Want proof? Responding readers most insulted by Still Dickless After All These Years (issue of Nov. 8-14) are those who took my discussion of Mayor Charlie Luken's tool literally and not figuratively.
I've always said that offending white men guarantees the loudest chorus of response. Yeah, you can talk about their women, children and even their mamas, but you better never come directly gunning for them.
Generally, white men are harmless so long as you don't flick the light on at their parties.
A good negress tattletales to the overseer about everything else. But as soon as said negress suggests to the overseer that he's mad with power and it's not sitting well with the minions, the negress is then punished in the only remaining manner the now-castrated overseer knows.
She's punished emotionally, intellectually and repeatedly.
Readers hurl venom through cyberspace under the pretense they're spoon-feeding me my own medicine. In the past weeks I received about 100 "Still Dickless" e-mails, which proves people are reading CityBeat -- even people who preface their tirades with, "I don't usually read CityBeat."
Like the one that began, "First of all an admission -- I don't normally read the rag for which you write." That reader's letting me know he's above me. Oh, no! Not the mission position again!
I know a typically Cincinnati-style, paternalistic tongue-lashing when I read one
He does congratulate me for finding a home for "my inane brand of journalism." Later he makes a sideways analogy between Courtis Fuller, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, calling them "racist grifters."
I like that phrase. But the analogy is skewed.
He hints that he "knows the man" (Luken) and says I clearly do not. In signing off, he closes with "Titless After All These Years."
I'm uncertain whether he's referring to himself or me.
Despite the outpouring of pro-Luken e-mails, I don't think this is an organized effort. Surely the mayor's supporters aren't holding covert meetings wherein they strategize to stamp out anyone who would dare criticize him. The support demonstrates Luken's people not only showed up at the polls -- they're closing ranks around their boy.
Another reader told me I was pissed off "my candidate" didn't win. And what's wrong with that?
The same reader asked why I hadn't commented on the increase in crime among blacks since April. I have. But to recap, the increase is due in part to the cops' new-school "no contact/no arrest" brand of de-policing.
My favorite is the e-mail where the guy is "impressed" that a high school freshman got her work published in a "professional" paper.
But for its seething undercurrent, the quantity of "Still Dickless" bashing is nonetheless impressive. Read between the lines, though, and what's really at work is paternalism, sexism and racism. No one will come out and say what it is, and that is: Nigger, who the hell do you think you are?
Secondly, everything my critics accuse me of misses the point. I wasn't pretending to portray myself -- angry, disgruntled, agitated and even hostile -- as anything other than what they perceived coming off the page.
Further, I love the way readers criticize feelings but rarely facts. In doing so, they conspire to make a negress columnist feel inadequate. That stinks of oppression.
I'll flip the script on one reader's advice to me and say to the venomous: Get over it. Columnists are supposed to be opinionated. Duh.
Besides, there's no end in sight to the Luken/CityBeat relationship. We've got four more years with the mayor, and just as sure as we've been critical we'll give him his props when it's apropos.
He gets starter points by appointing Alicia "Muhammad Ali" Reece as vice mayor. See, he does have ideas after all.
And speaking of boxing, this e-mail barrage boils down to white guys not being able to take a punch. It's their way of internalizing matters that have everything to do with other white men and, therefore, little to do with themselves.
I'll end this debacle by answering Dave Ginter, who in his published letter (Move on With Your Life issue of Nov. 15-21) said he "sniffed envy" amidst all my talk of Luken's anatomical deficiencies. You're wrong, Dave.
I don't require or envy the white male penis in order to feel all the power white men assume they hoard. Rather, I've got what you think you've snatched in a post-castration hissy fit.
I've got intellect. And mine's bigger.