Letters from the Issue of November 8, 2007

"Kaufman knows there are racists on both sides of the street"

Rawlins Rocks

And so does Walter Mosley: "Easy Does It" (by Raina McLeod, November 1) is as engaging as it is informative.

As an incurable fan of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, I am pleased in having read that Walter Mosley has both intentionally and consistently referenced the invisibility of black men in America by giving us a face, form, and human function through the characters (not caricatures) of his novels.

I'm overjoyed in knowing that whenever he picks up his pen or pencil, or when he sits before his computer monitor, he is writing for "black men who are striving to do what's right, striving to make something happen in their selves, their families, their world...."

However, one couldn't care less that black male heroes aren't often considered in the conscience of white America. Solace for this twentysomething black man arrives in the pages of books written by black men whose sole objective is to give us support and a reason to exist, "which is a very important thing," according to Mosley.

One should be so appreciative that he has written books for the unheralded black man in the past, and grateful today that he still does.

Jarrell Douse

Via Web commentary


Bike Crossing

We're regular people too: Thank you for Isaiah Thompson's excellent article ("The Kendale Bike Massacre," October 25) about the cycling community. I know this will bring awareness in Miami and more respect for local cyclists. We are also fathers, brothers, sons, daughters, and mothers, and we just want the community to respect what we do and the dedication we have for fitness and good health.

Excellent job, and thank you again for your professionalism and dedication to true journalism. I know Mr. Thompson will have a great future in this business.

Keep pedaling.

Carlos "Bianchi" Ortiz, directeur sportif

Team Paisa


Beer Brawl

We can't drink to that: There is an old Beatles song called "Paperback Writer," but in the case of Elyse Wanshel, the name would have to be "Inaccurate, Talentless Writer" ("Octo-Beer Fest," October 18).

The Abbey is a local brewpub/taproom that serves its own award-winning ales, as well as imported and domestic specialty beers, and has never claimed to be a German bar. Since it was October, we decided to throw a 12-hour party for $25 per person that included 10 award-winning specialty beers served in an Abbey commemorative mug, and all the bratwurst and red cabbage you could eat, grilled and served by Chef Brad, of Tantra. I am sorry there were no German bands or men in lederhosen.

The TV sets Ms. Wanshel described as "small, clunky, circa-1995" happen to be flat-screen LCDs circa 2005 and 2007, yet I am at a loss as to their relevance in an article that is supposed to be about Oktoberfest.

The "balding guy, with glazed eyes, holding a beast of a mug" happens to have been the brewmaster and president of the Abbey Brewing Co., who knows that the shape of a beer glass aids in the release of flavor and aroma in a beer. The circles Ms. Wanshel was referring to on the traditional one-liter mug are called dimples. I know these simple facts, because the balding brewmaster is me.

The beer Ms. Wanshel was impatiently waiting for is named Köstritzer. It is a famous black lager, from the town of Bad Köstritz, in northeastern Germany.

I don't know why Ms. Wanshel referred to Q as "James Earl Jones — if he were playing a garbage man." Is it because Q is black and, in her twisted mind, she was trying to be funny by perpetuating some sort of racial stereotype?

The Abbey has a small indoor kitchen that does not accommodate an outdoor charcoal grill. Perhaps we should ignite the grill in Ms. Wanshel's kitchen, and when her house burns down, we can simply move the tailgate to the McDonald's parking lot.

Raymond Rigazio, Abbey Brewing Co.

Miami Beach


Get Help

Don't go it alone: Regarding Ashley Harrell's "A Tranny's Remorse," October 11: I'm a postoperative female-to-male transsexual, and I've almost always known myself to be alternatively gendered, even when I attended Calvary Chapel as a child. I had a pretty rocky life owing to the many issues my gender identity caused, and it wasn't until I began my medical transition that things became more blissful. But I didn't do it on my own; there were trained and experienced doctors who helped me along the way.

I feel horrible that Michael Berke has had to go through all of this pain and torment in his life. If he had gotten the proper medical treatment he needed in the first place, I don't think he would be in this situation. It's sad mostly, and I would never disenfranchise him from the transgender community, but it's issues like this that shed a negative light on the already taboo life experience. I wish Michael all the best, and I really hope he finds comfort in himself one day.

Name Withheld by Request

Boca Raton

 
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