Letters to the Editor

Nov 14, 2001 at 12:00 am
"Most of the people dying today in the Middle East are innocent. Our policy is to punish innocent people..." ? Jeremy Voas’ quote of Ismael Ahmed ("To kill or convert" Metro Times, Nov. 7-13).

I fully realize that Voas have more firsthand knowledge of the situation and that Ahmed knows what he is talking about. But please define "innocent." The innocents waiting at the borders telling the cameras they can't wait to join the fight with bin Laden? The innocents who lobbed bombs into cities in the many attacks of warring groups on each other? I'm sure they only killed the noninnocents.

My solution to this whole problem is to make a deal with bin Laden. Since he only wants the U.S. out of the Holy Lands and the Taliban are willing to die for their cause, the U.S. will guarantee to leave all Arab countries, and in return bin Laden and all his top leaders will pick any holy spot they want and commit suicide in front of the world cameras. They will be able to go on to glory, and the U.S. can send all the money they're spending on bombs now to the various woman's groups that will take over.

I agree we should have just gone and bought out the whole country. Or you could send in troops dressed as women and just wait until bin Laden's guys come home for supper. —Bill Goretski, [email protected].

Greening the way

I am almost in tears as I read Curt Guyette’s story about Detroit as a green paradise ("Down a green path," Metro Times, Oct 31-Nov. 6). I dream of this every day and have struggled to convert abandoned lots into community gardens like those I was used to in my home city of Minneapolis.

Detroit was a pioneer in the industrial revolution — it completely altered the way the world saw its cities, the way people oriented themselves to the urban space (from foot and train to cars), and really stands out as a city that did not wait for the world to deem it practical or not — it led the way. Why would everyone need or want to spend a fortune on their own private transportation when they could just hop on a train? But people did and do. Now Detroit can lead the world once again, taking its cue from Denmark and other places where urban farming and the cooperative spirit create a truly wonderful place to live.

What a beautiful sight this morning as I walked (yes, walked) to work to see this beacon of hope. I was just looking at paperwork for immigration

to Canada, and this story has given me great hope. Yes, Detroit has few supermarkets, but let's surge forward and make it the leader once again: a city without grocery stores; a city with farms and gardens instead, where folks buy stuff dewy fresh from the earth or, better yet, pull it and clean it themselves.

Thanks so much for giving me something to hope for, as America develops and develops and seems to care none at all for holistic living. Detroit can do this, I am absolutely certain. The spirit is here; Detroiters are willing to try anything, and I know this can happen. —Natasha Foreman, Hamtramck

More choices

Just wanted to say "thanks" to Curt Guyette for his story "Down a Green Path."

It's important to get away from "either-or" thinking. Clearly, as Guyette shows us, there are more choices than just "urban" or "rural," there are better ways to revitalize Detroit than stadiums and casinos, and the American dream can mean more than a tacky tract house at Van Dyke and Thousand Mile Road.

Where do I sign up? I'd love to live right in the middle of Adamah. —Douglas Campbell, Green Party of Michigan, [email protected]


Jack Lessenberry took it upon himself to insult every Black person in Detroit in your Oct. 24-30 issue ("What’s a new mayor to do?"). When he asked Kwame Kilpatrick if Detroit needed more white people, he could not have asked a more stupid, contemptible, insulting, vile and racist question. Kilpatrick gave what was, in any thinking person’s mind, a very benign, respectful answer, much more so than the question deserved. He simply said he "didn’t know." Lessenberry further compounded his ignorance and racism by saying, "It certainly does, just as any area does." What is so special about white people that requires an area to have some in order to be diverse? How many must you have in order to qualify as diverse? Clearly, as far as you’re concerned, the fact that Detroit has Hispanics, Asians, Muslim and Christian Arabs, Africans, African-Americans, European Muslims and, indeed, whites still doesn’t qualify it as a diverse place. On this issue, the problem is not Kwame Kilpatrick but rather Jack Lessenberry. —Ronald Hewitt, Detroit

Painful truths

Once again, great column by Jack Lessenberry ("We’d better start asking," Metro Times, Oct. 17-23) regarding the post-Afghanistan realities that are sure to come. The piece was clear and to the point. The points he brought up are painful but are the truth. As he stated, better to ask these and other hard questions now than later. —Terrence German, [email protected]. Send letters (200 words or less, please) to 733 St. Antoine, Detroit 48226; faxes to 313-961-6598 or email to [email protected]. We reserve the right to edit for length and