LETTERS

The Naked Truth
It seems to me that Patricia Calhoun is the one who should be sent to the showers to cool off, rather than Coach VanderMolen ("Coach Turns Into Pumpkinhead," April 12). What is so bad about the coach standing up for the rights of female students? If they do not want to undress in front of women with "alternative" lifestyles (as the politically correct so incorrectly phrase it), then they should not have to. We would not force them to undress in front of heterosexual men, would we?

Ed Johnson
Arvada

Patricia Calhoun, thank you for your article about the situation at Longmont High School. Although I had heard about it on the news, I had no idea what was really happening until I read your story. This is not a situation about lifestyle choices; it's about one man who will bully everyone who does not choose to agree with him.

Lee Hunter
Denver

Your article on Coach VanderMolen was very unfair. It is very apparent that Westword is prejudiced against conservative Christians. You go out of your way at every opportunity to attack them, and you never portray them in a positive light. I would urge you to look into your hearts and then change your ways.

Name withheld on request

A Matter of Course
After reading yet another article about Native Americans in your April 12 paper, I have decided to no longer give your articles the journalistic respect that I once did. I will continue to read Westword, but only as a tool to remind me that any form of media in this country is controlled by someone, and most of the time the reader is subjected to the writer's bias or subjectivity. I have noticed that Westword seems to be blatantly anti-Native American. An example of this is clearly evident from the story last July about a lady who trusted a supposed medicine man and ended up filing charges against him; I now notice in Steve Jackson's "Overturned" that there is to be a retrial on that subject. My point is this: Westword deliberately misled the readers by putting a black-and-white photo of that woman on the cover. Even though Jackson said the victim was blue-eyed, the cover added credibility to the story. I do not know of the guilt or innocence of the medicine man involved; that is for the courts to decide. All I know is what I read, and it seemed to me that Westword deliberately turned a criminal case into a tool to discredit Native American spirituality.

Coming from a state that promotes anti-Native American feelings (South Dakota), I sympathize with the Metro State student Lily Boyce. In the article "A Course of a Different Color," by Claudia Hibbert, it seems that once again Westword has decided to discredit a Native American in order to try and put down Native Americans as a whole. As a former student from a small Minnesota liberal arts university and a history major, I have taken Native American history classes taught by non-Native Americans. It appears to this reader that the professor in this case is not the sort who would appreciate knowledge that a Native American could add to his class. Obviously, the student has a complaint in regard to the credibility of this professor or his teaching methods. One must remember objectivity when teaching history and not let one's personal view cloud the truth.

In closing, I would just like to wish Lily Boyce luck and say I know what she's going through: If you smile and are pleasant, then you are a good Indian; if you don't, the people in control try to make you into a fool or liar in order to discredit you. I also would like to issue Westword a challenge: You can continue to be part of the conspiracy to keep the real owners of this country in poverty and disgrace, or you can try and do your job, which I gather was to report the stories you print with objectivity and without bias!

Sheridan One Feather
Aurora

I noted with amusement (bemusement?) the two stories in your recent City Limits section regarding who is eligible to teach Native American history/religion. I know that it is politically incorrect to do so, but I must say that the whole topic strikes me as a tempest in a tepee.

Joe Ramirez
Denver

I am writing this letter in response to Claudia Hibbert's "A Course of a Different Color." I have taken Professor Altherr's Native American history class at Metro State and would offer him only praise. I found the subject matter and its delivery to be interesting, informative, decidedly sensitive and not racist. The course covered more than the historical framework of dates, places and people central to the study of Native American history; it also covered the changing cultural pressures and imperatives unique to specific tribes and their leaders. More important, Professor Altherr stressed the causal effect these pressures had in determining the differing responses of individual tribes to white encroachment and violence.

During the three months I was in his class, Professor Altherr never offered or accepted broad generalizations of any ethnic group, and in doing so, he forced a humanization of a subject too often relegated to the good guy/bad guy trash heap of pseudo-academic garbage.

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