Letters to the Editor 

Getting things straight

I was pleased to read of the personal commitment and courage of the four Detroit-area defendants who were among the group who attempted to bring forth an indictment of our almost-elected president on March 18, only hours before the start of the combined United States/UK military aggression in Iraq (News Hits, Metro Times, June 18-24).

At the same time, may I offer one small, but significant, correction to the story?

Twenty-one of the 23 other protesters who took part in the nonviolent civil disobedience on that day did not plead guilty. Each one refrained from pleading one way or the other, and each was required to put in the same eight hours of community service that was demanded of those who were tried earlier this month.

Thank you, News Hits, for keeping an eye on what is really important in our community. —Rudy Simons, Berkley

A learning curve

Just wanted to thank Michael Jackman for “The summer of ’43” article (Metro Times, June 18-24).

I am 42 years old, have lived my entire life in Detroit, and never knew that this riot occurred! Sad! Perhaps because I am white, the stories of this riot were never passed down in my family. It helps to explain some of the current racial problems in this city.

How sad that this important piece of history was never taught in my own Detroit school. Thank you for educating me. —Sandy Yarrington, Detroit

Point, click, laugh

Keith A. Owens has done a great service by pointing our attention to damili ayo’s brilliantly satirical Web site, www.rent-a-negro.com (“In need of Negroes,” Metro Times, June 18-24).

I must disagree with Owens on one point, however: There’s no reason to feel guilty about laughing at her humor, unless of course one really has reason to feel guilty.

Seems to me that if you can appreciate ayo’s lovely wit, there’s still hope for you, and for your willingness to take seriously the ills that race prejudice still represents in our “color-blind” society. Thanks, Keith, for sharing. —Michael Paul Goldenberg, Ann Arbor

On the Dean team

Great column from Jack Lessenberry (“Empty words won’t beat Bush,” Metro Times, June 18-24). The line that sums it all up for me is, “Falling on the football doesn’t work if you are behind.”

Everything he talked about was exactly why I’m working for Howard Dean. He works from a very pragmatic sense of social justice which breathes life into his campaign and has made it the most energized of any this year. He calls for a balanced budget so that social programs can be funded and the government isn’t competing for capital to transfer to the wealthiest classes.

This message is strong and easy to understand. I like what Howard says and the way he says it. You are correct in identifying the passionless quality of the other candidates — their salad days are behind them and they have, for the most part, settled down to twilight careers running a house (or senate) of ill repute.

Howard Dean says, “I want my country back!” So do I. —Geoff DeWan, Los Angeles, Calif.

The right choice

Jack Lessenberry says, “If there is hope, it will lie in challenging America by saying, ‘this is what we are going to do together. Here’s what we are going to do to make this a better place and get a better future for you and your kids.’”

If you’re looking for a Democrat to do the job, look to Howard Dean. If you’re looking for a Republican to do the job, forget it. —Peter Wernsdorfer, Schnecksville, Pa.

Erratum

Due to an editing error, Keith A. Owens’ column (“In need of Negroes,” June 18-24, 2003) misidentified the location of Colorado College. It is in Colorado Springs.

Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

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