Letters to the Editor
A day at the racists: I wanted to say that I have tremendous respect for David Holthouse's July 25 articles, "Skin Deep" and "White Like Me." His depiction of the neo-Nazi subculture (and the like) took the most unbiased approach I've truly seen about something of this nature. He didn't judge or bash this life and belief system. He treated it with respect and a sense of empathy (in "White Like Me"), which most people have a hard time doing in a situation like this (highly understandable, given the circumstances).
I also must commend the owner of Small Gatherings in the Arvada strip mall, Gregory Wolfe. He showed maturity and civility in his actions and "acceptance" by allowing this group to have their show. That would be hard for anyone to do. So I'm expressing a sense of gratitude for such behavior.
Now, before people start believing I'm part of this subculture, I'd like to point out that I'm a nineteen-year-old female of Japanese and Black descent (yes, I am from an interracial marriage). I may not like how neo-Nazis feel; I do, however, wish to let them -- or anyone, for that matter -- be able to have the right to say and believe what they wish to say and believe. I wouldn't want my beliefs to be cast aside because others don't agree. I have been discriminated against and have dealt with plenty of racism in my short years. But I've formed my own belief system that does not hate those who may hate me. I see being "racist" against such a "racist" subculture as redundant. All the hatred will continue to breed so long as we, as supposedly open-minded individuals, can't at least act with civility toward those we consider close-minded. Needless to say, I didn't agree with some of Anti-Racist Action's tactics (or the police department's) in attempting to shut down the showcase.
I just wished to express my respect for the portrayal of such a hated group. I commend the efforts of the writer and Westword. I leave this last paraphrased quote from Voltaire that I hold as truth: "I may not agree whole-heartedly with what you have to say...but I will defend with my life your right to say it."
Reich and wrong: ARA? Where was ya? David Holthouse's "Skin Deep" should have unnerved the most simplistic folk: Nazis gathering at any supermarket, possibly recruiting, possibly selling drugs. Just one problem: The story is fifteen years too late. Game over! The good guys won.
When I was younger, there was a time when going to certain types of shows and bars could invite trouble. Back in the day (late '80s), skins could ruin any show, from Social Distortion to Suicidal Tendencies to GBH...none of which ever showed a hint of white-power rantings laced in their lyrics. "Longhairs" (read punks or, I assume, today's ARA) got pummeled in mosh pits by organized skins. This was the time of Maximilius Grant, and others, kidnapping a male beautician in utter bigotry. Denver police added the surveillance of skinhead groups to its growing anti-gang task force. My friends and I would gather at Cafe 13 (now a pizza joint) and discuss what we needed to do; how shows sucked because we had to be wary of the racists/bigots who patronized the same shows.
With time...something happened. Music allegiance started to pigeonhole, yet expand simultaneously. Bigger acts didn't need skin following, and ones that did just disappeared from even the most liberal publications. The defiance to skin moshing was punctuated when Mike Ness heckled a racist locally at the Fillmore just a short while back.
Regarding the article (and I am fighting to choose the words so that I don't sound contradictory): I believe a mere 150 people (as reported in "Skin Deep") have a right to gather and believe what they choose (as long as there is no harm to others). Good people of ARA: There is a world of difference between being intimidated by others and attempting to prevent a gathering of 150 people who listen to crap (like "Max Resist"), something you wouldn't bother with anyway. The war is over, the losers, um, lost.
Neck and necktie: A pretty balanced report there, all in all -- certainly more balanced than I've come to expect from the "mainstream" press. It was particularly refreshing to see Holthouse criticize the "po-lice"; he's right that they had no right to search the skins without a warrant. These ADL-conditioned bastards are the real thugs -- far more of a threat to American liberty than the tattooed bad boys they were harassing.
As for the ARA turds, they're invariably the ones responsible for any violence that takes place at these events -- but of course the aforementioned Guardians of Law 'n' Order always look the other way when they throw the batteries and the piss balloons because the whiggers are acting as Red Guards for the Jew-controlled gub'ment, doing what it can't get away with yet in attacking racially awakened Whites.
One fine day these body-pierced, goateed pussies will be the guests of honor at a nationwide necktie party. Of that I am certain.
By the way: I'm not a skinhead, but as you may have surmised, I am a racist -- just like my namesake and the Founding Fathers before him.
via the Internet
Pure and simpleminded: Hats off to David Holthouse for having the courage to do the undercover plunge into one of the most infiltrator-wary sects of American society. Many of us view modern-day Nazis with the same sort of detached fascination and horror we reserve for Hollywood bad guys, and thus his real-life experience mingling amongst the members of this movement must have been surreal.
I've sporadically studied the neo-Nazi/white-supremacy movement over the years, and its core ideologies are certainly intriguing from a sociological and psychological standpoint. The concept that all of society's problems and imperfections come down to the simple issue of purity (racial purity) can be incredibly compelling to those who feel trapped in a world wrought with disorder and dysfunction. Plus, the creation of an enemy feeds directly into humankind's classic "Us vs. Them" mentality, where the lines are clearly drawn to allow the "blame" to be placed at someone else's feet, instead of our own.
I've often pondered what the world would truly be like if this movement, through some unfathomable chain of events, actually managed to fulfill its goals of eliminating all the "inferior" races of this planet and establishing its ideal worldwide Aryan society. In truth, the attainment of this far-fetched Valhallian utopia would never bring the joy and sense of finality they so desire. A people who focus on racial perfection (and flaws) with the scrutiny of a diamond polisher would inevitably turn such laserbeam concentration on themselves, seeking to further rid their new society of anyone who didn't meet higher and higher standards of purity (e.g., those of Norwegian heritage claiming superiority over those of Czech or Irish ancestry).
Editor's note: In "White Noise," David Holthouse reported that the Anti-Defamation League assists local chapters of the radical Anti-Racist Action in organizing disruptions of Nazi skinhead gatherings, such as the Rocky Mountain Heritage Fest. But according to a statement subsequently issued by ADL National Director of Fact Finding Mark Pitcavage, "the ADL has no association, official or otherwise, with Anti-Racist Action.... The ADL does not believe in the validity or merit of using confrontational tactics."
Green acres: Just a note to thank Jason Sheehan for his favorable and on-target mention of one of my favorite Mexican joints, Taqueria Patzcuaro ("On the Road," July 25). Because of its location off of Federal, many suburbanites (and Denverites) would pass it by, and I could enjoy the food quietly among the neighborhood locals. Hopefully, I can still find a place to park among the SUVs that will certainly appear.
Also, I am happy to welcome Jason to Denver and Westword. So far, I like his style and honesty. His introductory bio in the July 18 Bite Me was a nice thing to do, and helpful in letting me know his tastes and expectations.
via the Internet
Bean and nothingness: I was wondering if Jason Sheehan can use up more space to write about a car and places in New Mexico and not in Denver, save the last couple of paragraphs. This wasn't a restaurant review: It was a dissertation on nothing.
Drive, she said: Muchas gracias, Gomez! I must say the July 25 Cafe article was truly delicious! Being an Albuquerque native, you returned me to my homeland, and brought tears to my eyes just thinking about my days in college at NMSU, the Whole Enchilada Festival each fall, Chope's Bar in Mesilla, the Hatch Chile Festival, and actually being able to order green chile on your pizza! Jalapeños are blasphemous! No one outside the state can ever truly comprehend the conviction we have for those little chiles. Thank you for pursuing your search here in Denver, and teasing my homesick tastebuds. It is refreshing to know there really is hope here! Long live Gomez!
Freeze, sucker: I am a Colorado native, born and raised in Trinidad. I have lived in Denver for some 29 years. A few notes about southern Colorado and New Mexico. First, pork is traditional to use in green chili recipes. I'm glad, however, that Jason Sheehan tried authentic Mexican food, as opposed to some of the crap that usually passes for Mexican. He went to the wrong place in Trinidad; he should have tried some of the restaurants on East Main Street. Also, in Denver, Benny's is not that great -- too much cheese, and the rellenos are soggy and gross. Nice to hear he tried the different places on Federal, though.
If you really like green chili, get yourself some that's roasted by one of the street vendors on Federal beginning in late August. Have them roast a couple of bushels for you and freeze in Ziploc bags and enjoy it through the winter. That is what we natives do.
Kathy A. Martinez
The whole enchilada: What a wonderful story! I find that there is a wonderful variety of green chile thoughout Denver. What you cannot find is a good enchilada. I would challenge any Mexican restaurant with my family recipe that I made even better; you can fill an enchilada with anything as long as you have a great sauce. (Don't let my last name fool you; my mother is a Trujillo.)
To swerve and protect: Okay, Denver and surrounding communities, let's get this straight now and forever: Cops do not prevent crime, they only exist to collect revenue by writing traffic tickets and scraping up what's left of you after a crime has been perpetrated against you.
Contrary to Alan Prendergast's July 25 "A Low Blow," they rarely have anything even remotely approaching compassion. They seem to enjoy the ridiculous things, like arresting Ms. Grizzell.
Get it through your collective thick heads: We pay them and they demean, abuse and cause us lots of pain, both emotional and financial, due to the fact that you then have to hire an attorney to prove your innocence. Don't look at them or speak to them -- and please, God, don't ever put yourself in the position of having to call them, lest you get arrested, too.
via the Internet
The lite stuff: But some cops are fat! The Jefferson County sheriff's department is incompetent. Six cops are not needed for bust lite.
Let the record show: I represented Kelly Grizzell in her case in Jefferson County. Alan Prendergast's article correctly states that I was reluctant to comment on this matter. I was. My reluctance is not simply tied to this one case. I believe that the justice system is best served when attorneys make their positions in court as opposed to in the press.
In that your readers may somehow mistake my reluctance to comment as a dissatisfaction with the court process, I think they should know the following: I believe that Kelly and I were treated very fairly by members of the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office, and especially by Chris Cessna, the courtroom deputy who handled this case for that office. We were also treated with great fairness by the presiding judge, the Honorable Tina Olson. As a defense lawyer, I hope my clients can be treated with fairness in the courts above anything else. While obtaining fairness can at times be elusive, I believe that the district attorney, the defense lawyers and the court obtained that goal in this matter.
Peter B. Albani
via the Internet
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.