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To Get to the Other Side

To Get to the Other SideIn the story “Villaraigosa’s Autry National Center Hubbub” [March 21–27], Max Taves glibly reported that northeast-L.A. residents fear that the historic Southwest Museum, the first museum chartered in the city of L.A., would become “a development of high-priced condos.” He glossed over the current multi­million-dollar restoration well under way at the Southwest Museum campus. Your writer missed the point completely in reporting that, as a co-founder of the dwindling Southwest Museum Coalition, I had “gone over to the other side.” Instead, I joined with about half of the original leadership of the coalition — activists from Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, Highland Park and Mount Washington — in creating a new group that would work in partnership with the Autry to help shape the Southwest Museum’s future. The Southwest Society, as the group is called, was joined by virtually the entire leadership of L.A.’s Native American community and the family of museum founder Charles Lummis. Neither I, nor the Native American community, nor Jose Huizar or Antonio Villaraigosa “went over to the other side.” Instead, consistent with a successful negotiation outcome, the two sides met someplace in the middle.Eliot SekulerThe Southwest SocietyLos AngelesBleak LanguageI was distressed by the sensationalist and dehumanizing language of Christine Pelisek’s article “Bleak House,” about Drew Street in Glassell Park [March 7–13]. Pelisek’s brand of journalism grossly oversimplifies the gang problem, propagating fear and bigotry. She begins with a brief history of the neighborhood, describing its transformation from “suburban enclave” to “hellish microcommunity.” Pelisek attributes the shift to a “bad element” that moved in starting in the 1960s, a group she identifies as Mexican and poor. The massive influx of immigrants is repeatedly connected with the illegal actions of one family. The article offers plenty of disturbing details to support a depiction of Drew Street as a colony of depraved criminals. While I do not doubt the severity of the situation, a look at the root causes of the problem is conspicuously absent. There is no serious discussion about the effects of poverty. Gang members remain inscrutably evil. Pelisek goes so far as to equate being a good citizen with owning a nice home and a “Nissan Pathfinder or better.” It is this kind of logic that upholds a system of economic inequality in which gangs develop. Gang-related violence is inexcusable. However, if we do not seek to understand its complexity, we will not be able to develop a humane and sustainable solution.Christina V. PerryLos AngelesBack of the BoomRegarding “The O-Boomers” [March 21–27] by Marc Cooper: Welcome to the world of progressive back boomers, baby boomers born before 1964 but too young to have voted for McGovern in the 1972 election. Some of us actually cannot say where we were when JFK was assassinated, but we definitely remember RFK and MLK, Vietnam and Watergate. Now often mistaken for old hippies ourselves, we were actually the first generation to bask in the long shadow of the front boomers born after World War II, starting with our arrival at college in the mid-to-late ’70s, only to see the last dogs hung and the party rolled up into the Reagan years.

Born in 1961, Barack Obama is a solid member of our camp, and he talks and thinks a lot like my younger brother, who was born the same year. Like the kid siblings you front boomers left behind to go to college, we’ve been watching you guys for a long time, many of us reaching the same conclusions as Obama in his speech about Pastor Wright about the toxicity of bitterness; the importance of gratitude to those who have led the way to rid this nation of all the oppressive badisms; and the need to understand and heal and dialogue and work out consensus solutions to the daunting problems facing us all. It’s not Kool-Aid — it is, dare I say it, the real “real thing.”Posted on Friday, March 21, by CurtisSterling CharacterThis article [“Donald T. Sterling’s Skid Row Mirage,” March 21–27, by Patrick Range McDonald] is great. I’m curious why nothing is mentioned about L.A. Times’ culpability in running these ads so blindly. It seems almost conspiratorial for them to be running and running and running these ads without ever asking what the deal is.Posted on Friday, March 21, by J. GreenI speak for everyone when I say that Donald Sterling does have a $50 million homeless shelter ... it’s called the L.A. Clippers!Posted on Friday, March 21, by Rory Shackleford, Esq.

The SkinnySkinny jeans are the worst type of fashion. They glorify anorexia-thin girls with distorted body images. Those who are not model-thin try to make themselves skinny to fit into ridiculous clothing trends. You would think people would know better. I cannot wait for these so-called fashionable jeans to go away.Posted on Sunday, March 16, by moniquebabyFind more reader response to these articles and others in each story's comments section.

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