I was deeply disappointed and, frankly, shocked by the blatant racism displayed by Charlie Gibson in his recent Living Out Loud column “Garbage Watch” (issue of July 22). While I applaud the author for his efforts in educating your readers on the benefits of composting, I doubt whether it was necessary or even beneficial to impugn another nation, its language and its culture to make his point.
The author’s misguided assertion that “the Korean language sounds like a combination of yelling and grunts” lampoons the “garbage watcher” as a savage. It is a despicable description and I am appalled that your paper allowed it to be printed. The closing rhetorical questions in the article are unnecessarily insulting and derogatory.
Mr. Gibson’s apparent disdain for Korean culture and language emanates throughout the article, leaving the reader to wonder why Mr. Gibson would not have taken the time to acquire some Korean before moving to South Korea. Without knowing his actual experiences in the country, I speculate that his refusal to acquire Korean language left him insecure, isolated and unhappy during his time in SouthKorea.
As a result, Mr. Gibson’s reflections on his experiences in that country are filled with his own ignorance and shame.
The point of Mr. Gibson’s reflections is an admirable one that is, unfortunately, lost in the muck of his ignorance. I wholeheartedly wish that you, the editors, would have taken the time to sort through the ignorance and racist drivel in this article like so much garbage. Failing your garbage watch, you have allowed Mr. Gibson to deposit a stinking pile of racism on your readers.
So, let the arguments continue that we live in a post-racial society. If only.
— Kelvin Chan, Cincinnati
Riding with a Smile
I read with amusement Larry Gross’ Living Out Loud column “A Thong and a Prayer” (issue of July 1) while riding the No. 11 Metro home from downtown. Like Gross (I’m guessing), I am a frequent rider of the Metro, and I could identify with much of what he described in his lighthearted piece. While I’m not necessarily a fan of nearnonexistent undergarments, his remark “I’m not blind” describes the situation perfectly. Indeed, I’ve been exposed to similar unintentional public displays while shopping at the local Kroger. And, while I am not so farsighted as of yet to require eyeglasses 24/7, I can and do sympathize with his predicament when they are left behind.
His humorous insights into human nature while riding Cincinnati’s public transportation made my ride home that much less tedious. Thanks for the private chuckle and snide smirk that his article brought!
— Jerry Mazzella, Oakley