Aug. 12 2015 11:42 AM

Our readers tell us what they think



First, I must say that this is very first time I have written to an author—ever. I know [Sordid Tales] is in the "opinion" section [Ed Decker, "Rihanna's oversexed take on American history, July 29] but I wanted to say that I don't think the video was "oversexed" at all.

I don't always read CityBeat, and I don't know your other writings or who you are. I read the article under Sordid Tales while having a pint at my local pub (Shakespeare's). I hadn't seen the Rihanna video yet and your article piqued my interest.

I'm only writing to say that had you not mentioned the nipples I honestly wouldn't have noticed much. If you consider the length of the video, she is actually only featured on camera a fraction of the time. When she is on camera...yes you can see her nipples...but she is wearing jeans, a tee, and a jacket. She could have been singing in a bikini or something MUCH sexier. Lastly, even if oversexualized as you say, isn't it better that these topics are being included at all versus a video or song about superficial stuff?

I just had to say something—based on your article and not having seen the video yet, I had a totally different perspective.

Lisa Marie, Mission Hills


Edwin Decker's piece in your July 29 issue was a poignant commentary delivered with his usual hilarity. That came to a screeching halt when he drew the connection from nudity to sexuality to breastfeeding. While I appreciate his acceptance of mothers feeding their babies in public, there is nothing sexual about it. I understand the tendency, particularly for the stereotypical male brain, to think boobies equal sex, but this is precisely why some people are uncomfortable and even horrified by mothers nursing in public. To truly normalize breastfeeding, the distinction must be made that there is nothing sexual about it.

Elyssa Mercado, Ocean Beach


After having read the piece in CityBeat ["People Power," July 22], I felt the need to write a response and hopefully stir people to think more critically about what is really happening on Logan Avenue. I'm a native San Diegan, born and raised, and I've been around long enough to know gentrification when I see it.

I think what confuses people about what is happening is that you have brown folks involved in the process, some are calling this "gente-fication." But color is just one thing that informs our judgments; we have to consider how class intersects with this as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of the arts and brown people moving forward, but we have to consider the cost of so-called progress and who ultimately benefits. We must reflect how our actions are contributing to a larger situation that is beyond our control unless we have a highly organized, militant and complex response to what is happening. It may seem cool now, but capital isn't interested in community empowerment, it's interested in dollars and how to maximize profit.

You may be reading this and thinking what a *#!?!* hater. But before you dismiss, read on.

A source for the article, Juan Martinez, a broker for a real estate firm located in Bonita, argues several properties were just sold, but not to worry about gentrification, "at least not for now, because the developers seem to be a good fit for the neighborhood." What the hell? Who are these developers and why does Juan Martinez get to decide what is a good fit for the neighborhood? Were community members at the table when he was meeting developers that were interested in buying? I doubt it.

I'm glad to see someone in the article made sense, probably because he's already seen it happen. David White was pushed out of his artist studio in North Park. He predicts rents will increase dramatically in the next few years. I think White is correct in his prediction. One space is already struggling to keep up and is looking for artists to help cover the cost by leasing space at $300 a month and has even resorted to gofundme to raise additional money.

Writer Kinsee Morlan tries to end the article on an upbeat note and includes the voice of architect Hector Perez. Along with other architects, Perez bought nine lots in the area, not including a design school that is located down the street. They designed a creative building with an image of Cesar Chavez on the side. He admits that the "development sharks" are circling but thinks that the community can salvage its cultural identity and isn't too worried. Well, if I owned property on the block I wouldn't be too worried either, because any property I owned would only increase in value as the area becomes more gentrified.

Culture is controlled by those who own the wealth, and as property values continue to rise, poor and working class Raza will get pushed out. According to the census, the white population in 92113 has jumped from 11.7 percent to 32.8 percent from 2000 to 2010.

When a wealthier population moves into an area they will want to see and experience things that make them feel comfortable based not just on income, but also race and social background. So it's only a matter of time before brown working class folks and their artists get pushed out.

Abel Macias, City Heights


I just wanted to personally thank Aaryn Belfer for "getting it." [A white person's guide to activism," July 22]. I could go on forever on this topic, but suffice to say I thought the article was insightful and most certainly could help give people a path if they sincerely want to see a more just America.

I went your Facebook page and was even more encouraged by the things I saw there in reference to race and how to engage.

As a 52-year-old black man, I admit to having shed a tear or two of joy that there are more people like you in our great country than ever and despite the hardships we will win the struggle to remove the stain of bigotry and racism in our country.

Thank you. 

Marcus Harris, Inglewood, CA


Please add #12 to your list [Aaryn Belfer, "A white person's guide to activism," July 22]: When called to jury duty and the judge asks you if you have any reason that you cannot serve on this jury, if the only evidence they have is the testimony of the police officers and nothing else, don't be afraid to say, as I did recently, "Your honor, if all you have is the testimony of the police officers and no other evidence, I am going to have a very difficult time charging these two gentlemen with this crime." I was immediately dismissed from serving on the jury, but I made this statement loud enough for all in the jury room to hear and I am sure I caused others to think about their responsibilities in this matter. 

Dorothy L. Kwiat, Talmadge

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