Readers React: If Dixie dress-up ought to bring shame, what about participating in a toga party?

A scene from “Gone With the Wind”

To the editor: Sharon Rosen Leib takes political correctness to an absurd extreme by expressing her shame for having participated decades ago in a party that celebrated “antiquated Southern values.”

Dressing up as a “Dixie Belle” in a hoop skirt is offensive to whom? To Dixie Belles perhaps? To the African Americans who suffered under the regime of the Dixie Belles in the Southern states?

I have dressed up during my youth as a “Caribbean pirate.” These people were quite disagreeable, I suppose. No doubt this is offensive to the unfortunate past victims of piracy in that region.

I also dressed up for a toga party some time back. Given the many excesses of the toga-wearing Romans and their often-oppressive empire, I suppose I should be embarrassed about this today.


Karl S. Clark, Upland


To the editor: Amen and kudos to Leib.

I am a 65-year-old member of the LGBTQ community who very clearly recalls queer-bashing, queer-baiting, queer jokes and blatant homophobia across all sectors of our communities from the 1950s to the 1980s. Though I will never forget the hurt and shame it caused me — even, at times, within my own loving family — I find it impossible not to forgive the many now open-minded and accepting folks around me who were not so accepting in those earlier years.


It was a different time, and we have all moved forward with higher consciousness and greater enlightenment.

I think we all need to take a deep breath, examine our own prejudices and move forward with more forgiveness, tolerance and love.

Michael Geisser, Los Angeles


To the editor: When I was young, I went to a YMCA summer camp.

A highlight of my two-week stay was the minstrel show, in which the camp director and her assistant dressed in blackface and told jokes. I was too young and ignorant to see anything wrong with this.

Today I am appalled, and I think of this every time I see anyone wanting to “make America great again.”

Dottie Rodman, Torrance


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