Wednesday, February 27, 2002

It's in the mail

I'm not the only one with an opinion

        Most columnists aren't likely to win popularity contests.

        We have opinions, like everybody else, but we get to write them. And readers aren't always going to agree with us.

        Yet I value readers' thoughts and reactions. I've received plenty on my first seven columns. At least 123 people — at last count — have written, called or e-mailed.

        Close to half agreed with me and slightly more disagreed on topics including O.J. Simpson's ridiculous upcoming visit; Bill Cosby's well-timed resurrection of the boycott; and Kentucky's misguided efforts to force abortion seekers to “think about it” for 48 hours.

        Here's a sampling.

        Tom Woodhall got into the sarcastic spirit of my O.J.-as-healer column:

        “I know when O.J. is done with me I will gladly give up everything that I have worked for for the past 13 years. My house, my cars, my clothes.... I know the message of togetherness, kindness to strangers of all races which Foxy Brown and Juvenile preach will convert the masses at this show.

        “I know the respect Juvenile shows sistas in his lyrics will make a difference. And the lyrics of Foxy Brown ... spell out the only way a Nubian princess can make it in the world today ("Shake and sell your moneymaker'). ... Foxy is an icon for young girls to look up to.”

        Jan Timmel suggests: “Could you do an article on O.J. Simpson doing Cincinnati a favor by not making an appearance in our city? Maybe he could go to Evendale!”

        I'm sure they'd offer him a personal police escort.

Crazy on O.J.

        Some readers just thought I was crazy over O.J.

        Kathy Bussell, an “ex-proud Cincinnatian,” wrote:

        “I'm curious, do they do drug testing at your company and, if so, (were you) somehow overlooked?”

        She suggests I check on Osama Bin Laden's availability for Cincinnati's next “healing” event. I'll have my people get with his people.

        Anonymous phone caller: “I think you need a psychiatrist or something. You need help, lady. There's something wrong with you.”

        Right after, a psychologist called to assure me that my knack for “poking holes in a lot of balloons” is a healthy thing.

        Doug Graves of West Chester has abandoned regional solidarity. “Cincinnati may not be laughing at its problems, but we in the suburbs are chuckling from many miles away.”

Free to be me

        After the Cosby column, Jack Taylor of Over-the-Rhine challenged me as a Northern Kentucky resident and interracial family member:

        “Why doesn't she and her white husband and two interracial children move to Over-the-Rhine for two years? In my eyes she then would be qualified to write about diversity in Cincinnati.”

        As soon as I divorce my husband and abandon my kids. Meantime, I'll embrace my own diversity if no one else will.

        Several readers questioned how an African-American woman, who should be sensitive to the lack of freedom the unborn experience, could be pro-choice on abortion laws.

        “You of all people should respect the value of freedom and equality,” a New Orleans couple wrote.

        Enough said.

        Finally, my bosses will be happy that I'm drumming up business.

        Odessa W. Hooker of Cincinnati ended her Enquirer subscription 35 years ago “because I strongly disagreed with their editorial policy of presenting African-Americans in a derogatory manner. Now I think I shall re-subscribe.”

       Denise Smith Amos can be reached at 768-8395. Fax 768-8340 or e-mail damos@


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- SMITH AMOS: It's in the mail
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