Letters for the Week of January 11, 2017

Readers sound off about "Black movies," E-40, and sports.

“Black Films Matter,” by Kelly Vance, Feature Story, December 28:

‘There Are No Black Movies’

The melanin of the cinematographer who shot Moonlight is as Caucasian as they come. And he is as good a cinematographer as they come, and not only has he been nominated for a New York Critics Circle award, but he could very well be nominated for an Oscar (I know how instrumental his work was to the success of the movie, because he shot my movie ten years ago).

This focus on “Black” panders to a young, S.F. Bay Area audience largely in thrall to liberal, PC-ness.

There are no “Black” movies. Just as there are no “white” movies. There are simply good movies and bad movies; movies that pander and movies that challenge.

I look forward to seeing Moonlight not because it’s a Black movie, but because it might be a good movie.

Martin Garrison, Oakland

“Oakland Privacy Commission Approves Surveillance Transparency and Oversight Law” by Darwin BondGraham, News, January 6:

Thousand-Mile Journey

Such policies and procedures for oversight are more critical than ever in the Age of Trump. Not that the Obama administration’s record on civil liberties and surveillance had any redeeming features, but we can only expect things to get worse come January 20.

Putting this in place is one single step of a thousand-mile journey in defeating what we all know is possible — a ubiquitous surveillance state beyond anything Orwell could have imagined. But it’s a good one. Bravo to those who worked so hard to put this together.

JP Massar


Congratulations to the Privacy Commission for this excellent initiative. I hope that the soon-to-be implemented Police Commission will take a page from your playbook and discharge their duties as effectively! Bravo.

Rashida Grinage

“My Afternoon With E-40” by Nastia Voynovskaya, Feature Story, January 4:


Great read! I appreciate your intertwined game and journalism writing style.

Jasmine Rodiño

“Do The Raiders Have A Leg To Stand On This Postseason? Bet On It.” by Nick Miller, Sports, January 4:

No More Sports Coverage, Please

Please, no more sports coverage in the Express. You don’t add anything to the thorough coverage of the Sporting Green. I love a good boondoggle as much as anyone, but editor Nick and photographer Michael Miller going to the Raider game to “work” and filling two pages of an already thin paper really bothers me when good journalists struggle to find a platform. Especially these days.

Christopher Proud, Berkeley

“As People of Color Disappear from Oakland, So Do My Memories” by Tigray Kahsai, Essay, December 28:

Oakland Remains More Diverse Than Ever

I appreciate this article and, as a lifelong Oakland resident for more than a half century, would like to also point out that Oakland’s population has actually become much more diverse since I was a kid.

I was born in the mid-Sixties, when Oakland was more than 73 percent white. That number is now roughly 34 percent. So while the Black population dropped by 25 percent from its spike in the Eighties and Nineties, I still see a very diverse, inclusive population thriving here.

The Hispanic population has increased from 6 percent to over 25 percent in the same time period. And if you take a longer view, the Black population has increased from 12 percent to 28 percent since my older siblings were born. The Asian population has also grown steadily.

Change is inevitable, and it’s sad to lose institutions you grew up thinking would last forever. But I would hope the focus would be on multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusivity as we move forward together as residents of Oakland.

Danielle Thys


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