"What do you think?"


"Dear Richard,

Your Tupac and Tiger comparison was whack! Those are two entirely different men. Also Tupac is a hero. Maybe not to you but to my friend and I and many other people. So to conclude this I suggest you stop stereotyping people that you don't know. Also if you didn't notice Tupac's cassetes had in BIG lettering Explicit lyrics and Parental Advisory. Also, the children that have bought the tape or cds must have had permission from he or she parent. Obviously it is the parents fought. "BOO YA"! To conclude our letter "I ain't mad at cha!"

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 97 19:19:18 GMT
To: cybrgbl@deltanet.com
From: DeltaNet Form Processor (formpro@www.deltanet.com)
Subject: Feedback and or Questions

I see that you haven't wrote us back about our differences in how you steroetype poeple that you don't even know.You must be scared to E-mail me back. Well, Richie I'm not fuckin' scared of you! So tell me what you want. See Tiger Woods and Tupac Shakur are 2 different poeple in 2 different professions. You tell me what does it mean.

Peace out Richie

Virsa and Shaquisha

      Dear Sahquisha and Virsa,

      I did write you back but the e-mail address you left was incorrect. Here was my message, and you need not use profanity ("Well, Richie I'm not fuckin' scared of you!"). Below is what I wrote:

      I grant you that to many Tupac is a hero - yours is not the first e-mail to me making that argument. On the other hand, certain people considered Al Capone, Pablo Escobar, and even Adolf Hitler heroes (and I disagree with them also). And even if a CD has a "Parental Advisory" label, it is an evasion of responsibility to blame anyone but a the singer and, more importantly, the person who allows themselves to be influenced in a negative way by another person. We are all in the end responsible for the decisions we make. Tupac chose to live a certain lifestyle. And he died for it. If the death be tragic, it can hardly be called unpredictable.

      Now I would hardly give Tupac another thought if he hadn't had such a profound influence on so many other young people who themselves embraced "Thug life." I used to teach near downtown Los Angeles and my experience with gangsters and the gang lifestyle is extensive; I am not just talking about stereotypes and things I know only second-hand. With time I came to regard "Thug Life" as a sort of disease of the soul and Tupac as a sort of seductive exponent of that lifestyle. As such, I will never hold him to be a hero. A tragic waste of a young life? Of course. But hero? Never.

      I compared them because they are two young people today who are held up as heroes for different reasons. The one I find to be exemplary, the other nothing better than a warning. And I don't believe I stereotyped either Tupac or Tiger, but drew conclusions after reading about and listening to the words of both young men. Their own words and lives are all I based my comments on.

      This being my webpage, I have the right to say my opinion - as you do on your own webpages. I am sorry you don't agree with my point of view, but I stand by it.

      I hope this e-mail finds you well.

      Very Truly Yours,

      Richard Geib

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