Pepper Spray: Not So Bad? | Back Talk | Indy Week

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Pepper Spray: Not So Bad?

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We begin with Ross Neuberth, who wrote to tell us how much he disliked last week's cover story, "Charlotte Rising." The first problem, Neuberth says, is author Ken Fine complaining about being pepper-sprayed: "I am prior military and was pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed for training. If being pepper-sprayed 'ranks among the worst experiences I have endured in my thirty-four years on this planet,' then, frankly, you lack the breadth of experience necessary to report on something as important as race relations in America. Moreover, you were engaged in an unlawful protest. Key word is unlawful."

The second issue, Neuberth continues, is that "you are too loose with your interviews. Your quote from Jamaine Hall was tasteless. Could you have chosen a less educated black man to question? Were there no successful, well-educated black men at this little event?"

And finally, Neuberth offers a critique of, well, African Americans: "I wish you would do more to advance the conversation with the platform that has been given to you. Are you trying to placate some far-left black folks with your style of writing? Maybe 'them blacks' should read your article with some Nas or DMZ in the background to really get in the mood! There is a conversation here that goes beyond a shooting. Why do young black men commit such a disproportionate amount of crime? How come graduation rates are so low? Why is security, economic opportunity, education, and more all less than impressive in black communities?"

Meanwhile, Karen K. wants us to know she stands with Governor McCrory on HB 2. "Call me deplorable," she writes, "but you should know your gender. Either by birth certificate or sight. If you've had your surgery and you've gone through the appropriate channels to change your gender and birth certificate, then by all means use the bathroom that fits. I stand with McCrory and our legislature. Stand by your convictions and stand firm, Pat. Who cares who pulls out of North Carolina? Maybe [Charlotte] Mayor Jennifer Roberts, Hillary Clinton, and the LBGs [sic] will stop trying to make people with convictions change their mind by being called deplorable, bigots, and homophobic for money."

Matt Lardie thinks our brief on the Bull City Connector missed the mark: "The reporter seemed to lay the blame for the changes at the feet of Duke University .... While Duke does contribute around a quarter of the route's operating funds, the decision was jointly made by GoTriangle, Duke, and the city of Durham. All three agreed to the realignment and the elimination of the stops at the Durham Station and Medicine Circle in the Duke Hospital complex. To add the new stops to the original route while keeping the current number of buses would have meant an increase in service time from fifteen minutes per stop to nearly twenty-five minutes per stop, a change that all involved found unacceptable. Any one of the three could have decided to contribute the additional cost for an extra bus to keep the system on an acceptable schedule. The reporter's decision to focus solely on Duke is disingenuous at best and suggests a continued animus toward the university from the INDY."

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