CHOOSE YOUR VICTIMS CAREFULLY

TO THE MERCURY: Rich Quinn's letter in the August 16 issue of the Mercury said there would have been little outcry if Derry Jackson had said "Muslim" or "Ukrainian." Well, what if he had said white people? Oh, but you can't serve a cynical, political purpose by damning the majority. And if you believe you're speaking for, and rallying your own ethnic group, you certainly don't want to anger the Muslims among them. And there just aren't that many high-profile Ukrainians.

No, if you're looking for someone to take the blame, it's always best to choose a people about whom there already is a known body of slander; a rich history of being made to serve as a sewer for resentment and envy. The first rule of defiling someone, of mugging someone, on the street or in politics: Pick a victim you think can't defend themselves. The second rule: Make sure they have what you want. The third rule: Dehumanize them. The fourth rule: Say it's their fault you attacked them.

Jews have many advantages over other ethnic minorities in America. We're sort of white looking, as Mr. Jackson pointed out. We've learned how to make it in the market, having had to change locations so often. We place a premium on education. We tend to look at situations and individuals realistically. We're taught to take responsibility for ourselves, but to help and protect others. These traits aren't exclusively or universally Jewish, of course, but they do make for success. They make for strong communities.

Have African Americans been placed at a disadvantage and kept at a disadvantage in this country? Absolutely. Do African Americans have the right to fight for their just share of this society's bounty? No, they have an obligation to do so. But the many African Americans who have succeeded in every field here did not do it by kicking others with the very boot that bruised them.

Steve Engel


WHOOPEE! ANOTHER PLACE TO GET DRUNK!

TO THE EDITOR: I've found the Shanghai Steakery has no steaks, but IS home to cheap hooch, hermits, hookers, hermaphrodites, heteros, homos, hobos, homeless, horn dogs, homies, and more importantly, hi-test cocktails. It wasn't mentioned in the happy hour list [August 16]. For the sake of other Portland dive-connoi"sewers," I hope this will correct this unfortunate oversight.

Bob


THE MERCURY: NOT SO "WACK"

TO THE MERCURY: In response to Vast Reno [ "Letters," August 16], I believe the Merc to be the only weekly in Portland to pay consistent attention to hiphop. Last week's issue contained a show preview of ATU [Music, August 16], and 2 weeks ago a preview/interview for Portland's Lifesavas [Music, July 26]. Not to mention the "Four Elements of Hip Hop" issue a few months back [June 7]. AT LEAST THEY ARE TRYING! Some press is better than no press at all, and when the Merc chooses to write, they can give props or dis whomever they like (i.e. Q-Tip).

Give some respect to the people who are trying, and especially Q-Tip. Calling him a "fucker," "wack," and suggesting he end his career, when he inspired and pioneered hiphop history and the current underground with Tribe, is funny talk. If you saw Q in a mall, you'd probably be behind me, wanting an autograph.

Chris Funk


HOLD THE PICKLE, HOLD THE MACHIAVELLIAN TACTICS

TO THE EDITOR: Phil Busse once again got a really good point across [News, "The Hamburglar," August 16]. The mayor is making sure she "connects" with the Hawthorne St. gang by making sure she is seen putting up the good fight, even though it seems McDonald's will be able to open up. That I can understand--I don't approve of Machiavellian tactics--but I see the logic of it. What I don't understand is that Hawthorne types are still allowing themselves to get screwed by a posturing mayor they rabidly support.

The world is a confusing place. Good thing you included that bar list in the same issue.

Just One Person's Opinion


SOBER BY LAW

DEAR MERCURY: In regards to the drinkin' issue [August 16]. Let's suppose I'm not old enough to drink, or I have friends who aren't, or maybe I'm a recovering alcoholic, or for whatever reason I don't feel like drinking tonight. What am I supposed to do? Where do I go to meet people? Please dedicate an issue to we pitiable, aforementioned souls who are barred (pardon the pun) from drinking establishments by institutionalized age segregation, or are forced to shy away thanks to our own biological leanings toward inebriation.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against alcohol, drink up! But please, throw me (us) a bone.

No Drinkin' Blues