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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Category: Race
August 28, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Change the narrative surrounding police

A police tactical team prepares to disperse a group of protesters in Ferguson. The protests were sparked after Michael Brown, an unarmed black man was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9. Photo: Jeff Roberson)

They are not the enemy I was pleased to read that police officials invited black community leaders and activists to discuss police engagement with the community [“Community, SPD talk about preventing a Ferguson here,” page one, Aug. 27]. I grew up in an immigrant neighborhood where cops walked the beat and kids went to the…

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Comments | More in police, Race | Topics: law enforcement, police, race

August 12, 2014 at 5:20 PM

As we better understand racism, we need to better understand the word itself

I appreciated reading guest columnist Robin DiAngelo’s summation of our white American segregated society that unintentionally creates the opportunity for racism to grow ["What does it mean to be white?" Opinion, Aug. 9]. However, I am left believing we need to create a new word for the modern interpretation of the word “racism.” The…

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Comments | More in Race | Topics: English, Johnmichael Monteith, racism

August 4, 2014 at 6:04 AM

‘The Mikado': Gilbert and Sullivan gave me the courage to enter a mixed-race marriage

Actress Alexa Jarvis in the role of Yum-Yum in the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s “The Mikado” (Photo by Ray Welch / Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society)

I am utterly amazed that the tempest in a teapot controversy about “The Mikado” appearing in the pages of The Seattle Times over the past few weeks completely misses the major theme of “The Mikado” and, in fact, all of Gilbert and Sullivan’s work ["Making ‘The Mikado’ without Asian stereotypes," Opinion, July 27].

That theme is a strong call to question authority and honor egalitarianism, especially in matters of the heart. The protagonists in Gilbert and Sullivan operas are mixed couples, in terms of class, but that could just as easily be religion or race. They have impediments to their relationships imposed on them by authority figures and bizarre laws. In the end, the couples and the authority figures find ways around the repressive taboos so the couples can be together.

I grew up listening to Gilbert and Sullivan. I must give them some

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Comments | More in Arts, Race | Topics: Gilbert and Sullivan, John Ullman, race

July 23, 2014 at 6:43 PM

‘The Mikado': Producers of Seattle production need to respond better to outcry

After Sharon Pian Chan’s column, the defenders of the practice of yellow-face (white actors playing Asian characters with the aid of make-up, costumes and stereotypes) have leaped up in defense of Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s yellow-face production. Mike Storie and Gene Ma have written a guest editorial, defending this production, saying that “The Mikado”…

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Comments | More in Arts, Race | Topics: Gene Ma, Japanese, Ken Narasaki

July 19, 2014 at 4:03 PM

‘Mikado’: Many operas contains racial and cultural stereotypes

The column by Sharon Pian Chan taking umbrage at the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s production of the “The Mikado” is based on the racial stereotypes she found in it, and because of them she feels “The Mikado” should no longer be produced [“The yellowface of “The Mikado” in your face,” Opinion, July…

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Comments | More in Arts, Race | Topics: arts, Bagley Wright, Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society

July 16, 2014 at 7:04 PM

‘Mikado’ is great musical comedy

White actors play Japanese roles in the production of “The Mikado.”

I disagree greatly with columnist Sharon Pian Chan’s “Yellowface in your face” [Opinion, July 13] criticism of the current Gilbert and Sullivan production of “The Mikado” at the Bagley Wright. At last Saturday’s matinee performance, I sensed absolutely no disrespect for things Japanese, just like I have sensed no disrespect for things British in the themes that come up in other great Seattle Society Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.

A roast works best when you admire what you’re

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Comments | More in Arts, Race | Topics: Asian Americans, Bagley Wright, Gilbert and Sullivan

June 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Discrimination: Asking about one’s nationality is not microagression

In response to Megan Yeggy who commented about favoring people who are more like ourselves [“Favoring like people: Fix daily bias,” Northwest Voices, May 25], I agree there are many ways for discrimination to rear its ugly head. However, simply asking someone what his or her nationality is or where he or she is…

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Comments | More in Race | Topics: discrimination, ethnicity, race

May 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Favoring like people: Fix daily bias

In a recent column by Jerry Large [“We tend to discriminate by favoring familiar,” Local News, May 21], he discusses the new research that we tend to discriminate the most by simply favoring those who are the most familiar to us, with this negatively affecting already historically disadvantaged groups. This type of racial discrimination…

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Comments | More in Race | Topics: discrimination, Jerry Large, Megan Yeggy

May 12, 2014 at 6:02 AM

NBA owner’s remarks: Race is superficial

The stir about racist comments by former Clippers owner Don Sterling highlights the faulty thinking of people, generally, about that topic [“Attorney: 3rd party leaked recording of Sterling,” NBA, May 1]. The central error is the initial assumption that the word “race” refers to some specific, significant human characteristic or set of characteristics that…

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Comments | More in Race | Topics: Don Sterling, genetics, Lilia Torres

May 1, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Banned NBA owner: Others in the national spotlight behave hypocritically as well

I applaud syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts for his column shining light on the hypocrisy in how our culture deals with the utterances of Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy [“On race, meet dumb and dumberer,” Opinion, April 29]. It appears that Sterling’s bigotry was common knowledge in the NBA, but it took a very…

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Comments | More in Income inequality, Race | Topics: Cliven Bundy, Coca-Cola, Donald Sterling

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