Response to Willamette Week "Duke of Dignity" article.

Good morning, Nick Budnick and Basil Childers.

Your article The Duke of Dignity was briefly discussed at yesterday's site development meeting and the consensus seemed to be that it probably won't hurt the village much. Invite anyone into your house as we did Willamette Week and, hey, the laundrey's over there in the hamper. And we're a fledgling organization going through all the growing pains other 501(C)3s like our ally Sisters of the Road Cafe went through.

Most of the critics you cite, Nick, have never been out to the village, at least not to our Sunderland Yard site. I was surprised at Bryan Pollard running on rumour and the stories he hears coming out of the village. The naive Bryan Pollard's an editor and should get his facts straight and know better. I was surprised that he brought up our Voice Stream bill, something Dignity Village and street roots have yet to deal with. The fiscal irresponsibility of Dignity's former fiduciary agent, street roots, is largely responsible for the amount of that bill.

One day the story about the 911 call of 30 March 2001, during which Ibrahim Mubarak defended himself and by extension the village against a racist attack, deserves to and will be fully told. That was the time Ibrahim struck back at Private Idaho, a racist bigot and provocateur who lived in a camper on our perimeter and who wanted to put the "nigger towel head" and the "Rasta rope head" into the ovens Auschwitz style. When Ib was unjustly arrested and carried down to the jailhouse, we found out where he was locked down and, with the help of our good allies at Bethel AME Church, the Mosque, the NAACP and Sisters of the Road, we forwarded down to the Courts of Injustice and got him free. It was a great and proud day in Dignity's history.

We liked your photos, Basil, including the one of Ib looking like Osama bin Laden on the cover. The one of our sister Brenda in the gardens is good picking vegetables although many people commented that it kind of belies Nick's words about our gardens "withering." The growing season's coming to an end and we've had many good meals from our gardens and farm, the best one I remember being a salad completely village-grown with pan-fried trout and fried duck eggs from our farm Digsville. We certainly eat well in Dignity, much better than the "clients/consumers" (commodity/resource) of TPI do, I'm sure.

Come photograph and write about us again sometime, perhaps in a year's time when we're further along in building and developing what you refer to as "a homeless utopia" and what a lot of us here see as a new way forward.

Jah guide and protect,
Jack Tafari, chairman.

Cc: Ibrahim Mubarak, secretary.
Cc: JP Cupp, vice chairman.
Cc: Gaye Reyes, treasurer.
Cc: Lee Larson, supporter.
Cc: Marc Jolin, attorney.
Cc: John Hubbird, co-founder and supporter.
Cc: Bryan Pollard, editor, street roots.
Cc: Genny Nelson, Sisters of the Road Cafe.
Cc: Jo Anne Bowman, ally.
Cc: Marshal Runkel, City Hall.
Cc: Reverend Ronald Williams.
Cc: Habib Green, Oregon Islamic Chaplains Association.