Your editor and I thought that Stanley Davis’ brief and gentle irony (The Mail, 6/18) was the best response to the racism of Andrea Carter (“Co-opt City”, 6/11). The vicious answers to Davis (The Mail, 6/25, 7/2) show how wrong we were.
Carter’s designer merchandise—“Uppity Negress”—is racially oriented. But the problem is Carter’s own racism. As a coffeehouse server, she “didn’t want to make [white Americans] feel special.” She was fired, she says, for “talking back to white customers.” Why not just say “I talked back to customers”? Carter isn’t a slave in the fields here. She’s a waitress in a coffeehouse—a bastion of affluence that many of us poor white trash can’t afford to enter. Isn’t Davis right to satirize Carter’s attitude?
Now, as a designer, Carter describes a white would-be investor as “a nice guy” and “well-meaning” but turns him down because “I can’t let you profit on the back of blacks.” Did she judge him by the content of his character? How would we describe a white designer who refuses black investors? Carter doesn’t like to sell her shirts to nonblacks; she subjects them to ideological grilling first. She doesn’t come out and refuse sales to nonblacks altogether. That might be illegal.
Egypt Brown (6/25) says it’s sad for our world “that people like Davis exist.” She says Davis deserves “recrimination and disgust.” What chutzpah! She knows nothing of Davis except his brief letter. Davis might not be the usual white gentile punching bag. He might be black, Jewish, or Asian. Brown seems to give approval to Palestinian and Iraqi suicide bombers for their “resistance against domination.” Brown says she has “chosen to rage against the machine,” and she says Davis should be “scared.” Why? Is that a threat of jihad?
Carla Friedman (7/2) says Davis “needs to be spanked” and writes of “stupid white guys.” David Muse calls Davis “a cave dweller” and “dumb.” Ridiculous! Seema Thomas, ostensibly a moderate, chimes in from Bangalore but can’t resist piling onto Davis. I’ve lived in India. When it comes to ethnic strife, Indians should consider the beam in their own eye.
Do any Washington City Paper readers respect Galatians 3:28? “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” This episode shows the un-Christian character and moral bankruptcy of Washington’s secular left. Why should God bless America if we scream at one another?
Your editor went too far in headlining Brown’s letter “The Language of the Devil.” (Was that an obscure literary reference?) But with neighbors like Carter and Brown, who needs the Devil?