That was hardly an objective look at the situation ("Shopping While Black?" 12/5/07). I wasn't there, but you definitely didn't give the manager a chance to explain much. Why do you take the shoppers' statements at face value, but discount everything the manager said? Racial profiling is abhorrent, but the fact that the women were not white and had jobs doesn't mean they can't shoplift. Very few people shoplift out of necessity. And all this passing around the clothes... that just sounds really weird to me. Passing around the T-shirts to see which person they looked best on? They are T-shirts. What was that about? You grab some stuff and try it on. These women may not have been shoplifting, but for all you know, they may have been. Your indignation and defense seems a little premature when it doesn't seem like you have gathered the facts.
Sorry...I just keep seeing stories around the Twin Cities where everyone jumps immediately to whatever conclusion fits with the most racist scenario. I believe it does more damage than good, as it leads to people doubting that any claim of racism is legitimate.
While I appreciate information about local cheeses, one aspect of cheese making was not addressed in Dara Moskowitz's two-part article: rennet ("Cheese Supreme," 11/28/07; "Big Wheels," 12/5/07). While some old-fashioned "connoisseurs" claim that animal rennet cheeses are the only tasty ones, local (and national and international) producers are increasingly making delicious cheeses using vegetable and microbial rennet. The articles would have been more useful to me if they had made such distinctions.
I am close friends with Duy Ngo's wife, and all of us have watched him suffer for five years now ("Unfriendly Fire," 12/5/07). He is a very brave and honorable man to refuse to allow anyone—even his lawyers—to "play the race card." Although I know there are many racist cops on the force, Duy never let that become a tool or weapon for any politician, lawyer, or activist to use to further their own interests. Everyone who knows Duy knows that he loves the brotherhood of law enforcement, even after his own co-workers betrayed and abandoned him. This lawsuit never would have happened if the city of Minneapolis did the right thing. Duy gave them every chance to act right and they never did. Furthermore, Duy should have and still should be commended and awarded the highest honor for surviving two shootings in one night and still trying to apprehend the bad guy after the suspect shot Duy in the stomach. Instead the police department has hidden behind the so-called investigation for five years. They even had a solid lead on the suspect but failed to follow up on it, because they were too busy trying to blame Duy for everything. I and many other people in the Asian community organized a fundraiser for Duy in June 2003 and only one cop from the Minneapolis Police Department showed up.
Duy has a huge heart and would give you the shirt off his back. His parents are the kindest people I have ever met, and his wife is the woman that every man dreams of—beautiful, smart, tough, strong, and very down-to-earth. Duy could have pushed this all the way to a trial and most likely won a lot more money. Duy just wants his life back. He still wants to be a cop, though I can't imagine why. Duy is fiercely loyal to the police; even to this day he defends the actions of other cops, and I can't understand why he defends them after all that they put him through. He simply replies, "One thing has nothing to do with the other." Duy explains that his shooting does not make all Minneapolis cops bad, but it proves that there is corruption at the highest levels of city government.
I hope Duy and his fine family find a small amount of peace in this long ordeal. We are all very proud of you, my friend.