Letters to the Editor

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McPhail not a racist

Re: Ric Bohy’s “Color-coded politics,” (Metro Times, March 23), Sharon McPhail’s appearance at the “Sambo Awards” was indeed troubling. But those who have worked closely with her (including me, a gay, white male) know that a) McPhail is not a racist (indeed, her staff, friends and family are about the most integrated group of people you’re likely to find anywhere in the city), b) she has worked hard on behalf of poor black Detroiters, because she understands that the city won’t improve as long as its officials ignore them, and c) the Call ’Em Out Coalition, while admittedly divisive (even counterproductive), does serve the important function of holding city officials accountable by doing just that. To say that her participation in one event “crystallized her vision for the city” is to ignore the broader evidence of her personal and professional life. —John Corvino, Ph.D., Detroit


Fur still flying

Thank you very much for your article, “Cruel couture” (Metro Times, March 16). There truly is no excuse in this day and age for wearing real fur. Millions of fur-bearing animals are killed each year on fur farms by anal and vaginal electrocution and in the wild by drowning, trapping or beating. When I see someone wearing fur — whether a full-length coat or a little fur trim — I see not beauty but vanity and selfishness. Is it really acceptable to inflict suffering and death on millions of animals each year, for something as trivial as fashion? I hope anyone who reads your article or sees PETA’s undercover footage would agree that fur is both cruel and unnecessary. —Julie Rothman, Ann Arbor, [email protected]


A new low for J-Lo

I have seen the video you mentioned in your article and, I must say, it was the most disturbing thing I have ever laid my eyes on. I agree with everything you have written, and I as well cannot understand how a person can wear an animal that was tortured, let alone flaunt and profit from it, such as Jennifer Lopez. We have enough problems in the world which people face, why would we harm another species and make their lives miserable? Wearing fur is really unacceptable and I think you have definitely shown that in your article. Thanks again for your compassion on this issue. —Shari Freda, North Haven, Conn.


Down on the ‘farm’

Thank you for printing your article on the animal cruelty that was exposed by PETA in China. While it was not enjoyable to read (I couldn’t watch the video), I think it is important that people know how animals bred for fur and food are treated. Only by being aware of these horrors can we change these situations.

I am not a vegetarian (but am rethinking this philosophy), nor do I wear fur. I also do not condone spraying people’s fur coats with red spray-paint. Extreme actions like this will not bring the animals back to life, and will only increase demand for these garments, as people will most likely replace a damaged one.

In my opinion, the PETA people are a little out-there, but I have to agree 100 percent with their views on this one. As I mentioned before, I couldn’t watch the video, and even felt ill after just reading your story. If demand for fur garments is reduced or eliminated, the supply will also diminish. I never could understand how people think fur is luxurious and classy after having read stories such as yours. Perhaps these people just don’t know what actually goes on during the manufacturing process of their coat.

Again, thanks for helping to expose the horrors that go on at these “farms.” Maybe we need to also take a look at our trade agreement with China, and refuse to purchase certain goods from them. Hitting people in the pocketbook usually hurts the most. —Kathleen McCullough, Pontiac, [email protected]


Hippocratic hypocrites

Re: “Does this make my labia look fat?” (Metro Times, March 9), I quote Dr. Hendrix from the article, “To go out and establish something just for money? That’s disgusting that a physician would do that.”

Gee, Doctor, isn’t that what elective plastic surgery is all about? I could see plastic surgery for correction of congenital or accidental deformities, but Botox? Facelifts? Liposuction? It seems as though their version of the Hippocratic Oath is “Above all else, make as much money as you can.” —Philip Brzezinski, Ann Arbor


The stuff of legend

Thank you for the article about urban legends, and how they have taken over the Internet (“Kidney thieves and ankle-slashers,” Metro Times, Feb. 16). So what is the deal with urban legends these days? If you are like me, you receive at least one piece of urban legend garbage in your e-mail every week. Chain letters, get-rich-quick schemes and urban legends clog the Internet with misinformation and panic. They are spread like a snowball rolling downhill. It gains in speed and size until it is unstoppable. People who believe them are more likely to spread them, thinking they’re doing friends a favor by alerting them to the dangerous virus, or the free offer, or the “true story” about the “Drug users who are now taking their used needles and putting them into the coin return slots in public telephones.” Also, I would like to say thanks for presenting readers with information about snopes.com. This Web site will be very useful in the future to find out which legends are true, and also to find out which of these are pure folklore. —Eric M. Bury, Brownstown


Those GOP meddlers

Thanks for Jack Lessenberry’s honest and thoughtful column on the Schiavo situation (“Condemned to a living hell,” Metro Times, March 23) and the cynical, slimy way the Republicans in Congress have handled it. I wonder how many of them would choose to exist in the “living hell” she is in right now. I think they should all sign and publish living wills, stating they want to be kept alive by all possible means no matter how hellish their future condition may become; that should really thrill their religious wacko base. I certainly will never vote for anyone in the GOP now that it has become the party promoting government intrusion into the most intimate areas of people’s personal lives. —Theresa Fleming McClain, Tehachapi, Calif.


Christian story problems

One thing I have never understood, is why Christians, who I thought were expecting to go to the glories of heaven when they died and be with their god, should be so deathly afraid of death?

I have also wondered why the same people opposing a dignified letting-go of Terri Schiavo should find all the ongoing, daily death in Iraq and dozens of other places on this planet (the death of fully functional people, mind you, such as our fine young men and women in the U.S. military) as mere headlines. Nothing to be concerned about, let alone opposed to. —Michael Sakarias, Juneau, Alaska


Will this float?

Re: “The tragedy of the aquarium” (Metro Times, March 9), as we all know, Mayor Kilpatrick is coming upon a challenging mayoral race and faced with a possible need to find a last-minute legacy. I have the solution. According to a March 2 article in The Detroit News the incumbent mayor brings a war chest of $1.3 million followed next by Freman Hendrix at $155,000 and Sharon McPhail with only $65,000. Knowing Mayor Kilpatrick to be an excellent sportsman who believes at his core in sportsmanship and democracy, I am certain he would be willing to donate $300,000 to the aquarium. This way Detroiters could keep their 101-year-old gem, and Kilpatrick would have his legacy as the man who saved our family aquatic institution. That is, unless his top donors who seem to mainly be developers have a better idea for the isle. —Brian Forgash, Ferndale

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