what is all the fuss about this Crossgates Mall “disruptive
behavior” thing that I’ve been reading about of late [Newsfront,
I live in Manhattan and I only wish that I could find a well-paying
job and a rent-controlled apartment up north so that I could
move to Albany and shop at Crossgates.
What some of you antiwar, left-leaning pinkos are demonstrating
about, like the right to wear what you want, and refusing
to give up some of your rights so that you can feel more secure
while shopping in peace, seems pretty petty, and not that
bad a trade-off for the privilege of patronizing Crossgates,
which, to me, seems like a private-property nirvana.
My neighborhood (Can you say “Hell’s Kitchen,” or worse, “Clinton,”
kids?) has no mega shopping mall, WalMart, Price Chopper supercenter,
Home Depot, Target or you-can-get-anything-you-want-under-one-roof-type
establishment to service my every need.
No, I have to trek from shop to the next to procure my stuff.
And that can be a daunting task.
First of all, there’s my newsstand guy. He’s from Pakistan,
or Afghanistan, or one of those other Stans, and I don’t even
think he can read English, yet he’s selling me my paper. My
grocery store has only one white person working there, and
he’s the manager. All the rest of them are of one minority
or another, and are always speaking some foreign tongue, Spanish
mainly (they’re probably making fun of me while I’m helping
to pay their wages). The guy who cuts my hair is Italian.
My local pub is filled with what I suspect are IRA terrorists.
The produce market is run by Koreans. And I buy my baked goods
not at a bakery. No, that would be too simple and American.
Here it’s called a patisserie. That’s French by the way, and
you know what a pain in the derriere the French can be.
Yes, I already know what you’re thinking, no freedom fries
and freedom toast served here. Not like I’ll bet they have
at Crossgates. I’ve been to Crossgates and it’s something
to behold, almost akin to viewing the ancient pyramids. You
upstaters take so much for granted. What a pleasure it is
to shop in a year-round, climate-controlled environment, surrounded
by people that look like me. A truly all-American, patriotic
feeling wells up inside of me when I’m at Crossgates. No riff-raff,
panhandlers and homeless types who’d rather beg for money
then clean themselves up and get a job. Sure, a few kids have
that punky, hiphop (I hate that hiphop stuff) look, but time
will pass, and very soon they’ll adopt more conservative state-worker
Let me tell you something. With the honorable President Bush
No. 2 and his illustrious team of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell,
Rice, Ashcroft, Ridge, et al., leading us on this glorious
crusade, I’m sure they’d be so proud of the patriotic way
the Crossgates poobahs have conducted themselves. After all,
isn’t the reason a quarter of a million troops are massed
on the Iraqi border (Iran, North Korea, you’re next) is to
preserve, protect and defend the right of Crossgates to exist?
May God bless them all. And keep your powder—hopefully bought
Shawn Stone’s article on the survivors of the 1994 genocide
in Rwanda adequately described that tragedy [“Out of Africa’s
Killing Fields,” Feb. 27], it did not tell the rest of the
story. After the Rwandan Patriotic Front gained control of
that country, it invaded another country, the Democratic Republic
of the Congo, in 1998. More than 3 million people have died
since then, most of whom are innocent Congolese who had never
seen a Hutu or Tutsi before the Rwandan army arrived to carry
out the same kind of atrocities that had occurred in their
It is curious that what happened in 1994 in Rwanda has gotten
so much press in this country, but what has happened since
1998 in the Congo has gotten so little, even though at least
three times as many people have been killed in the Congo,
and the dying continues, now mostly from starvation. Perhaps
it has something to do with the corporate backing of this
invasion, well-documented by the U.N., which has reaped extraordinary
profits in diamonds, coltan, gold, etc., for several American
and European companies.
I do not begrudge the suffering experienced by Ms. Mukeshimana,
but I feel I must speak for so many Congolese who have died
as the result of the plundering of their country, including
at least nine people in my wife’s family, and I invite you
to write a story on that sometime.
welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (computer printouts
OK), addressed to the editor. Or you may e-mail them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length; 300
words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name,
address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not
publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are
illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.
Letters, Metroland, 4 Central Ave.,
4th Floor, Albany, NY 12210
or e-mail us at email@example.com.