Blaming the Victim

Annette Stark’s story on Jamiel Shaw [“Fury Over Jamiel’s Law,” June 6-12] was white racial anxiety cloaked as news. Once again, a young black man is gunned down and, rather than focus on the implications of the tragedy, the media obsesses about whether or not Jamiel Shaw was a gangbanger “worthy” of memorializing at all. The fact that this kid had no criminal record, hurt no one and seemed to be going somewhere in life was completely overshadowed by feverish speculation that he was a bad Negro (aren’t they all?). The real crime is that Jamiel Shaw lived in a hypocritical culture that glorifies the thug aesthetic for some and automatically criminalizes it for others.

Erin Aubry Kaplan

While I sympathize with the death of Jamiel Shaw, as anyone should for all victims of murder and crime, it is increasingly clear that the proposed [end to Special Order 40, prohibiting L.A. cops from checking the immigration status of suspects unless they have already been arrested] is designed to target one ethnic group: Latinos. It’s another example of racist-toned Mexican and Central American undocumented-immigrant bashing. Special Order 40 was originally intended to protect immigrants from both Latino and African-American gangs and criminals who preyed on them since at least the 1970s. Without life-saving protections for immigrants and all underserved and voiceless segments of society, serious and violent crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, child abuse and domestic violence would go drastically unreported and just breed more hate and resentment between blacks and browns.

Randy Muñoz
The People’s Channel, L.A.

There is an extensive debate about this story in the comments section of the Jamiel Shaw story.


Cooper’s Obama Moment

Although I fully agree with Marc Cooper’s premise of Hillary’s final primary-night disease of “sore loseritis” [“The Obama Moment,” June 6-12], I must take issue with his reference to Howard Dean. Dean’s campaign sowed the seeds of Internet grass-roots populism, which laid a strong foundation for the Obama campaign. Remember, Obama was one of the original Dean Dozen when Dean’s spinoff net-roots Democracy for America was formed. Dean provided outstanding leadership and inspired so many of those disillusioned with the centrist Democratic Leadership Council with his mantra “You Have the Power!” The problem back in 2004 [was that] the powers in the Democratic party wanted his populist brand taken out, and that they did in Iowa, ultimately choosing a party insider who would give Bush another term.

Dean is now head of the DNC, and with an ingenious 50-state strategy, Democrats can fully compete in every county and in every state. Even conservative commentator Pat Buchanan noted Howard Dean’s strategy as a primary reason the Democrats won back Congress in the 2006 midterm elections. I am thankful for all Howard Dean has done for our country and Obama can be as well, for it is the populist foundation Dean’s campaign laid and his work at the DNC that played a major role in electing Obama as the party’s nominee.

Dan Gallagher


If there’s a silver lining in Clinton’s stepping aside to make way for Obama, it’s that I won’t be tempted to put aside my good reason and spend 10 minutes with Marc Cooper’s grandstanding, attention-sucking, vitriol-spewing tirades against a candidate who, by common consensus, has so much in common with the sainted senator from Illinois that anyone who so fervently adores the one and rabidly abominates the other ought to have his head examined … as should I, if I spend any more time on his page. Cut the crap, Marc. It smacks of misogyny and is so far below the standards of a paper of this caliber. Deal with your mommy issues some other way. Transform yourself.

Margy Stein


L.A. Weekly Winners at Southern California Journalism Awards

L.A. Weekly came away with 16 awards on Saturday, including four first-place finishes at the Los Angeles Press Club’s presentation of the Southern California Journalism Awards. Nikki Finke won first place in the online entertainment-news/feature/commentary category; Finke also earned an honorable mention for Entertainment Journalist of the Year, and another honorable mention in the entertainment, hard-news category. Judith Lewis won first place in entertainment features for her profile of Daniel Day Lewis; in addition, her profile of Jodie Foster received an honorable mention in the same category. Jervey Tervalon won first place in the signed-commentary category for his essay “The Slow Death of a Chocolate City,” and Dwayne Booth won first place in Editorial Cartoons for his Mr. Fish comics. Scott Foundas won second place for entertainment review/criticism, and Jonathan Gold received honorable mention in the same category. For best columnist, Marc Cooper won second place for a selection of his Dissonance columns; he also received an honorable mention in the signed-commentary category. Ryan Ward won second place in Design for his art direction of “Jonathan Gold’s 99 Essential L.A. Restaurants.” Jeffrey Anderson won second place in the Sports category for his profile of agent Scott Boras; Anderson’s “The Town the Law Forgot” and follow-up stories also earned honorable mentions in the investigative-series category. In the special-section category, L.A. Weekly’s staff won second place for last year’s People issue. And Christine Pelisek earned an honorable mention in the news-feature category for “Flying High With the Vicious Ladies.”



In last week’s theater pick, a review of the play Sanctuary, the name of an actor, Mick Thyer, was reversed with the name of the character he plays, John Alderston. Also, the wrong phone number was listed in the review. The number is (323) 533-2847.

LA Weekly