We received a number of strident responses to Jack Lessenberry’s July 23 column on protests in the small town of Vassar, Mich., against a proposed local human services facility for refugees.
User “david asher” posted:
Watching my quiet, tolerant, multi-ethnic hometown be invaded by gun brandishing racists is the hardest thing I have ever had to bear. In my hometown of Vassar, Michigan, (population less than 3,000), many of us know each other. We have White folks, Black folks, Mexicans, even Hmong, and we all get along pretty well. We look out for each other, and help each other. We always have. Perhaps it was the brutal flood the city endured (in 1986), and strived to recover from, that has held us so tightly together, I don’t know. What I do know, is that to see Vassar be held hostage in the national media, and shown as a place of ignorant intolerance, is both gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. I have never felt so angry and frustrated as I have been these last few weeks. The invaders have stolen our identity. The Anti-Defamation League website reports that the woman behind the anti-immigration protests, local media darling and Denmark Township resident Tamyra Murray, has deep ties to the national racist movement, parroting eugenics and radical right wing views. Along with her, locally, we have a person aligned with her, running for the Vassar School Board, Lou Smallwood, and a candidate for Michigan [state] representative 84th District, Tom Wassa, advising her on her Facebook page. Birds of a nasty feather flock together, and by their associations, are tainted with national racist groups. Please join me in raising our voices against this new and frightening threat. They have hijacked our city in the national media, and shamed us, for something we have not done. Let’s not let them get away with it.
User “Edjusyou” posted:
Hate speech? Gee Jack, you’re still throwing the notion around that most people in this country are dissatisfied with the president because he is black instead of his politics. I’d call that hate speech. Let’s hear you start naming names instead of generalizing and just pointing your finger at stupid gun-toting whitey. It’s the content of his character, remember? Jack, John [sic] Stewart and anyone else that would like to adopt one of these immigrant children and pay for their upbringing with their own personal money is more than welcome to that. Just don’t force the taxpayers of this country to do it. I guarantee this debacle on the border will be followed by another and then another.
KEEPING DETROIT’S ‘FUNK’
We also received some comments on staff writer Lee DeVito’s Facetime with George N’Namdi, founder of the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit.
User “Barbara Barefield” posted:
The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art is a model vortex for sharing the city’s soul and “funk” and keeping diversity in the arts and in our community thriving. George showcases some of the most outstanding and innovative artists and musicians and draws a mix-it-together audience from everywhere. I hope more newcomers investing in the city embrace his concerns and philosophy.
We received some comments on Alysa Offman’s cover feature on the women of Michigan brewing.
User “TeacherPatti” wrote:
I am so honored to belong to this group! I have a regular “day job,” but I am also a beer blogger. I do think there is a bit of a preference for male beer writers (or maybe there is just more of them?), so I am very thankful to I’m a Beer Hound & MittenBrew for publishing my stuff.
This group of women is amazing, true pioneers in the very sense of the word!
We also received some comments on staff writer Ryan Felton’s feature on new plans for a Detroit Red Wings arena and surrounding district, and the city’s accommodations to finance the project.
User “nobsartist” wrote:
Amazing, that’s the same amount of time it took them to destroy the city so they could buy it all up for pennies on the dollar. The mooching Ilitch family knew if they became slumlords and bribed as many Detroit clowncil members as possible, it was only a matter of time before they could convince the clowncil to just give them the city AND let them off on paying $85 MILLION in back taxes. At least they supposedly made them finally pay their water bill.