Readers cant find Juneteenth on their calendars.

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St. Louis, MO 63130
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News Real, May 17, 2007

June Bugged

Those who cannot remember the past...: Regarding Chad Garrison's "Bring Back Juneteenth!": A couple of years ago the state of Missouri decided not to pay for crutches, wheelchairs, eyeglasses or hearing aids for the poor and disabled. To expect the state to pay for a $2 million party for an event that happened in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865? If black athletes and the Black Caucus have already paid for it, the fact must be documented before the state diverts those funds to other purposes. Abraham Lincoln said as much in a debate with Stephen Douglas — that he opposed a system where one man would earn his bread and another man eat it.

Missouri's Civil War history was different from Texas'. A March 1861 Missouri convention elected to stay in the Union. On May 10, 1861, Nathaniel Lyon led about 1,000 federal troops from the Marine Hospital and Jefferson Barracks and about 7,000 Union Home Guard volunteers to Camp Jackson on what is now the Saint Louis University campus to surround about 900 Missouri Guard militia and force its commander, Brigadier General Daniel Frost, to surrender. The Missouri Guard militia were soon paroled. "Though often strained, Missouri's bond with the Union held up for the duration of the war," writes Christopher Phillips in Damn Yankee: The Life of General Nathaniel Lyon. Major General John C. Frémont, commander of the Federal Department of the West shortly after Lyon's death at the Battle of Wilson Creek, issued "an unauthorized emancipation proclamation for Missouri's slaves, which Lincoln himself was forced to rescind."

Juneteenth is a good excuse to party, but it is only a benchmark on the people's road to freedom. It should be a time to renew our effort to pass U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s proposal that the Constitution be amended to guarantee U.S. citizens the right to vote.

A National Guard militia usually spends a week or two in camp sharpening its fighting skills when it is not federalized for U.S. service. Juneteenth should be something like that. Not just to celebrate how far we have come, but also to focus on how far we have to go.
Joseph Kuciejczyk, St. Louis

Throw out the baby and the bathwater: The wrong question is being considered here. I say the question is: Why is there a Missouri Arts Council? Would art evaporate from our city and state without the use of force to fund it? Let's eliminate the tax on "non-resident professional athletes and entertainers" and let that money remain in the hands of those who produced it. I'm sure they know exactly the types of things they would like to fund much more than some politician in Jefferson City. Next let's eliminate the MAC. Problem solved.

Now Curtis Faulkner can stop trying to get into my wallet.
Tim Jamison, St. Louis

Unreal, May 17, 2007


Darcy, Darcy, Darcy: Darcy Luadzers is trying to reach the wrong audience with Virgin Sex for Guys. I mean, who is actually going to read a book about getting laid at prom? We have to remember we are talking about high school here. Every man who has ever had a prom date knows that the only thing rumbling in your head from the moment you ask her to go to prom till the moment you actually drop her back off at home is: "Am I going to lose it tonight?" (Provided that you still have it! Does Dr. Darcy know that the average age of getting laid has dropped to sixteen?) Maybe she should call her book A Thousand Ways to Lure Your Prom Date to SEX or 101 Tricks Not to Have a Prom Baby.

It might have been a better idea to write to parents and tell them to educate their kids on doing the right thing at the right time. Now it's a little too late. We are living in an oversexed world anyway. Eighteen years old now is equal to twenty-five years old back when. These kids might have something to teach us about how the prom world works. Just ask them next time.
Starion Cuka, south St. Louis County

Feature, March 9, 2007

Inaugural Event

She's doomed: Thanks for the great article on the USS Inaugural. I grew up in St. Louis and remember visiting, hoping for years to see her raised, but it seems apathy, a lack of leadership and a lack of cooperation will forever doom her. I had worked with Robert Briggen to start a nonprofit to publicize her plight and try to attract other interested parties, but the snowball effect never happened.

It is a shame, really, because if everyone in St. Louis who saw the movie Pearl Harbor or Flags of Our Fathers donated the same amount to restore the Inaugural, she could be a real showpiece.
Richard Sanders, Lee's Summit



What have you done with my hip-hop? Just wondering what the deal is with there being virtually no hip-hop articles lately. I do love Riverfront Times and think it represents the city in a good way, but now that Yo! RFT Raps is gone, there's virtually no representation of hip-hop anymore. How can we fix this, and what can I do to help? I've sent e-mails before but have gotten no response. Is this how you want to treat your audience?
Simon Trent, St. Louis