Letters • March 6, 2009

Posted on 06 Mar 2009 at 12:09am

Mom would be ecstatic
My late mother, Ann Loeb Sikora, would be ecstatic over another Mazon grant to the Resource Center of Dallas’ nutrition programs. She was a founding board member of Mazon and introduced the concept to area congregations more than 20 years ago.

And RCD was very important to our family.

Even if you don’t choose to give directly through Mazon, find out more about it and what they do at Mazon.org.

You can create your own version of Mazon in your own home to fight hunger. They ask that you put aside 3 percent of your food budget for those who need to eat. From your $100 weekly food bill, set aside $3 and at the end of the year you’ll have $156 for a food pantry.

Use the same model when planning a party, family dinner, holiday meal, commitment ceremony, wedding or other big event.

As Mom always said, "Do it because it is the right thing to do."

Danny Sikora
Dallas

Not impressed by Cinemark meeting
I am not impressed by the spirit or results of the meeting recently between GLB leaders and Cinemark.

What was the purpose? What was decided?

The answer is, "Very little."

At the core of this debate ought to be whether or not the personal activities of a Fortune 1000 CEO should affect his professional employment. In this case, the answer should be and is already, "Yes." The gay and lesbian community should reject this lip service from Cinemark for the following reasons:

First, Alan Stock didn’t attend the meeting. In fact, he’s been silent since news broke about his donation. His staff has been forced to protect him without any personal accountability whatsoever.

If Alan Stock is truly interested in the well-being of his company, and if he is truly able to separate his personal views from the policies of the company that he leads, then he should be willing to personally confront leaders of the gay and lesbian community and reassure them that Cinemark isn’t anti-gay.

Secondly, nothing came about from the recent meeting that we already didn’t know.

We all know that, on paper, Cinemark is inclusive of gays and lesbians. They have already released employment policies and issued lip service press releases.

But Cinemark didn’t make a single substantive promise on what it plans to do going forward. Not one.

They haven’t promised to monitor the political endeavors of their chief officers. They haven’t promised to donate or contribute money to educating members of the public or their own staff regarding gay and lesbian issues.

The only thing they have done is slap a smile on their faces and pleasantly defend, wholeheartedly, the acts of their CEO.

Finally, this is solely about gay issues. Do you think Cinemark would be hiding behind the wall of separation between personal and professional life if Alan Stock had openly denied the Holocaust, made a donation to a political group affiliated with the KKK or gave a speech on the importance of a wife’s subservience to her husband (which Stock’s church openly endorses)?

If Stock had done any of these things he would have been out of office faster than George Bush, even if Cinemark policy officially protects all races, genders and religions.

But gays and lesbians haven’t achieved this type of clout yet, and so for the time being, it’s acceptable for a executive officer to openly discriminate against gays and lesbians.

I have personally sat outside Stock’s house with a sign. I have spoken to his neighbors and explained why he’s a bigot. And I’m driving the extra and inconvenient five miles to avoid Cinemark.

So long as Cinemark gives mere lip service to the gay and lesbian community and shields its CEO from personally addressing these issues, I’m not spending a dime there, and I hope you won’t either.

Justin P. Nichols
Plano

Michael Robinson responds
In response to Robbie Sames’ open letter to me in the Feb. 20 issue of Dallas Voice:

Robbie, thanks so much for your viewpoint and for taking the time to voice your opinion about traffic police activity in the community.

I also lived in the community for some time as well, and what I have found is that there was very little police presence in the community when Jimmy Lee Dean was beaten within an inch of his life on July 17, 2008.

No one in the community stood up in outrage at that hate crime, which happened right behind JR’s. There should have been hundreds of gay folk standing up in protest the very next day.

I am not in the business of fighting crime from a police perspective. I leave that part up to the police. I am too busy trying to fight crime as a resident and an activist, when I am walking down the streets at night or during the day.

But I have found myself spending more time trying to defend the actions of the United Community Against Gay Hate Crimes organization than in actually doing something to help prevent crimes. Hmmm!

We have several problems in the community, and crime is one of our major concerns. We also have people speeding on Cedar Springs during the day and at night. There is a school zone that starts at Throckmorton and Cedar Springs. So we have asked the Northwest Division traffic police to address that problem and others.

I hope you read about a 40-year-old Manoj Kumar who was run over after lights were installed at the Reagan Street crosswalk around midnight on a very busy Saturday night — and only one person may have seen the driver. Wow! I have an idea: How about the business owners get together and offer a cash reward for information leading to the capture of the driver who ran over Mr. Kumar that night.

Robbie, I have been ticketed before for having an expired inspection sticker, which is a traffic violation by the way.

And yes I deserved to get a ticket and I did not pull the gay card to try and get just a warning since I live in the gay community. If you’re riding dirty and get a ticket, that’s on you not the traffic police.

The Northwest Division has undercover cars working the streets at night and regular patrol cars to reduce crime in the area. I would like to see more people like you get involved to help the police capture the criminals so we can walk the streets any time without worrying about being attacked.

United Community Against Gay Hate Crimes can take the heat on this because this group was formed to wake up the gayborhood and get people involved to take our streets back. Everyone should be able to be safe living and visiting the oldest gay district in Dallas-Forth Worth.

Michael Robinson
Dallas

TO SEND A LETTER
We welcome letters from readers. Shorter letters are more likely to be printed, as are those that address only a single topic. On some weeks we receive more letters than we can print. In that case, we print a representative sample. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity, but we attempt to maintain the writer’s substance and tone. Include your home address and a daytime phone number for verification. Send letters to the senior editor, preferably by e-mail (editor@dallasvoice.com). Letters also may be faxed (214-969-7271) or mailed (Dallas Voice, 4145 Travis St., Third Floor, Dallas, TX 72504).

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 6, 2009.

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