Love/Hate Mail 



I’m pretty sure you unfairly skewered the folks at Channel 5+ in last week’s Fabricator. Perhaps closer questioning by the opinion writer would have revealed the station was referring to seven share points rather than seven viewers. Just a thought.

Jon Johnson (Nashville)

Racing to criticize

While the Scene’s Desperately Seeking the News column always has been a clever way of manipulating local media, it always has suffered from columnists whose own credibility is questionable when it comes to their views on persons of color in the Nashville area. With the upcoming 33rd Race Relations Institute at Fisk University (33RRI) just days away (July 10-16), Matt Pulle’s June 29 column only reinforces the strongly held opinion in the black and increasingly Latino communities that the Scene is a weekly newspaper primarily devoted to news about and for upscale white Nashvillians. He whines like a privileged preppy describing the Tennessean’s “strained and excessive coverage of the Fisk University Race Relations Summit two years ago.” It’s a clever way of influencing Tennessean writers who, while not always getting it right, recognize the importance of covering news in black and brown communities that doesn’t always revolve around entertainment and pathology.

Henry Walker, Pulle’s beleaguered predecessor, wrote in the March 25, 1999, issue of the Scene that the paper is “a very white newspaper that doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on in the city’s African American community, Village Voice publisher David Schneiderman concluded Friday during an in-house critique on the Scene’s strengths and weaknesses.” I agree, and would encourage Nashvillians of all colors to attend the Institute, which will be covered heavily by non-Nashville media.

When covering diversity in Nashville, the Scene can do better when it wants to, as it did last year, when exposing police brutality in the Latino community—one of the best investigative journalism stories I’ve ever read. Pulle however, is at the head of the class of unaware white journalists who just don’t get it when it comes to writing about the changing demographics of America, Nashville, and eventually his own newsroom. Look around you, Matt, your co-workers will be far more racially diverse than they are now in just 10 short years. This may make you feel uncomfortable but 33RRI might be a good place to begin your re-education about the black community.

Ray Winbush, director

Race Relations Institute

Fisk University (Nashville)

Lighten up, big guy

I have been reading the great Nashville Scene since the very first issue. Now that I have moved to South Florida, I have been subscribing to your paper...until now. I will unsubscribe because of the Opposite Sex column.

I have always come to expect the highest journalistic standards and candid, succinct, in-depth, thoughtful writing from the Scene. For this reason, I cannot understand the juvenile nature of the Opposite Sex column. If it is meant to be an advice column, I find the advice in extremely poor taste—usually at the expense of the male. Danny obviously does not feel there is a man on the planet good enough for her. If it is meant to be a humorous column, I find it in extremely poor taste. Talking about blow jobs is better left to X-rated magazines. It is not that I am a prude, but the lowbrow humor does not fit with the intelligent style of humor that is characteristic of the great Nashville Scene. If I want this humor I will buy Mad magazine or Penthouse.

There is almost a spiritual quality to your magazine which illuminates all the senses. The Opposite Sex titillates only the hormonal longings of adolescents. Besides, as dysfunctional as Danny and Ben self-admit, what gives them the responsibility of writing an advice column? I imagine how horrific we as a species would be if all followed the advice they are so carelessly espousing. Ditch the column, there are so many better writers deserving of being in your paper.

Randy Singer

Support the Tibetans

I was glad to see the Scene’s coverage of the Tibetan Fire Mandala (“Scene Out,” July 6). I want to point out that this was not strictly a Buddhist event, as the text implied, but a nonsectarian gathering of Nashvillians who wished to show their concern and support for the Tibetan people. It is my hope that the Scene’s feature will spark interest in those who did not attend. Thank you for covering this important event!

Becca DuBose (Nashville)


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