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Freedom & Slavery: Mental States
In reference to George Thompson's letter in response to "Still Left Behind" (Feb. 2), I would like to dispute several critical points. The letter made references to slavery inhibiting people from having a better life. Statements such as, "When slavery ended, blacks found themselves with no economic opportunity, much like today...discrimination still marginalizes blacks at every turn." Do not misinterpret my letter to target the African-American population when I refer to slavery; slavery consisted of more than one race.

We cannot live our lives by clinging to the pain and suffering caused by circumstances in the past and using them as excuses to not move forward. Instead, we should embrace our past, learn from past experiences, and choose to create a better life for ourselves and the generations that follow. I truly believe Gandhi made a valuable point by this statement, "The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. He frees himself and shows the way to others. Freedom and slavery are mental states."

- Julie Parrish, Charlotte

Un-Christian Pastor
Judging by the statements made by Pastor David Chadwick of the Forest Hills Church ("Whose Values?" by Samantha Gellar, Feb. 2), it is clear he must be cut from the same cloth as those pastors who chose to overlook slavery and the holocaust.

It is a mystery to me how a so-called clergyman living in a supposedly civilized and enlightened society could say, "If information gained by putting someone under physical pain ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives, there's a part of me that says that's appropriate. . ." I hope most people in our country believe that we are better than that. As a clergyman later correctly points out in the article, it is a sin, and is committing evil in the name of preventing evil.

Looking at it from a purely selfish standpoint, committing torture not only lowers our moral stature in the world community, but also works to invite the same treatment from our enemies when our troops are taken prisoner.

Chadwick's cavalier way of dismissing this real moral problem by saying, "there are many other issues out there, it's not a major blip on my radar screen" is the most un-Christian thing that I have heard uttered by either laymen or clergy.

- Quentin Anderson, Jr., Charlotte

Freedom for All
Quote from "Freezing for Art" (Scene & Herd, by Timothy C. Davis, Feb. 2): "I also had the indignity of being seated smack dab in the middle of the fur-coat section. I'm not hardcore about fur-wearers, but when your flowing mink keeps blowing in the breeze right in front of me, you come perilously close to getting a lecture on how we have this great new concept called fibers! Why is it that the richer people get, the more they prefer dressing like Cro-Magnons?"

Does Mr. Davis also scapegoat and stereotype Jews, African-Americans, and Muslims? Does he preach morality to gays, lesbians, and environmental activists who use intimidation and violence that he may disagree with like he does those who wear fur? Or would that be considered hateful according to his compassionate, progressive, and tolerant views? Keep your bigotry to yourself next time and realize that freedom means freedom for everyone, not just you!

- James Mullen, White Hall, MD

Charlotte Lacks Soul
I picked up Creative Loafing today and turned to your article "City Crawls Closer to Cool" (by Sam Boykin, Feb. 9). I am also concerned about where Charlotte is headed in regards to trendy places to hang out. I am a 24-year-old college graduate who recently moved here from Asheville, NC. I am currently attending Johnson and Wales University in order to obtain a culinary arts degree. I was born and raised here in Charlotte — I'm a third generation Charlottean. I remember when older buildings were torn down uptown in order to make way for the "new and better."

Well, I'm here to tell you that Asheville has a soul like other cities such as San Francisco and New York — something that Charlotte lacks with its strip malls and Super Walmarts. Where do small businesses turn? Right now, after I graduate I most likely will move to a place such as New York or San Francisco. But, I do see the potential Charlotte has if it focuses its energy in places such as North Davidson, which could help draw other young and artistic people to this area.

Most in Charlotte believe themselves to be metropolitan but, as you stated, we are crawling behind other cities! I want Charlotte to move more in the direction of a city of diversity and tolerance and to find its own hip spots.

- Mary E. Scherger, Charlotte

Busing Is the Answer
Tara Servatius wants to eliminate the big difference in crime rates from neighborhood to neighborhood in Mecklenburg County ("True Crime: The Rest of the Story," Feb. 9).

Busing is probably the answer here. We could bus some of the "better" police from the safer districts to replace the "less better" police in the "less safe" districts. In the alternative, or as an adjunct, we could bus some of the would-be victims from one district to another (late evening would probably be the best time). Lastly, and with greatest effect, we could bus the best and brightest criminals... well, you get the picture. Maybe even build more light rail lines to facilitate the transfers, but now I'm just dreaming.

- Scott Keadle, Mooresville

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