Letters to the Editor

Rating: NNNNNDiluting the message i enjoyed back in black (now, February 28-March 6). It proved insightful and educational. Did that police officer.

Rating: NNNNN

Diluting the message

i enjoyed back in black (now,

February 28-March 6). It proved insightful and educational.

Did that police officer really ask the writer where his ancestral home is? I suggest he call the appropriate authorities about that one. What the hell is the relevance? If that’s not racial profiling and stereotyping, I do not know what is. I can’t imagine that it’s standard police protocol.

And to think everyone thinks Canada/Toronto is so progressive. Great health care, great racial diversity. Wake up and smell the coffee, people. I’m not so sure you’d even get that question in the middle of Mississippi these days.

My only criticism is that you dilute the impact of your powerful article by incorporating vulgarity. Perhaps the absence of such language would pay more respect and tribute to the very important subject of slavery.

Mark Kovinsky


Travels to Babylon

i thoroughly enjoyed back in

Black. I think, as black people, we must always enjoy, analyze, assert and question our place in the diaspora.

I look forward to reading more of your pieces on the subject. To the writer, I will say that as long as you have a voice, you will meet Babylon in your travels.

Kemba Byam


Balls in women’s hockey

re your upfront photo (now, feb-

ruary 28-March 6). Why didn’t Canada stand still for the women’s gold-medal hockey game? Is sexism a factor?

Real equality means a fair chance for women to build a 50-year history of heartache and triumph. “Fair” means parents, coaches and administrators who are passionate about giving girls as much ice time, media coverage and money as they give boys.

It means honouring women champions so deeply that their gold-medal round closes some future Olympics, brings the nation to a standstill and unleashes a Canada-wide street party of as many men as women shouting “We’re Number One!”

Think I’m insulting Team Canada men? Then have the guts to admit that you think female genitalia count for less than balls.

Siri Louie

PhD Candidate in Sport History

U.S. plays innocent

a recent ‘ahh’ of satisfaction

has been heard after it was announced that the Pentagon would abandon its plans to set up an office of disinformation.

Are we to suppose now that the voice of the American government is innocent and unbiased?

Ben Greisman


Dressing up fair labour

i highly respect your magazine.

But as a publication that has written pieces about the exploitive labour used in children’s Christmas toys as well as sweatshop clothing manufacturing and the loss of Canadian identity due to American businesses’ proliferation in Canada, why do you feature Valentine’s Day gifts (NOW, February 14-20) from Old Navy, a company that epitomizes all these practices? You should feature fair-labour products, especially local ones.

Claire Batler Toronto

Harris’s pre-emptive strike

is this deja vu? didn’t brian mul-

roney sell the country out and then sue for big money?

Now Harris, after dismantling and privatizing and otherwise opening the province to U.S. corporate interests, is suing the Globe and Mail for daring to hold him accountable for Ipperwash? Gee, this is how he repays the paper that got the Tories elected? Guess with the National Post and its parent CanWest around, the Tories don’t need the Globe as much.

B. Sternberg Toronto

In defence of Babs

i’m a little puzzled by john rich-

mond’s complaint that Barbara Hall “packed it in” after losing the 1997 election to Mel Lastman (NOW, February 21-27).

Unlike Queen’s Park or Ottawa, losing mayoral candidates do not become “leaders of the opposition,” with offices and an entourage. Barbara Hall accepted her narrow loss with grace and dignity and has remained active on issues affecting the city. Just what is it that Mr. Richmond would like unsuccessful mayoral candidates to do? Pitch a tent in front of City Hall and heckle from the public galleries of the council chamber?

Margo Hunt Toronto

More trouble for tenants

as a tenant, i am very concerned

about how the privatization of Ontario’s electricity market will affect renters.

The problem is compounded by the Tenant Protection Act. It does not allow tenants to apply for a rent decrease if utility costs drop, as natural gas did after last year’s huge rise in price.

Landlords, on the other hand, can apply for an above-guideline increase, with no maximum, whenever utility costs increase.

The act’s guidelines are based on the consumer price index, which already includes utility costs and an additional 2 per cent annual bonus for landlords.

Now think of the effect increases in electricity rates will have on tenants, especially those whose apartments are electrically heated.

Robert Levitt


Cyclists screw themselves

anne hansen laments the short-

age of bike lanes and other like facilities for bikers (NOW, February 21-27).

That the bike plan budget is being cut should not come as a surprise. In truth, the budget for the bike plan was never approved in the first place.

While council approved the bike plan “in principle,” approval for the money ($7 million over 10 years) was deferred, most likely because on the same morning as the vote, Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists issued a press release saying it was preparing to launch legal action against the city for “allowing” city streets to become “too dangerous.” In its zeal to blame, a small group of cyclists fucked things up for the rest.

Ray Breuker


Clothes hoarse

re lydia g’s letter to the editor

(NOW, February 28-March 6). What are you, a fashion nazi? Lydia, it’s people like you who make this world the shallow, superficial, closed-minded place that it is.

Have you ever stopped to think that some of us choose not to be platform-wearing label junkies? Yes, it’s true — some of us actually think for ourselves and define ourselves on our own terms. I suggest you study the meaning of the words “individuality,” “creativity,” “self-expression” and “punk rock.” Please, grow up. We’re not in high school any more.

Esma Erdic Toronto

The naked truth

naked in the house, the photo-

graphic event held at Kool Haus recently, was enjoyable but also a bit of a disappointment.

Twelve of Toronto’s “top photographers” had been chosen to “photograph a nude model they had never seen.” They didn’t say “nude female model,” so I had assumed it would be a mixed show. It wasn’t.

I have no dispute with the art that was present. My disappointment is with the art that wasn’t present, and I wonder why one is supposed to assume that “nude model” means “nude female model.” Are we much less comfortable looking at “nude male models”?

I hope we have come a lot further than that. If not, I really think we should “kinda, like, get over it.” And I hope that next year’s event is truly about photographing “nude models.”

Jim Shea


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