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From the editor 

Words can be awfully powerful."Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care," the Buddha once said, "for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill."

At Creative Loafing, we strive to use words that are beneficial and sympathetic, not harmful or hateful. Sure, we get snarky with public officials and policies we believe adversely affect our community and world. And we'll rip into an artist who issues an overpriced CD, book, film or theater event that doesn't live up to its hype. That's what we're here for. But the intentional use of language contrived to cause pain is antithetical to our core values.

That's why the staff at Creative Loafing was horrified when we opened last week's paper and saw a typographical error in the See & Do section that radically changed the meaning of a sentence. During editing, the letter "k" was inadvertently typed into the word "spicing" in an item on a Latino festival, turning a perfectly innocent word into an ugly and offensive term used by bigots to denigrate Hispanics. Creative Loafing is about celebrating cultural diversity, not driving wedges between people. (Coincidentally, the previous issue of CL featured a cover story called "The New Latino South," about the new colors and textures Hispanic culture has brought to our region over the past 15 years.)

Here in the South, we're sensitive to hate language. For decades, African-American citizens have been hammered by a series of horrible names. Gays live with hate language directed at them every day. And even some self-described progressives still feel it's OK to use the demeaning word "redneck" to denigrate poor and working-class white citizens whose worldviews may differ from ours. All of these words are based on harmful stereotypes of people who live and raise children in our city.

When the "S" word appeared in last week's CL, we got tons of e-mail and phone calls from justifiably angry Hispanics. As editor of this paper, I extend a sincere apology on behalf of the Creative Loafing staff to all who were hurt or offended by our error, however unintentional it was. Because intentional or not, words can be awfully powerful.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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