Dear PittGirl,

1. Email from reader Curt O:

Just hoping you could help get the word out about a county meeting to repeal the 10% drink tax. It’s tomorrow the 15th at 5pm at the County Courthouse. Details here.

Thanks,
Curt

You’re welcome, dude.

Although I should warn you that Danny O is already on the offensive:

He sent automated voicemail messages to thousands of residents represented by those council members saying they wanted to raise their property taxes, naming Matt Drozd, Vince Gastgeb and Jan Rea.

“There’s a few individuals that are trying to get cheap PR hits and these are individuals I actually thought were legitimate individuals that wanted to talk seriously about the budget,” Onorato said at a press conference. “Now if they want to come in here and get serious and say, ‘Hey Dan listen, we don’t need the police department, we don’t need public works, we don’t – let’s get rid of all them, or we don’t need transit, shut it down,’ then say it!”

Wow, who knew Drozd, Gastgeb, and Rea were not legitimate individuals?

I strongly encourage you to watch the video because Danny is pissed and gets all Tony Soprano at one point.  I laughed.

(h/t Arika)

2. Email from Dan (NOT ONORATO, HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU?!!?)

Good morning PG-

Just wondered if you were going to put an opinion on the Arena Deal with the people from the Hill District. I’d be interested on seeing some feedback.

Just for the record, I’m not Dan Onarato. ;)

I’m just confused about it.

Talk to you soon and keep up the good work

Dan (Not Onorato)

Good morning, Dan (Not Onorato):

What’s up with that drink tax, man?  You about ready to admit it was a bad move for your future run for gov’nah?

Just kidding with you, Dan.

Okay, the Arena Deal.  Man, Bram has this thing owned and the reason I haven’t written an opinion on it is because I can’t seem to pick a side, if you can believe that from this awesome side-picker.

On one hand, the Hill has seen a huge decline in its vitality over the last 40-50 years.  But can you blame that decline entirely on the building of the Civic Arena?  Perhaps, considering there were streets and streets bulldozed to make room for the Arena, displacing many residents.  But I don’t believe the arena is wholly responsible for the Hill’s current state, and therefore I can’t say I think the residents of the Hill should expect a development agreement to be a cure for all that ails them.

One on hand, I do think they’re right to fight for every single thing they can get, including a supermarket. But on the other hand, demanding direct funds seems a bit much.

On one hand, I can’t believe that Lukey is on the right side of this fight because he’s an immature kid, but on the other hand, setting fire to a draft agreement because you don’t like what it says doesn’t do much to bolster any reputation you might be trying to earn as a respected group of people that can be reasoned with.

There are admirable, strong, persuasive, respectable Burghers on both sides of this issue, some that I know personally, so I’ve just decided to park my ass on the fence until my mind is made up … or until someone sets the fence on fire.

3. Displaced Burgher wrote:

I think that, now that the Steelers are gone for the next 8 months, that we need something to fill our What They’re Really Thinking fix. I propose the occasional Pens game recap.

I will consider it.  I’ll have lots of time to think about it, sitting here on this fence and all.





85 Comments


  1. Dr. Goddess
    January 17, 2008 12:42 pm

    Y’all are funny. And I ain’t goin’ NOWHERE.

    Now:

    Spoon, I don’t appreciate your comments about gangsta rap. I’m offended by your comments *and* gangsta rap.

    What?, the good part here is that nobody is against the Pens or Pens’ fans. That’s a straw person. Further, there is nothing that is being asked of the Pens that would even remotely affect your season tickets or your comfort level. I hope you don’t continue to believe that might be the case.

    Further, all four of your grocery stores were probably built with public starter funds and/or tax credits or abatements. I can nearly guarantee you that. As was the Giant Eagle in East Liberty, as was Whole Foods, the list goes on . . .

    I am against asking the Pens for a grocery store directly (but only in the general sense, I think it’s perfectly valid, especially considering that Ron Burkle , their owner, made his billions partially off of developing grocery stores in urban communities) but I think far more important than that is simply to reinvest, period. And let us decide what we need, where, when, etc. In my personal opinion, a grocery store is not at the top of the wish list. That’s one of the easiest wins with the most emotional connection but I find it to be secondary to other concerns I have.

    As for whether or not you are black or white, the fact that you would elevate *any* sports franchise, an inch in your seat or a cupholder over a community center (even if it’s a poor example) demonstrates to me that you certainly harbor the ideology of unbridled capitalism, the myth of rugged individualism / self-reliance and the ideology of white supremacy—no matter your color. And I don’t know who George is, as I don’t tend to follow sports.

    Sofa King, did you get my previous response to you the last time you brought up Pitt? Do you understand how dismal Pitt’s “diversity” and access to Black students (despite repeated attempts to keep buying up the land in a poor, Black community) has been? So, they set up a program to provide some type of equal educational access to qualified students and instead of looking at the many, many white students who did receive grants and financial aid, you want to pick on the 2% of black students who did? Amazing.

    If you want to look at preferential treatment in colleges, you should start with the “legacies” (alums), the funders’ family members (some of whom can’t even pass the entrance exams), the corporate partners’ family members and many of the athletes (including the rowing club at some schools). They get way more special treatment than anyone at the university. Anyone who told you you didn’t get a scholarship because you aren’t black was just lying to you and didn’t want to tell you the truth about all the many, many, many special preferences given to OTHER white students on campus. You just got excluded because we live in a capitalist system and *somebody* has to lose. The Civil Rights Movement tried to address this but failed.

    See . . .

    Some of you all are just using this issue to sound off against Black people. You can do it, as you have that right; but you just make yourself look foolish, petty and ignorant.

    I always thought going to school helped you make better decisions and be a more critical thinker. I guess I was wrong…



  2. What?
    January 17, 2008 12:57 pm

    Local issues? Local to who…YOU? The Hill is only local to me when I’m at the Pens games. So I’ll support whatever I can to keep season ticket prices down. My best suggestion is, if you don’t like your LOCAL community, move. Quit crying about it, and calling a race issue, it’s a money issue. Quit placing blame from 50 years ago, if a community in the middle of a city can’t bounce back after 50 years it sounds like you have been waiting 50 years to wait for a handout.

    Of course you want everyone to get behind your issue, but I’d bet if it were a white community you wouldn’t give a crap or show any support. And if you say you would, then I’d call you a liar. Of course according to one post the white community wouldn’t have the same problem.

    I’m all about progress. So if the Hill has buildings falling down because their owners didn’t take care of them, tear them down and make me a parking lot for the Pens game. If the Pens and/or Steelers decided to pick up and move the way you suggest. I’d probably move as well since part of what makes this city great is the sports teams. The United States is pretty big, so if you don’t like where you are now, YOU are the ONLY one that should be relied on to change that.

    My final point: the difference between me wanting my extra 1 inch at my seat and cup holder VS. your community center. I’M THE ONE PAYING TO SIT IN THAT SEAT. YOU WANT A HANDOUT. So if you get your handout, the price of my seat could/would go up. So in a battle of YOU vs. ME. I’m going to side with ME every time, just as I’d expect you to side with you.

    So don’t tell me that I need to learn anything about your communities past, I have my own past. I’d rather live in the present which doesn’t include me giving a crap about a community center, grocery store, job help, or anything the Hill cries about. And I’ll still cut through your streets to get to the game no matter how many drug transactions I see.



  3. sickpuppy
    January 17, 2008 1:11 pm

    “Some of you all are just using this issue to sound off against Black people. You can do it, as you have that right; but you just make yourself look foolish, petty and ignorant. ”

    As do you for starting these folks off defending themselves against your “white” comments. Your racist comments only made others defensive so don’t give me that shit. If you want this “discussion” to not be racist, let’s look at it as a “class war” and not a “racist war” If you don’t like the class your associated with, change it, if you don’t like your neighborhood, move. Simple as that

    And people wonder why I drink!



  4. spoon
    January 17, 2008 1:14 pm

    “Spoon, I don’t appreciate your comments about gangsta rap. I’m offended by your comments *and* gangsta rap.”

    First off I said “gangsta hip hop” not gangsta rap.
    Secondly, in no way was I derogatory towards you, I simply said that what was said is subjective. You then started by calling me an idiot for no reason. Negativity started with you babe. Being an educated woman you would know that.

    Also, I didn’t realize that “gangsta hip hop award thingies” was offensive either. oh wait, you don’t like the word thingie. Too much of a double entendre huh? Personally I’m offended by gansta rap too. Let’s start a club! you can be president, vice president, and whatever other roles your personalities want. I’ll be the singer of the national anthem.

    I’ve seen some fine viral marketing in my day but Jesus you’re taking the cake on this one.



  5. Dr. Goddess
    January 17, 2008 1:32 pm

    What?, I LOVE my community. Love it. I’ve also lived away from my community (and all of Pittsburgh) for at least a decade (going back and forth, in college and grad school), so I thankfully have a different and fresh perspective about many of these issues.

    People in the Hill have worked their butts off IN SPITE OF the purposeful, benign neglect of the government structure and private dismissiveness. The Hill CDC attracted investors when nobody else would. People stand outside in the freezing cold and pace up and down hills with bags in their hands IN SPITE of poor public transit, no grocery store, etc.

    This requires no sympathy. I am quite proud of the heavy and hard work that’s kept the people in my community moving and grooving everyday. However, we’ve been in survival mode for so long, we need to move to thriving mode. And, quite frankly, we’ll be darned if we let yet another 1950’s happen again. Maybe that’s what you don’t get. Waiting for a handout? Please! The cruel irony is that we’ve been the ones to get the LEAST of a handout.

    By the way, What, did the Pens get a HANDOUT? How long did the Pens whine and cry and whine and cry about government neglect, eh? How long did Mario whine about this until he got his millions back? Hmmmmmm????

    And I know you will cut through the neighborhood. I don’t really care about that. This is your city, too. Cut through and please, keep going . . . until and unless you can move beyond your intense rugged individualism (ME not YOU). I would NOT always side with myself, I stand with my VALUES.

    Sickpuppy, sorry to tell you this but RACE MATTERS. If you think this is solely a class issue, you are wrong. I am going to point it out and if it’s racist to point out racism, well . . . LOL . . . I can’t even continue because this is a straw argument. Deal with reality.



  6. sickpuppy
    January 17, 2008 1:42 pm

    “Sickpuppy, sorry to tell you this but RACE MATTERS. If you think this is solely a class issue, you are wrong. I am going to point it out and if it’s racist to point out racism, well . . . LOL . . . I can’t even continue because this is a straw argument. Deal with reality.”

    I thought you might be more intelligent than that and you might get past the race issue here for an intelligent discussion. You just won’t let it go will you? I simply stated that if you want the racist comments here to stop, lets look at it as a class war.

    ” I am going to point it out and if it’s racist to point out racism”

    YOU are the one who started bashing “whitey” If you can’t seperate race from class then you are unqualified to even argue your point.

    I like cheese



  7. Dr. Goddess
    January 17, 2008 1:50 pm

    No, I’m not going to let you try to mischaracterize what I said. Put down the David Horowitz books for a moment and just THINK.

    You cannot dictate the conversation. Are you trying to tell me you have no way to critically analyze a situation that *involves* race but does not exclude class without being called a racist or *being* a racist?

    Come on . . .

    Further, if you cannot think about white privilege, white supremacy and racism without reducing the analysis to “bashing whitey”, that is just ridiculous.

    Don’t you know that some of the most prominent anti-racist critical thinkers who talk about white privilege are white?

    I mean, what, are they racist too?

    You should give white people more credit…



  8. sickpuppy
    January 17, 2008 1:51 pm

    “No, I’m not going to let you try to mischaracterize what I said. Put down the David Horowitz books for a moment and just THINK.’ –



  9. Bram R
    January 17, 2008 1:55 pm

    Sorry haven’t read the last 20 or so comments, but if you’re still reading this then YOU CARE, so I just want to get this in…

    Listen, people! This isn’t just happening to “the Hill”, this is happening to Pittsburghers! This is happening on the East End in Larimer even as we speak! How long until Greenfield? Carrick? Troy Hill? How long until Lukey is putting in missile silos near your own damn streetcorner, and decides half your neighborhood needs to be swept aside, and the other half needs to be cut off from all the businesses?

    Pittsburghers need to take a stand, they need to protect their neighborhoods AND their basic rights in local government! Pittsburghers need to rise up against the wheeler-and-dealer classs who can “Master Plan” a whole neighborhood never once seriously listen to us! All I’m saying is, if we’ve got to make a stand, and why not make that stand on the Hill!

    WHEW! Thank you. Thank you very much.



  10. Bram R
    January 17, 2008 1:57 pm

    (apologies for grammar)



  11. sickpuppy
    January 17, 2008 1:59 pm

    “No, I’m not going to let you try to mischaracterize what I said. Put down the David Horowitz books for a moment and just THINK.’ – I did no such thing, you just misunderstood my post, so now you call me a communist?

    “You cannot dictate the conversation. Are you trying to tell me you have no way to critically analyze a situation that *involves* race but does not exclude class without being called a racist or *being* a racist?” – Im not trying to dictate anything, just offering a different way to look at the same situation, what’s wrong with that?

    “Further, if you cannot think about white privilege, white supremacy and racism without reducing the analysis to “bashing whitey”, that is just ridiculous.”

    I find it ridiculous that you have no sense of humor, I was trying to be lighthearted about that, but your hatred blinds you to that.

    “Don’t you know that some of the most prominent anti-racist critical thinkers who talk about white privilege are white?

    I mean, what, are they racist too?

    You should give white people more credit…”

    I don’t really give a shit what they think, we are talking about you here.



  12. spoon
    January 17, 2008 2:00 pm

    “All I’m saying is, if we’ve got to make a stand, and why not make that stand on the Hill!”

    That’s actually pretty cool. I like that.

    Now, about that drink tax…



  13. Dr. Goddess
    January 17, 2008 2:12 pm

    Bram, well said—as usual.

    Sickpuppy, communist? what?!!!
    You say you are only suggesting convo (not dictating) but you said I shouldn’t talk about race, only class.
    Right.

    Sorry I missed your humor. I’m not a hateful person and do enjoy some good comedy and have gotten alot of it, unintentionally, on this thread. I guess yours was just too sensical for me to get it among all the other non-sensical things stated (which cause me to laugh).

    I’ll try to do better.

    Thanks for reading/listening/whatever.



  14. sickpuppy
    January 17, 2008 2:24 pm

    Ok, this will evidently go nowhere with you. You told me to stop reading David Horowitz, the son of two life-long members of the Communist Party and once a prominent supporter of Marxism as well as a member of the New Left in the 1960s, hence my attempt to bring a bit more chuckle and joy into this “go nowhere” conversation. But even on that note I did not bash you for calling me a “conservative, right winger” as I am neither of those things but could have easily taken offense by that comment.

    “You say you are only suggesting convo (not dictating) but you said I shouldn’t talk about race, only class.”

    – Dont twist my words, I never said you shouldn’t talk about race, just offered up another way to look the situation.

    Lastly, you may be passionate about what you support but for fuck’s sake lighten up a bit, you ARE coming across as a hateful person with your comments whether you choose to believe that or not. Why do you think you see all these folks replying to you so defensively. There is a difference between getting your point across and just posting comments that piss people off and push them further away from your intended point.

    Bram –

    Way to step it up an include everyone in this community, well stated!



  15. Dr. Goddess
    January 17, 2008 2:31 pm

    Sickpuppy, I’m not going to bow and scrape for you.

    You leap to too many conclusions. If I were speaking only to you, perhaps I could “lighten up” but your lightheartedness is in the middle of profound ignorance, arrogance and outright racism.

    There’s no way a rational person or even a remotely critical thinker would summarize my comments as being “hateful”. Once again . . . you’re leaping.

    Telling you to put down David Horowitz was a reference to his book, “Hating Whitey” and your comment about “whitey”, so maybe you should do the lightening up? Communism and his parental lineage was never a consideration for me.

    Bram, myself and quite a few others here have implored with many of you to see this issue ACROSS the City. And it has been MY point (MYYYYY point!) that a part of the *barrier* of some of you NOT being able to see the issue as being related to you is because of the RACIST manner in which this situation has been couched.

    Now, if you want to take that to mean every poster is racist, you are a racist, I’m saying all of Pittsburgh is racist—fine.

    I’m done explaining things to people that can’t think straight.

    At least for now, as hope springs eternal. I’ll be back.



  16. sickpuppy
    January 17, 2008 2:38 pm

    “Sickpuppy, I’m not going to bow and scrape for you.”

    aw shucks!

    Again, as you accuse me of not understanding you, you are misreading my comments. I do realize that is is a downside to posting on blogs where there is no emotions shown, only text, so I digress.

    “There’s no way a rational person or even a remotely critical thinker would summarize my comments as being “hateful”. Once again . . . you’re leaping”

    Yep, sure was leaping, but im not the only one who took your comments that way, so I commented on it just to let you know that you “might” be a little more persuasive in your argument if you didn’t bring up the race card. Again, we will evidently not see eye to eye on this so I digress.

    “Now, if you want to take that to mean every poster is racist, you are a racist, I’m saying all of Pittsburgh is racist—fine.”

    Never crossed my mind, its in the way you started this thread that made people defensive and hence the racist discussion ensued.

    I’m going to go kill a kitten now.



  17. sickpuppy
    January 17, 2008 2:41 pm

    Almost forgot..

    “Telling you to put down David Horowitz was a reference to his book, “Hating Whitey” and your comment about “whitey”, so maybe you should do the lightening up? Communism and his parental lineage was never a consideration for me.”

    Remember that sense of humor thing we discussed? I’m well aware of that book, but your comment above is what led me to my “lighten up” comment in the first place.

    Now where did that kitten go?…



  18. John
    January 17, 2008 2:58 pm

    Dr. Goddess – I will be the first to admit that I am not even remotely politically active or conscious. Never have been, most likely never will be. There are things that matter to me, and there are things that don’t. If you asked me point blank, which I cared more about – The score of the next Pens game or getting a grocery store built in the Hill District, my answer is always gonna be A. But I’m not going to apologize for that.

    You said:

    “So, I stand by my right to be saddened and even offended. You can stand by your right to remain aloof. Whatever, man. It’s just the sign of the times and I’m amazed that you let a small boundary keep you from sharing and caring. I mean, I am presently concerned about Pakistan, Randy Pausch (been following since the speech, even introduced Bram to him), people whose bus routes have been eliminated and, strangely enough, Britney’s kids. Everyone is allowed to be human.”

    You just named a bunch more things that I really don’t care about. I’m not a sharer and a carer when it comes to things that do not directly impact my life. I’m just not. It’s just who I am. I have two sick parents whose plights matter much more to me than some messed up singer’s kids or a country that has been in turmoil since Biblical times and will continue to be in turmoil long after all of us are gone. I have enough things on my plate. Yes, I’ll freely admit I live an insular life – I rarely watch the news and don’t read the paper. I also do not vote. But it’s my choice to do so. You can can be saddened and offended by it, but it’s my life to do with as I choose.

    So, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on all of this because you’re not going to change my mind and vice versa.



  19. sickpuppy
    January 17, 2008 3:08 pm

    Amen brother John!



  20. Dr. Goddess
    January 17, 2008 3:11 pm

    Alright, I feel so silly now. I clearly missed about 13 responses earlier in the day.

    M. Sillen (sp?), who referenced Cornel West’s RACE MATTERS is totally correct and then I come along and just mention the idea (sorry about that, I missed it).

    Sickpuppy, maybe you’re so angry because you think I ignored you and your ignorant comments. I’m sorry. Let me address them now:

    “Dr. Goddess,
    You say your not a racist but as I scroll down through your posts you seem to blame everyone else for your communitys problems and not place any blame on the community itself.”

    Sickpuppy, I blame internal and external factors for why my community is poor. Unfortunately, the system of white supremacy encourages and promotes the *dualistic* idea of white superiority and black inferiority.

    There are some people in my community who really do NOT believe we can do this ourselves. Some of them, unfortunately, represent my District. And some of them are Black.

    But it is not JUST the community’s fault. In fact, it’s not even mostly the community’s fault for remaining poor. I’ll give it a 60% – 40% blame factor and that might be too generous on the oppressor’s side.

    Dr. G:
    1. “You see, I keep telling Bram that it’s this unfortunate thing we have in America called “racism”. If the Hill were a poor, white community, I believe you would be decided.” – So its our fault that the hill is a poor community? Take some responsibility for yourself to better your life instead of depending on or blaming others.

    Dr. G: Please see above.

    2. “Pittsburgh’s own brand of white supremacy prevents Black Pittsburghers from getting good jobs, on every level—period.” – Extremely racist comment, this statement is complete bullshit. I have several black friends who are intelligent, work GREAT jobs and are successful because, just like me, they got off their ass and made something of themselves without any help from others. It comes down to how much YOU want to better yourself and stop blaming others for your problems.

    Dr. G:
    Sorry but this is an extremely ACCURATE comment. You know I don’t mean 100%. Each and every one of your friends is the EXCEPTION, not the rule. Even *I* am an exception, not the rule. You are in extreme denial about racism and structural inequality. That’s too bad…

    By the way, Sickpuppy, a part of the problem with our society is that we actually are foolish enough to believe we have, can and will make it on our own. You did NOT make it on your own and neither did any of your friends—nor have I. We all made it because it takes a village to raise a child. It takes an entire system WIT individual effort to get us to *make it*. So, later with that rugged individualism crap. It’s a myth, for goodness sakes.

    3. “We don’t expect for the CBA to be a cure-all. Our hard work and tears are the cure-all but we could use some HELP in the same way that EVERY. SINGLE. NEIGHBORHOOD. gets via direct funds.” – In my OPINION, why give more money to a neighborhood that simply and honestly does not give a shit about itself. Some in the community may care but I for one believe that the majority does not.

    Dr. G:
    Well, you are wrong.

    4. “Are you suggesting that there is no racism and no system of white supremacy in America now that the Civil War is over?” – There you go again blaming the white race. There are plenty of opportunitites in this country, get off your collective asses and improve yourself, I was in no way raised a “priveleged” individual. I busted my ass to be where I am today and I take pride in that.

    Dr. G:
    Blaming “whites” and talking about the system of white supremacy are two different things. I realize this may be hard for you to get your head around but let me point out to you that even during slavery, there were white abolitionists and others who fought hard to make this country much, much better. They were just outnumbered and out-organized by racist whites hellbent on ruining the best of what America could be because they were being lazy as hell and wanting everybody else (especially people of color) to work for them and to have all women just give them a good lay and reproduce. Think on that for a moment.

    By the way, Black Pittsburghers bust their butts on a regular basis. Please do not think your white privilege had nothing to do with you “making it”. Please . . .

    5. “Another reason why I love Pittsburgh (and folks like Spoon). If a poor, white community were seeking a CBA (and there will be one in Pgh, btw), nobody would ever, ever, ever bring up gangsta rap.” – There you go again with the white comments. I believe Spoon was just trying to lighten the mood with this thread and made a joke, have a god damn sense of humor

    Dr. G:
    Well, I don’t find Spoon’s racist comments funny. and I firmly believe that if this were happening in Lawrenceville, there would be damn near a revolution up in this city and EVERYBODY would be talking about it.

    “And Nel, I am sorry to hear of your woes but if you were a Black Pittsburgher, you would be told to get up off of your lazy ass, stop asking for handouts, do for your self, shut up and stop whining all the time.” – I agree totally with your statement here. I dont give a shit what color you are, get up off of your asses and stop blaming others for your problems. The only person that can improve your life is YOU.

    Dr. G:
    That’s just not true, Sickpuppy. It just really isn’t. At some point, we were all given a chance, we were all given the benefit of the doubt, somebody believed in us—at some point. I think it’s hard for you, because you did work so hard, to see that some people work just as hard as you and get different results—solely because their name is “Shanika” or because they walked into an interview thinking they had an equal opportunity.

    Have you read the article on white privilege I provided for this blog yet?

    “Ignorant, isn’t it?” – No, it’s the hard truth

    Dr. G:
    No, it really isn’t. And, further, if you believe that, then why don’t you tell the Pens and Whole Foods and Walnut Capital and alllllll of the other rich companies to get up off of THEIR asses and stop asking for public subsidies, public lands, tax credits and the like, eh?

    Since you’re ALL about “do for self”?

    Sickpuppy:
    “So you can call me ignorant, racist, or uniformed. I don’t really give a shit what you think. After all my comments here I guess my point is to everyone – STOP BLAMING THE OTHER SIDE AND DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR LIFE IF YOUR NOT HAPPY!
    EVERYONE has an opportunity in this country, there is proof of this everywhere you look. Stop looking for a handout and improve YOURSELF!”

    Dr. G: Everyone does NOT have an opportunity in this country. Please take off your rose-colored glasses, Sickpuppy.

    SP:
    Done ranting now, and damn do I feel better! Thanks Pittgirl! :)
    #

    Dr. G:
    Yes, thank you PittGirl. You definitely know your audience better than I do and I appreciate you providing this forum for extraordinarily blissful commentary. LOL.



  21. Dr. Goddess
    January 17, 2008 3:14 pm

    John, fine with me. I wish your parents (and you) well.
    Later…



  22. spoon
    January 17, 2008 3:21 pm

    “Well, I don’t find Spoon’s racist comments funny.”

    um what did I say that was racist?



  23. What? The Puck?
    January 17, 2008 3:22 pm

    What?,

    I can’t respond in full at this time, but I had to make a few remarks to your previous post.

    Specifically, I felt I needed to let you know that you are not paying for your cupholder. Don Barden, a Black man, and City and County taxpayers are paying for your cupholder.

    Granted your season tickets might cover the cost of a Beer Slinger’s weekly salary, but that’s about it. I just don’t want you to get caught thinking your completely self reliant or anything like that. After all, that you make you different from all those lazy people (aka humans) who live in The Hill, eh?

    Understand that White Privilege is not about being born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but rather it is about you having the luxury to think about a cupholder during a very serious political, social and economic debate that could change the landscape of our region, country even. How about season tickets for that?

    You’re talking about a cupholder?

    Hell, we’ll just start with clean water. And please do throw in a bit of repaired infrastructure through which the water can flow. In fact, What?, a bit of repaired infrastructure could also spur development in The Hill. I am certain that the new development on the “Lower Hill” will have lota of new infrastructure to boot. As they dig, I wonder if they’ll find any artifacts from the 8,000 families who were forced to move in the 1950’s? Maybe a sullen notice that reads “Must vacate in 24 hours.”? If so, we should house that artifact in Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Museum of African American history. Oh, I’m sorry, no such thing exist.

    For the record, this issue is about race and class, it’s not just about race. And America’s institution of racism and capitalism constricts people of color and poor people’s pursuit of happiness AKA the American Dream every single day…not so much their pursuit of “one more cup holder” though, so you should be good.

    Bottoms Up!



  24. What? The Puck?
    January 17, 2008 3:33 pm

    Pardon errors in previous post
    *Corrections*

    After all, that *would* make you different from all those lazy people (aka humans) who live in The Hill, eh?

    and

    I am certain that the new development on the “Lower Hill” will have *alot* of new infrastructure to boot.



  25. sickpuppy
    January 17, 2008 3:36 pm

    1. Who the hell said I was angry?

    2. “You are in extreme denial about racism and structural inequality. That’s too bad…” Untrue, I simply see it in a different light and so be it. I’m ok with that.

    3. Again, the race card. And again we simply disagree. I feel that “the system of white supremacy” in itself by you is a racist comment. If you don’t agree, i’m ok with that.

    4. I think it’s hard for you, because you did work so hard, to see that some people work just as hard as you and get different results—solely because their name is “Shanika” or because they walked into an interview thinking they had an equal opportunity. – Again we disagree because I still feel that statement is bullshit, but agian, i’m ok with that too.

    5. “No, it really isn’t. And, further, if you believe that, then why don’t you tell the Pens and Whole Foods and Walnut Capital and alllllll of the other rich companies to get up off of THEIR asses and stop asking for public subsidies, public lands, tax credits and the like, eh?

    Since you’re ALL about “do for self”?’

    Because I truly believe in capitalism. These “big” “bad” companies provide jobs and revenue for your community, without all of these compainies here in PGH trying to survive and grow as a business, this town would be shit.

    “Everyone does NOT have an opportunity in this country. Please take off your rose-colored glasses, Sickpuppy.”

    Oh yes they do, that statement is just pure denial of one’s own potential. I’ll leave it at that. Ive known some folks who were in pretty bad shape pick themselves up and do something productive with their lives, the only difference is they had the motivation to better themselves. Most do not.

    We can bounce back & forth until we hit post 1,052 and we still won’t agree on squat. So I will leave it at that, good luck in all your future endeavors and this kitten tastes like chicken!



  26. Bram R
    January 17, 2008 3:48 pm

    Dr. G, I’m gonna come down with the white people on this one. We really don’t like even *hearing* the word racism, and especially not racist. Surest way to turn us off. Nails on a chalkboard.

    Not that that’s YOUR problem, and not that it should matter to you. But IF YOU HAPPEN to be trying to win over a white person and would like to do it well, try only sliding in just one “racism” and then move on quickly. Trust me, it will get noticed. Or, honestly, use other words entirely, unless the person you are talking about is actually wearing a white sheet.



  27. spoon
    January 17, 2008 4:45 pm

    Well this was fun day. I had a good time. I really wanted to hit that comment mark but I guess people work during the day. In closing about that racist comment I apparently made and that I’m still trying to find…

    *** “I was asking her to do the right thing. Big difference.”
    That’s subjective. What you consider right might not be what anyone else does.***
    Nope. Don’t see anything there

    *** I think everyone is all uptight about the possibility of not winning one of those gangsta hip hop award thingies.***
    According to about.com – Gangsta rap is a genre of hip-hop that reflects the violent lifestyles of inner-city youth. Or even Wikipedia – Gangsta rap is a subgenre of hip-hop music which developed during the late 1980s.” Don’t see any racism there. All races sing rap. By “everyone” I meant the collective and since you’re the only one upset I can see who didn’t get the joke or is trying to find offense where none exist. Oh wait I said “thingie”. That’s unisex and unirace.

    ***holy shite, Mike Seate in drag is calling me an idiot.***
    That’s just funny. Since you called me an idiot and ignorant for whatever reason I think it’s even funnier. haha the mental image. oh christ i have to pee.

    ***saying that I’m ignorant is pretty ignorant. I mean I can become ignorant if I felt ignorance was something I was ignorant about but that’s just ignorant.
    I’m hungry, lets go get a taco.***
    I’m sorry to those I offended who are tacos but you are delicious.

    As I said, I’ve seen some fine viral marketing in my day but Jesus you’re taking the cake on this one. I think you’ve honestly managed to piss more people off in 24 hours than Dan Onorato and if anything the image of your cause was hurt, not strengthen. I’ll be looking for you protesting the next time I go to a Pens game. We can go have a drink and chit chat. I know you’ll reply one more time because it’s apparent you have to get the last word where as I’m just looking for clarification. If you’d like to discuss this more shoot me an email.

    cheers!

    P.S. I think you and sickpup probably could top the most comments for a post here. I get bored easily so I’m moving on. You 2 kids try not to wreck the place and save room for dessert. Not sayin you 2 need to shoot for that goal. just sayin…



  28. M. Silenus
    January 17, 2008 4:51 pm

    I actually had a very interesting conversation with my six year old son while watching the Colts/Chargers game on Sunday. He asked me who I was routing for since the Steelers weren’t playing, and I explained to him that since I was a kid growing up near Baltimore in the 80s I would never, ever route for the Colts because they left in the middle of the night for Indianapolis.

    Son: Why did they leave

    Me: Because Indianapolis offered them more money and a fancy new stadium. As a matter of fact, a lot of teams moved around that time. Houston Oilers to Tennessee, LA Rams to Saint Louis, etc., etc.

    Son: I don’t feel like watching football any more.

    Me: That’s actually a pretty logical response

    I like to watch sports as much as anyone. In fact we have a rule in our house about how loud you can be that goes 1) indoor voices 2) outdoor voices 3) football watching voices. But I get pissed as hell when these teams line up with their hats out, then threaten to pick up and move when local and state governments don’t jump. In the mean time our roads and bridges and schools are in continue to suffer.

    I sincerely believe there should be a FEDERAL law that mandates that no professional sports team that accepts one cent of public funding will ever be allowed to pick up and leave EVER or the franchise becomes the property of the host city/state. That way the welfare queens who own the teams won’t be able to play one city off against another. Really, the Green Bay model for team ownership is the only one that is truly equitable for the host cities. That is my totally inexpert opinion.



  29. Dr. Goddess
    January 17, 2008 5:05 pm

    Ah, I finally see what you mean, sickpuppy. You feel that I make a racist statement when I use the phrase “the system of white supremacy”. I’m sorry that you feel that way but the system of white supremacy became a bonafide system the very day “white” became an actual identifier and a legal term that gave privilege and supremacy in economics, education, entertainment, law, labor, religion, sex and war—to anyone who chose to classify themselves as “white”.

    Reading for you:
    Noel Ignatiev, “How the Irish Became White”
    http://www.racetraitor.com (or .org)

    Also, please don’t take my criticism of the lack of equality opportunity in the structural inequality in this country to mean that I think it’s okay to give up hope or that it means a *PERSON* cannot recreate or even bust down the doors of the system. Heck, that’s what a revolution is all about. I still believe it is that person, that community’s responsibility to lead the charge—and that’s what we’re doing over here in the Hill.

    We survive and thrive IN SPITE OF (as I said before). We know we have potential, hell, we hold onto that idea and it keeps us going every. single. day. We try to make a way out of no way, we create something out of nothing all the time. We know our potential and tap into it on a regular, constant basis —IN SPITE OF. The difference, right here and right now, in this day and time, is that we understand more today than we did yesterday and we are very clear about several fundamental ideas:

    1. We LIVE here and have every right to protect our homes and the quality of our lives.

    2. WE (not you) are the HOST COMMUNITY that has to put up with everything that comes with the arena. We have every right to have special consideration today, in 2007 – 2008. Forget the past. TODAY!

    3. The Pens were given public lands with public subsidy partially using OUR neighborhood as the rationale by which to receive it. They said they would be good neighbors, they said they would reinvest in the community. They said a whole lot but in reality, they’ve done very little in the past 40 years. So, yeah, companies DO provide jobs—but what happens when there are few jobs for Hill residents and other Black Pittsburghers? What happens when the Pens invest in their fans (many of whom live OUTSIDE of the city)—like “What?”.

    I probably missed something else I wanted to say but . . . oh well.



  30. Dr. Goddess
    January 17, 2008 5:18 pm

    Bram, I’m sure you know I don’t give a damn what makes white people comfortable. I am not only an artist (born to make all people feel uncomfortable), I am also a teacher (trained to make people feel uncomfortable and reevaluate) and I consider myself a revolutionary (primed to change some things, sometimes mildly and sometimes in a mediocre way).

    So, you know, do I care about what “white people” think on a blog? No, not really and not in the manner that one might think. Because there is no monolith here. When you stand with me, you are not standing with “the black people”, on this blog or otherwise—you are standing with what you believe to be RIGHT based on your VALUES.

    Case in point: There are Black people I do not stand with on this issue—and you are well aware of that. Of the most intelligent, impassioned and wise persons on here, we can all see our interconnectedness and we see the manner in which we can seize the time. And that is neither a white or a black issue. or side.

    I’ve been quite honored to blog in the presence of some of the white people (or persons who might otherwise classify themselves as white) on this and other blogs. They’ve made me stand and applause, in fact. And laugh.

    But do I ultimately care that they’re “white?” No.

    I’ve noticed that all of the white people on the blog who KNOW racism is grand in Pittsburgh and who could break down white supremacy even better than I can—are NOT the ones complaining. The ones complaining are uncomfortable and in denial and non-reflective about race and a bit myopic. But you know what? They’re not bad people either and I’m fine with it.

    For the 1% of the population on here that I believe is truly racist, well, it takes all kinds for the world to go ’round.

    I made somebody uncomfortable on here? Good!

    Multiply what you feel by about 1,000 and . . . Welcome to my world! Welcome to Pittsburgh!

    I’m not here to make you comfortable. I’m here to make you think, to make you feel, to wake some of your asses up. And I know what it’s like to have that cold gust of air mess up the warm fuzzy you created in your bed but if we are EVER going to be a better people, a better neighborhood, a better city, a better country, a better humanity, we had better WAKE UP and PAY ATTENTION!

    And no revolution is ‘comfortable’.

    Thanks for reading.

    p.s. I actually can cut and paste this exact message to the entire Hill District and it would mean and say pretty much the same thing.



  31. Dr. Goddess
    January 17, 2008 5:18 pm

    Sorry, I meant to say sometimes mildly, sometimes in a RADICAL way.



  32. sickpuppy
    January 17, 2008 5:56 pm

    “The ones complaining are uncomfortable and in denial and non-reflective about race and a bit myopic. But you know what? They’re not bad people either and I’m fine with it.”

    Thanks for the compliment however you could not be more wrong about at least me being uncomfortable or in denial nor do I have a narrow view, just my own – of you think it’s narrow that is your opinion. I think also we are too quick to judge one another based on blog comments.

    “I made somebody uncomfortable on here? Good!”

    I wouldn’t call it that at all, more like some are pissed off, and why would you encourage that in an already divided society? And I dont care if you reply to this or anything further, my opinion is mine and I do feel that you are further dividing by your comments and not making people “think”

    So goodnight Doc, I hope you fare well in your endeavors seriously, this has been an interesting “discussion” and I honestly have nothing further to say. As I said this type of back and forth opinion will never cease so Im at least ending my thoughts here.

    I have kitten stuck in my teeth!



  33. Scottie
    January 19, 2008 5:09 pm

    Dr. Goddess, didn’t the Hill used to be a irish and jewish slum ? My ancestors, the dirty old mick’s used to get beaten around up there quite a bit. That was prior to the 30s when the African American community moved in from the south to avoid the violence down there (also a place of my ancestors…my mother’s family was all from the south) and displaced them.

    But my family, the Irish folk that is, moved up from poverty very slowly. They worked in the mines and on the railroads until my father and his siblings decided to make something of themselves. In the history of my family, I can honestly say that they never took handouts from anyone. It was my family’s determination and strong work ethic that got me where I am now. I’m sitting comfortably (still can’t afford a Steeler game) and can look back and say “wow, we did something!” I don’t whine about the conditions as they were, the racism we faced, or any of that because it’s all part of what made me who I am.

    What always got me mad was when I was in my early 20s and I would walk to the neighborhood ‘Iggle and scrape by with my FoodClub groceries for the week. I often times would see some family with a cart full of food and 5 children pay for that wonderful load with an access card. That didn’t bother me, because I figured they needed it more than I did. But then I would leave the store and find them outside loading up their shiny new Escalade. I thought, “What am I doing wrong?” I didn’t even own a car, barely could pay rent, and lived off of Ramen, and yet, they were getting a free ride?

    Oh well, I’ll leave the judgment up to someone much higher than myself, like you, Dr. Goddess.



  34. Scottie
    January 20, 2008 9:07 am

    Further to that… what happened? Those black* families moved from the south with hope in their hearts that that north would be a better place. They came here to make something of themselves. Now it seems many of them have given up. If they think they’ve got it bad, they should look back further in history and realize they have a lot more opportunity than they did. Instead, they fight many of the wrong causes.

    Before you get your knickers in a twist over that one, think for a second. I agree that there is inequality…trust me…I do. I still live in a state (excluding the city) that could fire me just because of my sexuality. At least they can’t fire me for being white, irish, or from another state (birthplace is a protection in PA). Have I been discriminated against on the job because of this? YES! And the hatred against *my* people comes from all races (Do you hate gay people too? Or just the white ones?) Did I let it stop me? Nope…it made me fight harder for things that mattered.

    Oh, and your point about white people having more opportunities is a generality, and in that spirit, racist. Oh wait, can’t call you racist, black people can’t be racist.

    I also see lots of people, white people, who live in impoverished old steel towns around the ‘burgh who are looking for free rides. Would we be having the race discussion if the Pens wanted to bulldoze Millvale? Nope, because race doesn’t factor in when you’re white. But many of those people are also looking for hand-outs, and they annoy me just as much as anyone. Do I hate them? No. Do I pity them? Yes, but pity only goes so far.

    I have many black friends, most of whom prefer the word black (hence the *) because many of them came from the Caribbean. Actually, to think of it, the only one that calls himself African American was raised in Kenya…yep, he’s African. They have a totally different take on things. They moved here for opportunities (just as many of the locals’ ancestors did), but they found those opportunities and ran with them. They are all successful, wonderful people.



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