Letters to the Editor 

No imitation

Liz Langley's comments about a recent Newsweek story regarding Christian entertainment ("Swept by religion," Metro Times, Aug. 1-7) call a Christian rock festival "an imitation of Lollapalooza." While Christian entertainment does its share of copying from current popular trends, the music festival is not one of them. In 1988 I went to a large Christian music festival near Chicago and also to one in Kentucky. Both festivals, and others like them, have taken place for many years.

Langley also states, "Christian rock lately is pretty much an imitation of everything else you hear on the radio." Does she mean to imply that radio is on the cutting edge of music? I can't remember the last time I heard anything on the radio (except NPR) that wasn't an imitation of something else. Are N'Sync, Staind or Train breaking new musical ground?

I am neither a defender nor a fan of Christian entertainment, but I feel Langley's attack was unwarranted and ill-conceived. If not for the Newsweek article Langley would never have known anything about it. It's an inconsequential industry to her and the rest of secular society, so I find it interesting and somewhat sad that she felt the need to tear it down. —David Watts, Hamtramck

Pulling together

I always enjoy Jack Lessenberry's columns, but was truly moved by his editorial regarding the Detroit 300 celebration ("After that birthday bash," Metro Times, July 25-31). His opinions are honest and forthright, and I couldn't agree with him more. As a born and bred Detroiter, I can only hope that enough of us share his views to make a difference.

Indeed, the urban decay and suburban sprawl that has degraded our landscape over the past 50 years has not slowed. I'm fearful of what southeastern Michigan will look like in 2050 if we don't pull together regionally to rebuild Detroit and reconnect as a metropolitan community. Our regional quality of life depends on it. —Scott Helmer, strance@home.com, Ferndale

The real problem

Thank you for Tim Wise’s interesting article ("What’s your problem," Metro Times, July 25-31). Racism exists and is an issue, but I believe it is less important than correcting corporate policies and procedures. These things are not a black vs. white issue. They are related to the farce of "corporate earnings" and "economic upswing/downturn." How is it possible that layoffs lead to profits? Where is the Gallup poll claiming that unemployed people buy more goods and services than employed people?

Until such time as every person in the country has viable, sustained employment I think we should institute a salary cap. No one shall make more than $1 million per year in salary and benefits. This cap doesn't have to be legislated. Stockholders could enact it, consumer groups could monitor it and consumers as a whole could enforce it. If you want to bring people together and show them that they can love each other, then give them something worth talking about. Give them an experience they can share. Don't turn them against each other with useless squabbling. If your father only gives you one bean to eat, you'll have to slice it pretty thin to share it. —Keith Bielaczyc, kbielacz@home.com, Chesterfield

Changing places

In response to Tim Wise’s article, we should move suburbanites to the city to rehab low-income housing and build new. Then move poor black people out to the suburbs, one or two families on each block. This could be done easily and quickly through the Section 8 housing program. Since the federal government ruined black homes and businesses with the Federal Housing Administration in the 1950s, it’s the governments job to correct the problem it created. Blacks will then have the best of schools, jobs and services.

White people need to swallow their prejudice and trade places with blacks, suburb for city. Suddenly poverty is eradicated. Eventually racism is eradicated when we live together and discover we are all the same under the skin. —Brian Taylor, Detroit

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