Letters to the Editor

From the week of September 29, 2005

Bandanna on the Run

Mall in the family: Regarding Jared Jacang Maher's "Cruisin' With Mom," in the September 22 issue:

The Aurora Mall's management and merchants can kiss my 52-year-old, white, hairy ass! My family stopped shopping there a year ago, after my son was accosted by a tin badge for wearing a "gang-related" bandanna that he bought in the mall.

I called the mall manager and learned that the Aurora Police Department distributes a new list of "gang-related" items every week, but it's top-secret.

There are plenty of other places to buy goods without fear of Stalinesque harassment. Screw 'em.

David Hakala
Denver

Families first, blacks second: After reading Jared Jacang Maher's "Cruisin' With Mom," I'm enraged. And at 22, I'm long past my days of teenage angst. This is real rage.

The managerial decision to prohibit teens sixteen and under from walking around the Aurora Mall on weekend nights without a guardian is absurd. Even if the mall weren't out to lessen the number of "mostly minority" kids who wander the corridors, as Jacang Maher rightfully posits, hindering a person's right to walk the fuck around borders on tyranny. And to have a controlling mother reprimand me for wearing my hood over my scalp (that is, to use my clothing the way it was meant to be used), well, surely I will be less likely to shoot innocent mall-goers if my head is exposed. If that seems extreme, so is Families First.

Instead of trying to affluentize, adultinate and de-blackinate, if you will, take the $15 an hour you're paying the overprotective parents (which comes out to $1,440 per weekend if there are twelve parents on duty) and sponsor an open-mike rap battle, big-screen movie night, a local band, anything. The mall potentially will save money, and no one will have to deal with the nagging, guilt-tripping mothers. We get enough of that at home.

Jeremy Make
Englewood

The white stuff: I'm sure that Debbie Stafford means well, but I'm appalled by what's going on at the Aurora Mall. Imagine if the Cherry Creek Shopping Center took the same approach to white kids! Moms would probably be boycotting, rather than patrolling.

Tisha Hardin
Denver


Taking It to the Streets

Choice cuts: Luke Turf's "Last Chance," in the September 22 issue, was like a true-crime novel, but one with a happy ending. I hope Brad Braxton sticks to his choice.

Thanks for the great work.

Luther Adams
Denver

Phony homeboy: I just got through reading the article on Brad Braxton, and it's just crazy to me that someone would really sit down and listen to the B.S. that he told. Brad may be trying to turn his life around just like many other brothers who fell to the gang garbage, but be real about the things you are going to speak on. Brad has hooked up with the fake and phony Leon Kelly and thinks that's cool. Leon is as phony as a three-dollar bill.

The reason I speak so harsh and strong is because Brad is full of it, and Leon has been full of it and will always be full of it. I'm from the neighborhood myself, and I know Brad. Dude may have gotten himself shot, but that's because he's running around here faking to be something that he's not.

I'm not writing this to start any trouble or cause any problems, but Brad is pulling your leg just like Leon pulls the legs of all these people who give him grants and whatever else. Brad's not a real dude, and neither is the Rev. I would never down-talk or disrespect another person, but when you lie to try to get sympathy or pity, or for whatever reason, I am gonna speak my mind and let the truth be known. I have faults and ran with a gang, too, but my advice to any kid is this: Don't be no one's follower. Do what it is in life that makes you feel good, and if your friends can't deal with it, tell them to kick rocks.

Name withheld on request


Angles Over America

The power of positive thinking: Jessica Centers's "Teen Angles" article, in the September 15 issue, starts with a very supportive title and gets the reader thinking that this will be a positive article on Christian teens. Unfortunately, it turns into the opposite, full of sarcasm and negativism on the Christian faith.

It would have been better if Ms. Centers did not misrepresent her article. She could have named it "Clueless Christian Teens Being Brainwashed by Hard-Right Adults." Or she could have actually reported the news without anti-religious bias and biting sarcasm toward the beliefs of others. Accurate reporting of events without bias or pre-conceived notions -- what a concept. You would think that professionals would pride themselves on that.

John Graham
via the Internet

No apologies: So JM Schell sees a story about Focus on the Family (gasp!), doesn't like what he reads (gasp!), and sends one of his oh-so-witty letters to Westword (double gasp!). I also read "Teen Angles," and I found it refreshingly free of easy sarcasm. Jessica Centers let the apologetics participants speak for themselves, and that was enough.

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