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LETTERS

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THE BLACK ISSUE



I HAVE been aware of D Magazine’s existence for a little over two years. Today, for the first time, I purchased an issue. The reason: I am a young, black female who felt that your June feature article, “The Invisible Man,” might concern me. I was wrong. The article angered me. To my understanding, part of your goal was to break some of the black stereotypes, but you failed tremendously. Believe me, you should stick to those “thrilling” articles about “who’s who in North Dallas.” To be honest, D Magazine did about as much for black Dallasites as Japanese imports have done for American cars.

Paula Lockett

Oak Cliff



IT IS NOT very often that a magazine sets itself apart from other magazines as a leader. It took good journalism, initiative, and guts to write an issue that shows you care that blacks get a fair chance in Dallas.

Charles A. Heard Jr.

Dallas



WITH ISSUE after issue, month after month of your magazine, I have become progressively numbed by the increasing volume of advertisements and corresponding decrease in quantity of literary substance in your magazine.

Frankly, the last straw is your June 1981 edition in which you smugly proclaim that the black person in Dallas has been “ignored” and “forgotten.” It would be amusing if it wasn’t such a sad commentary to read your hype on Elsie Faye Heggins. There is indeed a stereotype to Mrs. Heggins, but it is not the one you tried to paint. Her image is not that of an effective spokeswoman for black people, but instead is that of a large, loud, obnoxious, grasping illiterate who has found an unfortunate truism about politics -that noise and antics draw more attention than constructive, calm reasoning. The Elsie Faye Hegginses of this world, and those like you who extol her as a leader do indeed run the risk of “shaking city hall by its foundations,” but a study of history will reveal that anarchy is always clothed in this same garb. If indeed the black community wishes to be treated with the respect that they demand (and believe me 1 do not concede that is the case), then I suggest that the “Dallas power brokers” such as Elsie Faye Heggins resign in favor of reasonable people who can arrive at reasonable solutions in an orderly fashion.

Thomas E. Kurth, Attorney at Law

Dallas



EDITOR’S NOTE: The advertising/ editorial content ratio of this magazine has not changed in years.



CRIMINAL COMMENTARY

LIKE MANY North Dallas residents, I read “Crime in North Dallas” (April) when it came out and later found it interesting that so many people got hot under the collar about it. (As if burglars had to read that article to learn their tips.) As a matter of fact, I too began to lean toward the theory that your article might have done an injustice. Maybe it was irresponsible journalism.

However, just three days ago my own home was burglarized. Luckily, I was not at home so the only losses were material. Unfortunately, my material losses were both financially valuable as well as sentimentally valuable. The latter can never be replaced by insurance. Your article came rushing back to me and I found myself feeling just the way you said I would: violated, sad, and finally mad. I located a past issue and re-read your feature story and I could see more meaning and information that I had passed up before. Reading from common experience opened my eyes to the real purpose of your story.

Sandra Galbraith

Dallas



I AM appalled by the narrow-mindedness of the individuals who threaten to cancel their subscription to D Magazine just because the article, “Crime in North Dallas,” by Mary Candace Evans failed to satisfy their taste. None of the people who chastised Evans took issue with the points the article made, but rather with the prudence, or the lack of it, of publishing the article, since by stating the facts she was willfully endangering the lives and property of North Dallas residents. What a demented argument! It is like saying we will all become brain surgeons by merely reading a detailed description of the operational procedure. Reading Evans’ article would not make you a thief if you are not one already.

Linus Nwankwo

Dallas



I WAS appalled by the abuse of “journalistic license” in your recent article “Crime in North Dallas.” While most of the article may be factually correct regarding statistics and modus operandi of the burglars who have been plaguing our neighborhoods, to include the step-by-step sidebar “How to Burglarize a Home” is, in my opinion, outright irresponsible.



Edward E. Gray

President

Highlands North Homeowners Association

Dallas



BILINGUAL ARGUMENT



I WAS very disappointed when I read your June “Insights” column. The conclusion you drew has no basis on the facts I related to you. Instead, the column reflects a strong bias in favor of perpetuating the past discrimination inflicted on Spanish-speaking students.

At least seven major errors appeared in the article, but 1 will focus on only three serious misconceptions:

1) You neglected to mention that JudgeJustice held that Texas violated the EqualEducational Opportunities Act which prohibits discrimination in schools againstlanguage minority students. The judge didnot “discover” this law as you indicated inthe article; he simply enforced existinglaw.

2) In the article, you espoused an instruction program that you described as a”short bridge.” The evidence introduced attrial conclusively demonstrated that theuse of a short bridge, or a limited instruction program resulted in many casualties among Mexican-American students, including a dropout rate of 60 per cent and a gap of two grades in achievement. On the other hand, the positive effects of a bilingual/bicultural program are unquestioned by the evidence at trial. Limited English proficient students achieve more, stay in school longer, and feel positive about their culture when they receive a bilingual program.

3) Finally, Dallas needs a program that will keep Spanish-speaking students in school. From 1979 to 1980, DISD’s ADA enrollment went down by 3888 students. Fort Worth ISD’s enrollment went down by 3796 students. If the Dallas schools expect to continue at their present rate of funding, they must consider viable alternatives for improving the retention rate of their students. Bilingual education is a proven method for providing limited English-proficient students access to the curriculum. It deserves the support of all Dallas residents.

Norma V. Solis

Staff Attorney

Education Litigation Project

San Antonio



MR. LEGGE REPLIES: Just to keep our “biases” straight, Ms. Solis is the staff attorney for the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund which has spearheaded the bilingual case in federal court for the last six years.

Her first major point, that Judge Justice held that Texas violated the Equal Educational Opportunities Act (and, more importantly, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment) is correct, but hardly relevant. While Ms. Solis is right on how Judge Justice ruled, our point was that Judge Justice was wrong in so ruling, and we believe the Fifth Circuit will support our view when it hears this case on appeal.

Ms. Solis’ second point is that the “positive effects of a bilingual/bicultural program are unquestioned by the evidence at trial.” Again, largely correct, but also largely irrelevant. These “positive effects” should be questioned by simple common sense. Within the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), for example, four and a half hours out of a six-hour instruction day are taught in Spanish and only 90 minutes in English. In addition, many, if not most, of these students return to a home environment where Spanish is the native language. Does Ms. Solis really believe that this is the quickest way to bring these students into the mainstream of American culture? By keeping them dependent on a foreign language, under the guise of their “feeling positive about their (native) culture,” she is indeed killing them with kindness.

Thirdly, we agree at least in part that the DISD must consider new ways of reducing the dropout rate for all of its students. In the case of limited English-proficient students, we believe that an intensive but humane program to teach English as expe-ditiously as possible to these students is the best way to meet this desirable goal.

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