I was absolutely shocked to read your statement “the cook looked more likely to be from Nuevo León than from Nuevo Orleans.” This is San Diego, in 2010, and your racial stereotype (or joke, if that is in fact what you were trying to attempt) is not appreciated! To assume that any “cook” comes from Mexico, based on appearance alone, in such a culturally diverse city, does nothing more than perpetuate negative racial stereotypes! Then, to say that although you understand that a good cook can easily learn other cuisines, so your expectations weren’t lowered yet, assumes that when you saw the “Mexican” cook, that you questioned lowering your expectations. All the cooks that I have met and worked with in the past have been hardworking, regardless of their race, and your expectations should not have been lowered to find a Mexican in the kitchen instead of a New Orleans native (which also happens to be an extremely diverse city). Who is to say that the cook is not from there, and since when did cooking ability have to do with skin color? Our city, and nation, therefore, has moved beyond these racial remarks.

As someone who volunteers and teaches in the San Diego Latino community, I find your personal commentary self-indulgent, overwhelmingly offensive, and crossing the line (though not surprising when you have a friend you call Samurai Jim. Let me guess, is he Asian?).

You should stick to reviewing the food — that is your job, not judging others based on race! Your review showed only your ignorance, lack of professionalism, and disrespect to the cultural community in which you serve.

A bit of advice, Ms. Wise, since someone who gives it should inevitably appreciate it in return. Next time, cut back on the alcoholic beverages before walking into a local joint and taking harsh stabs. The article could have easily been titled “Getting Tipsy in Crescent City with Ms. Wise and Friends.” (I assume the tab was picked up by the Reader?)

Name Withheld
via email

Don’t Insult The Chef

I was disappointed the Reader chose to print the review written by Naomi Wise for Indigo Café in its April 15 edition, particularly in light of its questionable politically correct content. While Ms. Wise is entitled to her opinions, however uneducated they may be, the thing that really stood out was her patently racist comment about the café’s chef. She stated he “looked more likely to be from Nuevo León than from Nuevo Orleans.” She then went on to enlighten us that “good cooks can easily learn other cuisines.” Really? If that was supposed to be funny, then her humor is far worse than any review she gave for the restaurant.

To assume someone of a particular ethnic origin can only cook their own ethnic cuisine is completely ridiculous and a sign of her complete ignorance. To further assume that only a good chef can then go on to break his or her ethnic mold and learn a completely different cuisine genre puts an exclamation point to both the ridiculousness and ignorance.

I would say Ms. Wise should stick to just reviewing the food without adding her version of color commentary, but her review of Indigo Café is so far off the mark, I question her ability to even do that well. I’ve dined at Indigo Café on several occasions, and everything I have ever tried off their menu has been, in the very least, delicious. Ms. Wise, if you were just trying to be funny, don’t give up your day job, although I don’t think anyone would be heartbroken if you did.

Anna
via email

A Real Firecracker

When I pick up the Reader, the best free literature on the globe, I always start at the back with those great church reviews (“Sheep and Goats”). In this issue, April 29, Matthew Lickona reminds us we are approaching Independence Day. How is that?

Within Brad Graves’s sermon lies a major question in world history: Must the sins of their fathers be paid for by their children and grandchildren? Are there any “generational consequences”? The Ten Commandments say “Yes!” In Exodus 20:5 we read, “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” This is known as “corruption of blood”: you may be innocent, but if your great-grandfather was guilty of sin or treason (as defined by your ruler), you and innocent family members share his punishment.

Hitler and Stalin acted this way against people they wanted to exterminate; if your predecessors were suspect, so are you. King George of infamous memory acted thus. Therefore, our Founding Fathers specifically repudiated that idea in Article 3, Section 3, Clause 2 of our United States Constitution: “…no Attainder [extinction of civil rights] of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.” Does the state contradict the Bible in this instance or merely emphasize the separation of church and state?

This approaching fireworks time of year provides a fine chance both to go to church and to reread those wonderful basic documents of our free American democracy.

Nelson Norman
El Cajon

Big Crush

I was mortified when I saw the ad for the band called Hole (page 87, April 29). The ad is promoting crush videos! The word “Crush” is listed in the ad to reinforce the act! Crush videos depict live animals being crushed by the heels of sickos and then sold to other sickos! How can you help to promote such abusive acts? What is wrong with your editor? Your paper could have turned down the band’s blood money. I am in the process of getting together protesters, I’m advising the media, and will certainly add that the Reader advertises and promotes such trash.

Susan Collins
via email

Crush is the name of Hole’s New York–based management company. — Editor

Bad Geometry

I had no idea that Bob Denver — aka Gilligan — was once a fellow OBcean (“Famous Former Neighbors,” April 22)! You say that “he rented a cottage on Pescadero & Orchard” — but every OBcean knows those streets run parallel! It’s likely that he lived in the alley between the two, but can you recheck your source and find out the cross street for my famous former neighbor?

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Comments

mbeck May 15, 2010 @ 5:02 p.m.

Dorian Hargrove is my brother. After reading several of the letters that were sent regarding the cover photo and article that my brother wrote I find myself compelled to respond. Yes, the photo was disturbing. I also found the article to be equaling as uncomfortable for me to read. In fact it took me several days and lots of tears to get through the piece. However nothing is as disturbing as getting a frantic phone call from your mother telling you that your baby brother has been in a horrible accident. Nothing is as disturbing as rushing to the hospital only to find your brother in horrible pain and not in his right mind. Nothing is as disturbing as being told that he might not make it through the ordeal and if by some miracle he does he will never be the same. That is the definition of disturbing.

It seems that many have missed the point of my brother’s article. I believe what he was telling us is that we are all just one little bump in the road away from having our lives as we know them changed for ever. That we must think before we act, that we should not take anything for granted, that we should be thankful everyday for the love of friends and family. But most importantly, it is never too late to change.

I am so proud of my brother and so incredibly thankful to the Doctors and nurses who saved his life and by doing so saved the lives of his family. For those of you don’t know Dorian he is an immensely talented, thoughtful, crazy witty guy. He also plays a mean game of Trivial Pursuit although he has yet to beat me.

For those who responded to Dorian’s story with kind and encouraging words I thank you. For those who found the story to be self serving, Dr. Shiny Shoes, I feel only pity.

Michelle Beck

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David Dodd May 15, 2010 @ 6:45 p.m.

Michelle, I emailed Dorian after I read the story, and I told him that he need not reply, I simply wanted to thank him for sharing his ordeal and wondered encouragingly how he would ever top something so beautifully written. Of course, Dorian replied and thanked me anyway, because that's how he is. Self-serving is the last attribute that comes to mind when I read Dorian's stuff.

I was quite astonished at the number of people that responded negatively, especially the people who took issue with the cover. To them, I say this: remove your eyes now, because you are bound to be offended by whatever you see, wherever you look. All of us have had accidents and all of us have scars. I am more prone to see a compelling human being when I see the scars rather than the clothing that hides them.

And, Michelle, don't let the few who think otherwise get you down, I think that most of us know better.

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