.

We here in Birmingham wish you the best for the rest of what looks to be another pathetic year for the Tigers. And, as always, we look forward to playing you next year.

Cleon Carter

Birmingham, Alabama

The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.


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