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Brazilians are Latinos, too
I applaud the efforts of the Creative Loafing staff to open up new ideas to its readers about Latino culture and how it is positively influencing our North Carolina community. I particularly enjoyed the section concerning the term "American," and also the discourse on generational divides. One concern I have is the lack of recognition of Brazilians as Latinos in the article. Brazil is briefly mentioned, but nothing more than that. They are also a growing population in Charlotte and other urban areas in the state. They often go unnoticed because of many factors. Portuguese-speaking Brazilians are approximately 200 of the 700 million Latin Americans mentioned in the article. There are particular tensions between Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking Latinos because Brazilians often decide to blend into United States culture through language and job choices. Typically (but certainly not always), Brazilian immigrants come from middle class backgrounds with access to monetary funds and educations that provide them with language skills to enter into United States cultural ways with relative ease in comparison to their Spanish-speaking cultural cousins. Many Spanish speakers often see this as Brazilians turning their backs on their Latindade ("Latinoness"), which ultimately causes tension. Latino solidarity is much more complex than the article insinuated, and at some future point in time perhaps Creative Loafing would care to take a closer look at this issue, specifically in our community.

Sabrena Kauffmann, Charlotte

Focus on Consistency
As I was thumbing through Creative Loafing during my lunch break last week, I came across an article about a controversy at the Harris YMCA ("YMCA Members Object to Dobson Mag," by Sam Boykin, July 6). Two women, Page Lee and Kristin Rogentine-Lee, are upset that the Harris YMCA has literature from Focus on the Family available to its members. Both Lees do not share Focus's viewpoints on a number of political issues, and would like the YMCA to remove the literature because of that.

Here is their specific reason, as stated throughout the article: "The publication promotes a narrow, fundamentalist view of Christianity and is unrepresentative of and offensive to members with differing beliefs."

Both Lees claim that Focus on the Family has a narrow view of Christianity, therefore its publications shouldn't be distributed at the YMCA. It seems that both Lees are guilty of the same crime. Their view of Christianity is equally narrow. Any group that doesn't believe Christianity the same way the Lee's do is wrong and they are right. It doesn't stop there, though.

The Lees also say that Focus on the Family's view of Christianity is unrepresentative of those with differing beliefs. Umm, Page and Kristin, I hate to break it to you: There's a good chance that many of your beliefs are unrepresentative of others, as well. Many of the religiously neutral publications at the YMCA are, also. There may be a brochure advocating the Atkins diet when someone else prefers the Maker's Diet. The Charlotte Observer, USA Today and The New York Times also have viewpoints that are unrepresentative of others. Are you going to protest the YMCA making those available?

I'm curious how the YMCA will respond to the Lees' requests and charges.

— Davis Kuykendall, Charlotte

Wherefore Hollis?
I tried one more time to read Hollis Gillespie's column so I might finally discover its value. Then I wondered: Where in Charlotte is Dekalb Avenue anyway?

I realize CL is Atlanta-based (I read my first CL in Atlanta in 1990), but is there really a dearth of Charlotte content for the Charlotte edition? Even though someone like David Walters was pushing his own social agenda and lived outside of reality, at least he was relevant to this city. CL's new mission is to be "the soul of the city," but much of our edition seems little more than a mouthpiece for Atlanta social commentators and literary wannabes — a.k.a. chaff. That's too easy, CL. We have daily local and national newspapers for syndicated content, and the internet, cafes and mega-bookstore magazine sections for artistic growing pains.

Think of our total daily information intake, inclusive of the myriad online and broadcast resources for global news, opinion, comedy, personals, etc; couple this with the necessary evil of ads, which make each resource economically viable but anything but concise; then figure out how you fit into this pie and simplify. CL tries too hard to serve too many purposes. No single outlet will ever be the only paper/zine/site anyone ever wants to read.

— Derrick Gilliland, Charlotte

Editor's note: Shoot, Derrick, we just think Hollis' city soul is pretty cool.

In last week's cover story on Latinos in North Carolina, the South American country of Guatemala was misspelled throughout. CL apologizes for the error.

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