Wheeling around 

Among those addressing the rally was Heaster Wheeler, executive director of the Detroit NAACP. It is the second time in recent weeks that we’ve seen Mr. Wheeler out rallying the troops. Earlier this month he was the keynote speaker at a meeting of the Detroit chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

At that gathering of lefty lawyers, Wheeler was introduced by Ron Glotta, an attorney who specializes in representing workers injured on the job. Glotta pointed out that, although it may specifically have been people in poor and minority communities who were robbed of their presidential votes in Florida last November, every one of the more than 50 million people who cast their ballot for Gore was cheated. The point resonated with Wheeler, who reiterated it at last week’s rally.

While speaking to the lawyers a week earlier, Wheeler emphasized the need for various factions on the left to build bridges. It is especially important, he said, to close the racial gap that divides us. “We don’t do a good job of working with each other,” he said. “That’s why we’re losing.”

Wheeler said he was particularly glad to see the National Lawyers Guild focusing attention on the issue of drug policy.

“It’s beyond a war on drugs,” said Wheeler. “It’s a war on black people.”

That sentiment was echoed in a press release issued by David Smoker, president of the Detroit NLG. “I’m tired of minority youth being the fall guys in this drug war,” declared Smoker. “We’re destroying an entire generation.”

To focus attention on the issue, the lawyers group is sponsoring a forum April 27-28 at the Wayne State University Law School. For more information about the free conference, phone 313-963-0843.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette, the Metro Times news editor. Call 313-202-8004 or e-mail cguyette@metrotimes.com

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