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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MARCH 25, 2013 5:00 AM

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Eliminating the ‘R’ word

I appreciated the opinion article of Francesca Bianchini “Stop using the “R” word” in the March 13 Daily Iowan.

The state of Iowa has made significant improvements in code and rule language to remove the “R” word over the past few years. People with intellectual disabilities, their families, advocacy groups, and organizations that serve this population generally refrain from using this term. However, we do hear often reference to the “R” word in the media and by people who use the term to insult someone’s intelligence. 

Systems Unlimited Inc. would be happy to partner with the university and other community groups to promote awareness of appropriate terminology for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Casey Westhoff
executive director, Systems Unlimited

The ghettoization of College Green

The Chauncey decision-making is class warfare par excellence that has divided the city into them vs. us. After the construction of the Chauncey on the border of the College Green neighborhood, it will be effectively ghettoized behind a 20-story glass and chrome wall.

Iowa City Council has set the parameters: the Power Elite against homeowners, small real-estate owners and renters alike, that middle-class concerns are not the council’s concerns.

The same goes for small-business concerns as is evident from the short shrift the New Pioneer Coop, at present located in the floodplain on Van Buren Street, and the Bicycle Library are getting. Both businesses are Iowa City institutions. The former pays a living wage plus benefits; the latter performs a unique social service.

The councilors see the Chauncey decision as a monument to themselves instead of Third-World-style corruption and greed that it represents.

No one, especially me, wants to stop esprit de corps of urban progress of that the five on the council see as seminal because there is an empty lot on the corner of Burlington and Clinton Streets that would support the environment and aesthetic of a 120-story edifice with 20 screens, bowling allies, nightclubs, and gourmet restaurants, with condos on all floors and a live performance theater to rival Hancher in the basement. And no one would object or notice because there is no neighborhood to be disaffected in that area of town.

Michael Douglas is wrong: “Greed is good,” because in Iowa City municipal greed clouds the vision and takes away hope from the people so that they are demoralized, forgetting, “its only class war if you fight back.” But there is an election in the fall. And hope springs eternally in the human breast for change we can live with.

Mary Gravitt
Iowa City resident

The lexicon of oppression

Words can kill the human spirit. Ethnic cleansing is spurred by words. Workforce housing is such a term. I learned it from the March 18 Iowa City Press-Citizen’s “Part of the Middle Class and Want To Live Downtown?”

This is the latest salvo in the class warfare surrounding Gilbert & College. And it is the 21st-century incarnation of Orwellian Newspeak. Newspeak — newspeak is “politically correct” speech taken to its maximum extent. Newspeak is based on Standard English, but all words describing “unorthodox” political ideas have been removed. In addition, there was an attempt to remove the overall number of words in general to limit the range of ideas that could be expressed, i.e., 250 word limits in rebuttal.

City of Literature: Now is the time to reread George Orwell’s 1984, which seems to have been outlawed during the G.W. Bush administration.

Workforce housing is a propagandistic attack on the residents of College Green Park in an attempt to dehumanize them like Joseph Goebbels did the Jews in the 1930s: Watch “The Eternal Jew” on Youtube.com. Less than 1 percent of the population of Germany became the cause of all its problems. As an African American, I can understand this.

If you can convince citizens that College Green will be elevated, that the Chauncey Tower will elevate their status from workforce back to middle/working class, then everything will be jake.

Once the concept of workforce housing take its place in the accepted lexicon of Standard English, the intended victims are psychologically reduced from middle to underclass begging to be reaccepted into society at their old social status by paying the price of accepting a monolith on their northern border.

The last time workforce housing was built in the Midwest was as slave cabins along the Mississippi. And in the North during the Industrial Revolution, when industrial compounds were formed by such industries as the Stetson Hat Co., which built housing for immigrants that contained company housing, hospitals, and company store, the workforce owed its soul to.

Does 21st century Iowa City redevelopment promise a move backwards?

Mary Gravitt
Iowa City resident


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