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Letters to the editor

Villaraigosa goes to Hollywood; controversial team mascots; celebrating Ray Bradbury

August 27, 2011

Hollywood money

Re "Mayor meets Hollywood," Business, Aug. 25

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa did not need to meet with film executives to solicit ideas on how to make Los Angeles a more film-friendly city.

The answer is quite simple: Villaraigosa should do everything in his power to assure that Los Angeles is the most inexpensive city in the nation to film in.

Not only would this bring back thousands of outsourced entertainment jobs to Los Angeles, but it would also secure the support of Hollywood in a future bid for the governorship.

Heck, I'm a conservative, but even I would vote for him if he could accomplish this feat.

Shari O'Connell

Santa Monica

Quite a mixture on team mascots

Re "Indian mascots — you're out," Opinion, Aug. 25

It's not surprising that many European Americans, who long ago gave up their ties to a tribal past, wonder what all the fuss is about when Native Americans complain about their portrayals as sports mascots.

The dated concept of the melting pot still holds sway over the promise of multiculturalism.

Perhaps the real tragedy is that many Americans have given up on their own unique heritage in favor of the dubious idea of being a "Heinz 57."

William La Valley

Cypress

I read with interest the Op-Ed article about the bygone practice of naming athletic teams after American Indians. That practice was banished along with the demeaning, cartoonish representations that served as mascots.

I hope the time is now ripe to call on the University of Notre Dame to cease calling its teams the Fighting Irish and banish the sideline-prancing leprechaun. This character is as insulting to the sons of Erin as those depictions of Indians are to Native Americans.

I would suggest Notre Dame follow Stanford's wise decision and send the leprechaun packing.

As a substitute, perhaps a potted plant of some kind would work for Notre Dame as well as that tree does for Stanford.

Patrick I. O'Donnell

Escondido

I understand why Native Americans feel angry about some of the professional sports and college team mascots, but I don't get what bothers them about those same organizations using Indians as team names.

The author writes: "It is dignity and respect we are talking about." Exactly.

Sports teams are named after people and animals that are respected for their bravery and feared for their prowess. Retiring stereotype mascots is overdue, but renaming teams seems excessive.

And remember, the Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Edinboro Fighting Scots have mascots or names based on Caucasian groups.

Jim Kalin

Los Angeles

Jack Shakely's call for an end to Indian mascots is yet another suggestion that political correctness formulated by a few should trump majority rule and freedom of speech.

I am continually amazed at how obsessed some individuals have become with perceived discrimination.

What are the damages in these cases? How does some remote use of an ethnic word damage dignity and respect? Why do so many groups have such thin skins? Whatever happened to "live and let live"?

He argues that athletic teams should end ethnic mascots because "it is the right thing to do."

So, who decides that right thing? He cites a study: "84% of Native Americans polled had no problem with Indian team names or mascots." It strikes me as arrogant when he suggests that 16% of an ethnic group should force its morality on the entire population.

Do we really want to support this kind of decision-making? The more American way to change corporate or college culture is to withhold purchases or donations.

Gary Watkins

Sun Valley

Shakely's Op-Ed brought to mind the University of Northern Colorado's intramural basketball team, the Fighting Whites, formed in 2002, whose mascot was a white male wearing a suit.

I am a 65-year-old white male, and I found this to be hilarious, as well as an effective way to make a point.

It's too bad we don't see more good humor in everyday discourse nowadays (Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert are doing their part).

Charles Hollenbeck

Rancho Cucamonga

Ray Bradbury in the classroom

Re "Live forever!," Opinion, Aug 22

Alice Hoffman's tribute to Ray Bradbury brought to mind many youthful summer days spent with his wonderful, soaring imagination.

Years later, as an English teacher, I would be the only teacher in the district to have the privilege to teach science fiction.

Many of my colleagues thought the subject was not worthy of a strict curriculum, but I knew that Bradbury's prescient stories could stir the sometimes sleepy interests of a certain kind of student.

His work has ignited a spark in some lives that otherwise may not have seen the light of imagination.

Milton B. Rouse

Dana Point

A bill to prevent more Bells

Re "Dispute jeopardizes Bell-inspired disclosure bill," Aug. 23

Can state Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) and Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) please put their petty differences aside for a moment and concentrate on measure SB 46?

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