Thank you for your recent item in The Skinny (November 9) regarding the unfortunate closing of the Domestic Violence Advocacy Center.
Having been a recent client of the DVAC, I know the value of their services, and I hope you are able to follow up and publicize the results of any investigations into the commission responsible for the center's closing. Your readership cares, and your straightforward, factual articles show you care, too.
In Tom Danehy's "Feeling Bushed" (November 9), Danehy says he loves the state but hates about half the people in it. Two paragraphs down from this confession he complains he lives in a state of haters. Not overly introspective, is he?
I am a longtime reader of the Weekly, and as such I realize that Tom Danehy writes solely to invoke anger under the guise of critical thought. Knowing this, I was tempted to ignore his ignorant ranting about rap music ("The Rap-Up," November 16) as just that, ignorant. However, his categorical mischaracterization of an entire genre of music has made me speak up.
Hip-hop/rap music is more than the "misogynistic, petty" music that Danehy claims it is. I don't doubt that he is unaware of that, since he doesn't even know that Sisqo is an R&B singer, not a rapper. For over 20 years rap has been a valid way for young people to express the angst that is the common experience of the African-American.
Now, there are several genres of rap, including "gangsta" rap, that Danehy, parent groups, and I myself find objectionable. And for good reason. But even the violence-laden lyrics of DMX and others like him serve a purpose in letting us know that there are problems in this society. NWA, a preeminent force in "gangsta" rap, practically foreshadowed the revelation of police misconduct in Los Angeles that has now come to light and invalidated dozens of convictions.
Also, there are many positive elements to rap, such as the dance music created by Will Smith. Or the "conscious" rappers like Common and Lauryn Hill who advocate a movement away from materialism, decry the loss of self-esteem in black youths, and display a lyrical skill in their verbal imagery comparable to Ernest Hemingway.
But Danehy passed all of that by in his little critique of rap today. What he needs to do is look for more than the rap that MTV's sponsors think is "cool" and listen for more than the word "bitch." He might just be pleasantly surprised at what he hears.
--Brenda D. Pryor
Regarding Tom Danehy's "Jock Radio" (October 5), I am biracial (black and white), and looking at Jim Rome I am certain that he is biracial, so he is not trying to be down with the "brothas," he is a brother.
I understand that Danehy, being white and not being around black people, may think we all look one way, but we have varying looks just like white people. For example, Robert Redford is white, but so is Dustin Hoffman, and they look vastly different; and the fact that Robert Redford looks like a "traditional" white guy doesn't make Dustin Hoffman less white.
And exactly what is the deal with white men being so irritated with other white people who try to be down with black people (I'm assuming "bruthas" was Danehy's code for black)? It is not your place to be irritated. If we have a problem with someone imitating our style we will let you know. Black people are quite capable of defending ourselves against those who are trying to "bite" our style (threw that little bit of slang in since Danehy seems to find it so fun). And before Danehy bashes someone for being a phony, he should make sure they are, in fact, phony.
Instead of providing coverage of the UA Students Against Sweatshops protest of November 9, the Tucson Weekly allowed its anonymous pundit The Skinny to review the event (November 16).
The Skinny accuses the SAS protestors of incompetence, complaining that SAS failed to block every entrance to the administration building. This was, in fact, done to protect the safety of the building and anyone inside.
It appears that The Skinny longs for the violent protests of the '60s. I would remind The Skinny that the heyday of protest wasn't all rosy. In my hometown of Madison, Wisc., a physics graduate student was accidentally killed in an antiwar bombing of an Army research center in a university building.
Let's applaud the brave efforts of the Students Against Sweatshops. They endure intimidation from the police, indifference from the UA administration and corporate media, and, now, derision from the independent press.