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Your postmortems on the Villaraigosa campaign could be summed up as follows:
“Ignorant Los Angeles voters were tricked and fooled into voting for Hahn by
a racist and misleading ad.” The articles were severely lacking in one fundamental
area: an admission that many voters might have different views than the L.A.
Weekly. This time, your views were the minority, but next time, who knows?
In the meantime, stop ascribing Hahn’s victory as a return to Sam Yorty and
accept that outside your office and social circles, some people may reasonably
disagree with you.
Yortyism? If that’s a euphemism for cracking down on crime, the new mayor
ought to practice it. It is no accident that our nation’s two largest and most
liberal cities had Republican mayors throughout the 1990s. Inner-city voters
are far more concerned about violent crime, drug dealing and gang activity in
their neighborhoods than they are about party labels or political correctness.
Should the incoming city administration lose sight of this, they will surely
lose City Hall again to the dreaded Republicans.
It is not up to the mayor to “unite” a city. A mayor’s job is to run the infrastructure,
which we all use. It is the job of every citizen to create an everyday life
of civility, respect and understanding. We are not a city of saints, and we
cannot expect an elected official to bring us together as one happy family until
we decide for ourselves that unity based on civility and mutual respect is the
right and just thing to do.
In the end, it was the Weekly that played the role of the great divider,
and has for some time. While taking the moral high ground week after week, you
continue to project your own shortcomings onto others.
Harold Meyerson got too caught up in the spittle of petty politics to see
that Hahn and Villaraigosa hold essentially the same views, and stop there.
I have high hopes for Jim Hahn, having heard him on KPFK two years ago just
as Rampart was starting to become a scandal. Could I be wrong in my hopes? Of
course. But the sooner the recriminations stop, the better for L.A. Face it,
those of us who support progressive, populist candidates won either way. Now,
if only we could have a presidential election with fellas like we had for the
L.A. mayoral race — including the primary season.
—Mitchell J. Freedman
Harold Meyerson made it clear over several articles that he did not like James
Hahn, and that he found Mr. Villaraigosa worthy to govern Los Angeles. Where
he sees a consensus builder, I see a manipulator. Both views are matters of
opinion. What bothered me most about the Los Angeles race was, well . . . race.
Whites this, Jews that; blacks this, Chicanos that. I am not naive enough to
believe we live in a racially harmonious society, but racial analysis such as
I have seen in the pages of the Weekly seems to me to lay stress on facts,
or purported facts, that may not be very useful in making informed political
decisions, something Meyerson and I are both required to do.
Thanks for the great editorials on the unfortunate Hahn campaign, which resorted
to smear, innuendo and race baiting. It is said you get the government you deserve,
and that’s L.A.’s tragedy. Villaraigosa would have worked to support small business,
saving all Ballona, alternatives to incarceration, et cetera. Instead, Hahn
will continue the looting of L.A. Too bad — though if L.A. continues its spiral
down, maybe Villaraigosa can come back next time.
I just want to thank Harold Meyerson for the best reporting on the L.A. mayoral
—Dr. Victor M. Rodriguez
Where does Harold Meyerson think he lives? Hungary? This is the U.S., where
exercising the right to vote is about as popular as going to the dentist. How
naive to write a lengthy elegy for a lost candidate [“The
Era of Bad Feelings,” June 8–14], all the while avoiding the real reason
for the loss. Nobody votes, especially young Latinos. Old people, white and
black — they vote. Rich people vote sometimes, too.
With “historic” elections like this, a change in the power structure seems
a long way off.
New York, New York
MAD ABOUT MADSEN
of the Happy Warrior” [May 25–31]. What a wonderful story on Mark Madsen!
Lewis MacAdams did a great job writing, and Ted Soqui’s photos of Mark and Shaq
Lewis MacAdams did a masterful job of presenting the character and talent
of this young rookie, who is just one piece in the complex puzzle that defines
this season’s Lakers team. What can I say? The Lakers are the best, and Mad
Dog is just one of many reasons why.
Why is there so much interest in Mark Madsen? He has at least two commercials,
and that, as far as I know, is more than any other Laker except O’Neal and Bryant.
In addition to that, I cannot tell you how many times he has been written about
and featured in television sports profiles. And now he gets to be on the front
page of the L.A. Weekly? Tell me, please, what are his accomplishments
to qualify him for so much attention? Born white. I am truly sick of you white
Madsen is definitely a throwback to the athletes of the 1950s. He asks for
nothing extra from the Los Angeles Lakers and gives no quarter to the opposition
on the basketball court. He is, indeed, the epitome of the happy warrior. All
he can do as a rookie is win a championship ring, learn from Shaq in the process
and bring the Lakers many years of productive basketball. Thanks for featuring
a class act.
—Gary H. Roller
Re: Kristine McKenna’s “Random
Acts of Satire” [June 1–7]. I am one of the expat New Yorkers so despised
by Harry Shearer: I complain about the absence of community in Los Angeles.
Could Mr. Shearer please give me directions to his Los Angeles, the one
in which there is a thriving public sphere and an active street life? I think
I may be missing a few pages in my aging Thomas Guide.
GERALDINE, HOW COULD YOU?
As regards every story you’ve ever run, every asinine editorial position you’ve
plagued the public with, every candidate you’ve ever endorsed or even mentioned,
and every opinion your (obviously public-school-educated) staff has ever touted
. . . Who fucking cares?!
THE EDITORS REPLY: Some of us went to private schools, but naturally we’re
ashamed of it.
In last week’s Film Special Events, the preview of LACMA’s
weekend presentation of “Tall, Dark and Handsome: Cary Grant on Film” was written
by Hazel-Dawn Dumpert.