Another view on 'grillz' 

Philander Smith College President Walter Kimbrough’s guest column, “Show Me Your Grades,” is rife with the same stereotypes that the mainstream media perpetuate and helps to further the rift between perception and reality.

The uninformed criticize a cultural phenomenon that has reached across all racial and ethnic boundaries and is merely a form of self-expression no different than a middle-aged bureaucrat’s purchase of a convertible Corvette or a $5,000 hair transplant.

The fact that many of these young people with “grillz” are involved in the entertainment industry, an honorable and potentially lucrative profession, by no means excludes them from gaining an education. What is telling and somewhat confusing is that many of these young people have the resources to pay more for their “grillz” than many “educators” and college graduates make in a year. If an individual wants to invest their money in Enron through their 401k, I find that the “grillz” may possibly provide a better return. Polarization and criticism do not engender confidence in any relationship, especially when we are attempting to reach out to those whose measure of success in their culture may exceed and surpass the so-called success of those who are entrusted to instruct them.
Anthony Goldsby
North Little Rock

I am thoroughly convinced that the hip-hop “culture” has either created or adopted every single horrible or bad taste fashion trend of the last 20 years, and the feature article on this “grill$” crap did nothing but just solidify my opinion. Oh, and the last paragraph of the article? The stupidest thing I’ve ever read in the Arkansas Times.
Bryan Bedgood

We were appalled and disappointed that David Koon appreciates, thereby endorses, grill wearing. The article stated a grill cost from $200 to “Four-Year Tuition to the Public University of Your Choice.” One of Koon’s sources stated he would rather black youth spend their money on a grill than on something that doesn’t have any value. We wonder was Koon laughing when he was told such a ridiculous statement. Was Koon making fun of a very small percentage of black young men (which the article failed to point out) with misplaced values? Mr. Koon greatly offended us when he compared wearing a grill to wearing a Rolex. Please! A Rolex will tell time. What redeeming value does a grill have? Was this article a joke we didn’t get?
Dwight and Carolyn Harshaw
Little Rock

Our water
It was reported recently that our water utility may be required to spend as much as $30 million to protect our water supply. Land developers close to Lake Maumelle plan to develop land in the watershed. Naturally, Central Arkansas Water must acquire this land. The costs will be passed on to customers.

The question: Why would Central Arkansas Water be required to pay land developers millions for land that is now being taxed at roughly 50 cents an acre?

The Water Commission would be well advised to challenge these land developers in court on the ground of unequal treatment under the law. Bear in mind that the average homeowner in Pulaski County who owns a $100,000 home pays $700 per year in property tax, while land developers pay 50 cents an acre on land they want to sell for millions. One need not have a law degree to recognize this unequal treatment. The Water Works has a responsibility to challenge on constitutional grounds and fight it all the way to the Supreme Court.
Frank Lambright
Little Rock

No conspiracy theorist
I was disappointed to read that Arkansas’s Secretary of State, Charlie Daniels, called me a “conspiracy theorist” in your newspaper. (See “Overcoming the Election Absurdity” by Doug Smith, June 1.)

Had Mr. Smith contacted me, I could have explained several important points that would have greatly improved his article. For example, I could have corrected Mr. Daniels’ erroneous statement that the Help America Vote Act requires a touch-screen machine in each polling place (it requires that there be accessible voting equipment, but not necessarily a touch-screen machine).

My comments about consultant Glenn Newkirk were directed specifically to his views on computer security, which are naive and contradict those of many better-qualified individuals. However, from another article in your paper, it does not appear that Mr. Newkirk is being hired to deal with security issues, so that opinion may be irrelevant to his work for the state of Arkansas.

Most importantly, the article does not help readers to find the truth. Readers can better inform themselves by visiting our website, verifiedvoting.org.
David L. Dill
Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University
Founder of VerifiedVoting.org

Great comedy
I saw Matt Besser at Vino’s on June 5. Because of Matt’s earlier work with sketch comedy in “The Upright Citizen’s Brigade,” and characters in the show he created called “Crossballs,” I expected to laugh a lot. I got more than just a laugh. For the entire show, I was completely engaged. His monologue was a very impressive balance of humorous, logical observation and personal stories that gave an insight into him as a human. His successes in the face of adversity make me proud. He overcame or ignored obstacles created by people and beliefs, and all without using religion as a “crutch” for stability. He confirmed a belief I have had for most of my life: A person can be a good person without being religious.
Joel Hutsell


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