Letters to the Editor

From the week of July 29. 2004

Last Brawl

Follow the money: I appreciate David Holthouse's writing both for its style and content. However, his July 22 "Where the Wilding Things Are" on LoDo's Let Out was disappointing. He didn't give a definitive reason for the violent LoDo mentality, but implied that "aggressive" hip-hop is to blame. That may be the root of the problem according to the authority figures (cops, Hickenlooper, club owners) he interviewed, but I see it differently. I believe that the problem is the affluence LoDo now represents and attracts. LoDo is full of the people who played football in high school, wear name brands and enjoy fighting. Once the bullies move out of the affluent suburbs, they come to LoDo looking for the same sort of "fun" they used to have in their rich high school and the college Daddy paid for. They are out to prove just how "manly" they are because they have never done a hard day's work. The LoDo types work white-collar sissy jobs and resort to hurting people to feel masculine, all the while prostrating themselves at the altar of image-conscious consumption, showing off their flashy cars and clothing. That, not shitty hip-hop, is why I avoid LoDo like the plague.

Erik Wiesner
Denver

Idiots' delight: Loved the article on the idiots in LoDo. I am by no means a fan of the DPD; however, there is simply no reasoning with the drunk suburbanites down there. I walk my dog from Race Street to Union Station every night via the 16th Street Mall and see the daily dose of drunken stupidity. There are only three things that keep me safe on my walk: my 225 pound Alaskan malamute; the fact that I am 6 feet, 235 pounds; and the fact that I have a concealed-weapons license and my Desert Eagle 50-caliber hand gun on me at all times.

It's time to tell the suburbanites to go home to Highlands Ranch and Lakewood. We do not need their revenue bad enough for all of the grief that it takes to keep them under control.

Kent Taylor
Denver

Georgia on my mind: Having moved here from Atlanta, I just had to laugh when I read your article about all the "problems" that LoDo has when all the bars let out. I'm sure that most of your readers have heard of Buckhead. (You know, the club/bar district where Ray Lewis supposedly killed a guy after the Super Bowl a few years back?) At last count, Buckhead had over a hundred clubs/bars in a ten-square-block area, making it way bigger than LoDo. Unfortunately, no one goes to Buckhead anymore (unless you're a young, armed African-American gangbanger). Can LoDo boast of over thirty shootings in the last year? I don't think so. If you're a white male, it is an unspoken rule that you aren't welcome there.

As someone who bartended in Buckhead for over five years, I have to agree that, like it or not, hip-hop nights are the worst things that clubs can do to attract business. Back in the late '90s, Buckhead was the place to go, easily one of the top party areas in the country, but when hip-hop nights started, it went downhill fast. A couple of years ago, on a Saturday night, in gridlocked traffic (another by-product: cruising), a group of young African-American males got into an argument and started shooting. Two of the guys actually chased another one into a gas-station parking lot and shot him dead in front of hundreds of witnesses. Completely brazen, and stuff like this happens almost every weekend (none of your tame "wilding" stuff). The city of Denver and LoDo bar/club owners should use Atlanta as an example of how to turn one of your top attractions into a wasteland, now shunned by the people who used to be its biggest supporters.

Andy Doran
Littleton

Blood simple: All hail Der Führer! Yeah, David Holthouse, black men are the problem, and excessive force is the solution. But why stop with blatant harassment and legally dutiable detention? As you so astutely point out, that can't last forever. So let's roll out the Final Solution before we get overrun by a violent and inherently evil army of MC Eiht fans.

Gimme a break. Everyone knows that the problems in LoDo stem from Let Out itself. To force thousands of young, imbibed and sexually frustrated people into an artificially restricted area at an arbitrarily predetermined curfew, with trigger-happy cops indiscriminately hosing anyone in the vicinity with pepper spray, is to guarantee disaster. The sane thing to do would be to get rid of these ridiculous and self-defeating "blue laws" altogether. A free society would let people decide for themselves when to call it a night. That would require, however, that overt racism and senseless violence give way to tolerance and respect, which could jeopardize SWAT-team funding. Besides, who wants to buy ad space in a newspaper without a helpless, blood-drenched sap on the front page?

Brad Harold
Denver

Ed alert: My roommate cooks at the Sports Column and has seen a pronounced increase in the number of violent incidents in LoDo recently, so I applaud the police for addressing the problems created by this minority (not necessarily minorities) of rabble-rousing drunks. However, as club owners and countless patrons have noted, their methodology leaves much to be desired.

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