Ihis week's Backtalk begins with Christopher Ross, who liked our Pride package but not so much this letters column.
"Thank you for 'The Defiant Ones,'" he writes, "your poignant and spot-on assessment of the state of Gay Pride in 2017 in general and in North Carolina in particular.
"I am furious about the cancellation of most of this year's Pride activities. Before I moved here, I lived for thirty-seven years in New York City, where everyone knew that Gay Pride Day was the last Sunday in June, come hell or high water. Period.
"And I came to assume that NC Pride day was the last Saturday in September. Period. Sadly, when Pride organizers caved in to the demands of unnamed 'observant Jews,' they set a very dangerous precedent. There will often be this or that group unhappy because Pride conflicts with another event. That is their problem and no one else's. They are free to choose where to go and what to do on that particular day.
"But to cancel the most important activity of the day is a disgrace, especially, as you noted, in this year of increasing and unrelenting oppression by an administration of thugs and homophobes who are just getting started. Newsweek reports, 'Trump Administration Says Employers Can Fire People for Being Gay.' And we're saying, 'Oh, OK, we won't take to the streets and fight these bastards because it might offend people who want to observe Yom Kippur.' Give me a fucking break.
"This turn of events is due at least in part to 'The March,' as it was known in New York, having become a parade somewhere along the line in the last few decades of Pride history. Of course it should be celebratory, but may we never ever forget that at its heart, it is a political march, not a goddamn parade. And so this year, when we need it most, we will not have a political march and the accompanying speeches but a watered down street fair instead, that, as you said, really works for no one. I want no part of it.
"Shame on the Pride organizers for losing sight of what this weekend is all about and shame on the 'observant Jews' who are so eager to demand special treatment for themselves while they oppress others. Will we never learn?
"And shame on you for silencing your readers by no longer printing our letters in full but abridging them into the mess that is your Backtalk column.'
Gotta admit: that last graph caught us by surprise.
We had a bunch of feedback on our story last week about a fight over front-yard gardens in a Durham subdivision. Adam Haile writes: "Annoying the demographic most responsible for Durham's rising home values—young professionals with families—is supposed to raise property values? The Woodcroft HOA doesn't seem to have thought this through. Take a walk through the parts of Durham with ballooning values, like Burch Avenue, Old North Durham, Cleveland-Holloway, and Watts-Hillandale, and you'll see tons of front-yard gardens."
Commenter MMR adds: "A similar conservative hijacking of the HOA and selective enforcement of covenants happened to us in the Fairfield neighborhood in Durham two years ago. HOAs are set up to protect developers and are not designed to serve the needs of the entire community for twenty-plus years. As such, a small minority can force their will against the rest of the community, as appears to be happening in Woodcroft. This is why we moved to Watts-Hillandale!"
"Grow in your backyard," counters commenter southdurhamneighbor. "Seriously, nobody wants to see that. People live in neighborhoods with HOAs to protect themselves from people like these."
"So they want a garden," writes commenter millertime. "They buy a house with a shady backyard and an HOA. Sounds like they engineered a bad outcome. Thats their problem, not an HOA problem. Good thing the INDY is inked with liberal tears, because they never fall quietly."