Haircuts and History: Kudos To Peggy Tarr

Editor:

My name is Dana Hedman and I attend Elon University in Elon, N. C. I have lived in Evanston since birth. Recently, an opinion article entitled “Room for a View: Mohawks!”, written by Peggy Tarr, caught my attention, especially in connection with the sociology course in which I am currently enrolled.

I think it is imperative that children are educated at a young age about the historical context of their choices. To many, a Mohawk is a hairstyle largely popularized by the punk rock movement and nothing more. My guess is that if teenagers with Mohawks were asked why they chose to cut their hair in that fashion, very few would reference the Mohawk Indian tribe. While being unaware of the offensive nature of wearing a Mohawk is different than blatantly disrespecting a group of people, the outcomes are the same. The offense is still committed, and at the expense of the Native American community. If children are well-informed early in life about the historical meaning behind their actions, I think there is a greater chance of limiting, if not eliminating, these offensive actions.

In my sociology class, we have discussed issues similar to this, but more specifically issues surrounding the use of school mascots that are offensive to the Native American community. Mascots that fall into this category are quite common. It is also common for people not to pause and consider the stereotypes they are enforcing by swinging a tomahawk at a basketball game or wearing a University of Illinois t-shirt that simply displays “CHIEF” across the front. Actions like this that are offensive to certain groups are preventable, and I am thrilled that this important opinion article took the time to provide some factual background information about the Mohawk tribe and the origin of the hairstyle.

Disappointed in Alderman Who Votes for Chickens and Against Library Branches

Editor:

I am very disappointed in our Ninth Ward Alderman Colleen Burris. She has voted in some disturbing directions.

To say it is “elitist” to have a North and a South branch library but none on the west side, and therefore there should be no branches, is shameful.

I do not believe she represents the attitudes of her constituents. Neither I nor any of my neighbors or friends were canvassed. This seems to be her prejudiced idea. The Council wasted time over allowing citizens to raise chickens, which will undoubtedly attract rats and coyotes with possible noise to annoy neighbors.

But something of value to the community, something that stimulates education, reading for young or old, a place of easier access than downtown, – this she wants to throw away.

Evanston was always a community that enriched its citizens. It offered, and still offers, exciting programs and activities. Let’s not diminish this City for the want of bigger buildings, wind turbines destroying our lakefront while endangering our birds and fish life and interfering with our lake enjoyment and by the way, ultimately jacking up our electric bill because of the construction and maintenance costs.

Let’s keep our eye on what is important. … giving us an Evanston we can be proud of, a City in which we want to raise our children and one in which to grow old happily.

       Linda Wittenberg

Puzzling Sidewalk Repairs at Chicago/Main

Editor:

I am very surprised that the City of Evanston is getting away with the sidewalk demolition and repairs at the four corners of Chicago and Main.

I am sure there are several violations of the ADA guidelines. On Nov. 10, it was extremely difficult for an able-bodied individual and impossible for a handicapped person to enter and exit the Chicago/Main newsstand. Also just south of there, the sidewalk ended and dropped about 6 inches.

I can’t figure out why they have to remove all four corners of the intersections when they repair the sidewalks. It is very difficult to walk on, and we are lucky we haven’t had any rain or snow to make it even worse.

— Marc Nebozenko