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Letters to the Editor 

'Cruise Control,' Sex in the Summer,' 'Best Of'

Cruisin' For A Bruisin'

This is in response to the Boomer With Attitude column titled "Cruise Control" (John Grooms, July 19) from a black person's perspective.

Yes, most cruisers and other kids hanging out just want to have a good time. Sadly, there is a trouble-making subgroup that ruins it for everyone else. I call this group the 20 percent problem. Eighty percent of us are just trying to live a decent life out here. The 20 percent problem is as big of an obstacle as discrimination, crappy economy and any other ill that impedes one's progress. We in the 80 percent group must endure being stereotyped by the actions of the 20 percent group. This affects our ability to get jobs, housing and a host of other things.

The 80 percent kids are influenced by the criminals and layabouts in the 20 percent group and too many fall prey to the 20 percent group's lures to one degree or another. The 80 percent group is as fed up as the police and the white people you say are overreacting to these alleged innocent kids out for a good time. The 80 percent folks get robbed, killed, scared shitless, etc. by the 20 percent problem at a greater rate than whites. Higher income whites and blacks can move away from the mayhem caused by the 20 percent problem. But the poor and working classes who have little money to escape these cretins are forced to live among them.

You write about the police wanting to keep downtown safe for tourists and white people. Well, we black people also want to enjoy a safe downtown as well as other areas and events that are too often marred by the 20 percent fuck-ups. So if it takes the police and a zero tolerance policy to slow down the bullets and firecrackers, so be it.

The bad part is that innocent blacks will be caught in the police dragnet -- example number 101 of the 20 percent problem screwing up the lives of the 80 percent group. I'm sure you'd like to hark back to your youthful days of cruising and hanging out. You can't compare way back when to now. Today's youth (and people in general) are a bit more bat-shit crazy than they were in years past.

--B. Rice, Charlotte

No Sex, Please

Your July 19 cover ("Sex In The Summer") is an unnecessary insult to young women. You need to apologize to all of our fathers' daughters in our community to exhibit them in such an offensive and exploitative fashion. It's very distasteful, and if you think sex is all about a young woman's submissive rear end, you really have to go back to school!

No wonder Charlotteans with their massive stadiums are so preoccupied with sex, as apparently they/you see it as a spectator sport. Shame on you!

--Colette Dorais, Charlotte

Crying Fowl

While reading your article concerning the best fried chicken in Charlotte ("Best of Charlotte," August 2), I was confused. How can you claim to have found the "best" when you did not try the chicken at Mert's? I guess you meant to say you were looking for the "second best" fried chicken in Charlotte!

--Lew Perry, Charlotte

Editor's Note: For the record, while Price's Chicken Coop won both the Critics' and Readers' honors for Best Fried Chicken, Mert's Heart and Soul won both the Critics' and Readers' awards for Best Southern Country/Soul Restaurant. So presumably, everybody went home happy.

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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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