Michael Roberts wrote as if he had half a clue about any of the bands on the record. But in praising Cavity for its Leslie Gore cover, Roberts also mentioned the band's political nature, as evidenced by its AIDS plug at the end of said song. Not to pass any judgment on Cavity, but it is very, very far from either the political or feminist band that Roberts seems to think that it is. If he had ever seen the band live, he would surely know this. On the same note, if he had ever seen Dead Silence, a band also on the record and the one responsible for the AIDS ad, he would have known that it is much more likely to do something like that.

The point is, the real alternative scene in Colorado seems to be too elusive for the mainstream press, Westword included, so would you and others like you please stop pretending to know what is going on in this area of music? To those readers who don't know any better, I suppose you can pass off mistakes such as this one without much dissension. To those of us who do know better, your ignorance never ceases to amaze us. Stick to "alternative" bands (you know, the ones that claim to be underground until someone offers them big money) and leave the real alternative scene to the rest of us.

Dead Silence

The Black Bored Jungle
I liked Steve Jackson's article about the treatment of Kinshasa Sayers at events prior to his disruption of Manual High School's graduation ceremony ("A Matter of Principal," June 8).

This is an example of a fine black youth who repeatedly took a stand for what he believed was right. But he was denied a fair hearing and concerted action to reduce the number of black Manual High School dropouts by racist parents, students, teachers and school administrators. Only after he was labeled as a "troublemaker" and was shunned as the "enemy" did he act out of desperation and disrupt his secondary school's graduation ceremony.

I believe Kinshasa Sayers has a point about African-American youth often being discouraged to aspire and achieve in school systems. Much ought to be done to change the philosophy and design of Eurocentric curriculum and to identify, counsel and even remove adults who seek to thwart the efforts of hardworking black youth to succeed at the local secondary school.

Still, we live in a racist society. Black youth may join gangs and abuse themselves and others, not only because of poor role models in their troubled homes, dangerous neighborhoods and conflicted schools, but also because of denied education, training and job opportunity determined at the state and national levels.

Kinshasa Sayers has his work cut out for him.
Racists fear schools that are responsive and reflective of the larger American society. When they argue for a "back-to-basics approach," they usually are trying to keep high schools, colleges and universities insensitive, exclusive and monocultural. When they argue for "familiar family and corporate structures," whites usually are concerned about the number of poor, disadvantaged and disenfranchised that might enter their corporate boardrooms, government chambers, industrial laboratories and elite educational institutions.

In order to be effective in getting black youth to aspire and achieve at the local secondary school, Kinshasa Sayers also needs to consider the efforts of racists at the state and national levels of government to deny education, training and job opportunities to people of color.

Rick Klimowicz

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