Letters to the Editor

Kudos on environmental justice, mourning Blair and more

Aug 24, 2011 at 12:00 am

Fight the polluters

Thanks for Sandra Svoboda's recent "Justice for All" (Aug. 17). I wish more forward-thinking news outlets would report on such necessary issues affecting communities of color. Your coverage of this story was very "on point," and I certainly hope that the Associated Press will do everything to highlight the emerging grassroots efforts among communities of color to finally fight the battle against these polluting corporations that have gotten away with these health atrocities for literally decades.

Keep up the great reporting on these vital environmental issues and thanks for helping put a new national face on grassroots environmental activism. —R.J. Harper, Jersey City, N.J.


Mourning Blair

I just read your article about Blair ("Born in Jersey, Made in Detroit," Aug. 3) and I am heartbroken, but so happy that you wrote such a great piece about such a great soul. I met Blair with the Urban Folk Collective at the Old Town in Chicago. I am on tour now in Europe and only just found out about losing Blair. I feel blessed that we were able to share shows together later in Detroit and Maryland and that I was privileged enough to have him at the Susquehanna Music and Arts Festival in Maryland solo and with the group. Thank you for sharing him with the world through your words. —Terry Irons, Baltimore, Md.


Never excuse graft

Jack Lessenberry spoke candidly and truthfully about political corruption in the city of Detroit ("Cost of corruption," June 1). As a native Detroiter, a supporter of Detroit, and a black woman, I say, "Hallelujah!" I couldn't care less who speaks the truth, but somehow, if it's told by someone of a different face, race has to be the motivating factor. This is not only tired but it's sooo boring!

I wholeheartedly agree that corruption on any level by any elected public official is digging a deeper grave for the city of Detroit. More importantly, it is hurting Detroiters — and to me it's five times worse if they're black politicians! To the naysayers who disagree or somehow justify the shenanigans of these folks, I say, "What are you thinking? How can you accept this?"

A familiar answer I sometimes get makes sick. Here it is: "White folks have been involved in corruption since the beginning of time, but the minute a black man steps out of line they want to crucify him." To which I answer (no offense to my white friends and colleagues) why would you measure your standard by people who stole you from your native land, put chains on your arms and legs, beat you unto submission, etc.? Why not measure yourselves instead by the standards that were set by those who fought against these atrocities (black and white) or better yet by the ones you set for yourself?

In other words, lift your goddamn standard! Corruption is corruption, but it's worse (yes, even in 2011 with a biracial president) if corruption is committed by black folks. In the end, it's the practice of honesty, truth and integrity that will prevail. —Jenenne Whitfield, Detroit