Letters to the Editor

Apr 4, 2007 at 12:00 am

Bullying teaches kids

Re: Jack Lessenberry's "Bully for nobody" (Metro Times, March 28). I'm not defending the two Michigan state representatives (John Moolenaar and Jack Hoogendyk) mentioned in your article, but do you really think that if they pass an unneeded bill, that these children are going to stop bullying other students? No. Kids don't think before they say things like that. They don't call other kids fags — or butt-buddies, as you would put it — because they really think the person likes having sex with other men. They say it solely because it will upset the other person. I also find it hilarious that you want this bill to be passed, but you then call these men butt-buddies and make fun of their names in the way that you did (Hog-and-dick and Mole-on-my-ass?). I was bullied back in my middle school and high school days and I still think this bill is unnecessary. Children need to learn from these experiences or else once they are adults they won't know what to do when criticized. You know what, why don't we just make a separate safety room for each student that will protect them from all the wrongdoings of others? That's a great idea. Maybe they can prosecute you once this bill passes since you like to make fun of a few men's names that you don't like.

You also mention that you aren't afraid of homosexuals, which is good. I'm not afraid of them either. But one reason why gay people get what they get from homophobes has a little to do with the fact that they feel the need to throw their sexuality out there for everyone to see. Do you have a sticker on your car that says that you are straight? Do you march in parades because you love women? I doubt it. Why must they? If they wanted to be treated equally by everyone, act as equals, don't act like you're different. Personally, it makes me a little uncomfortable when I'm in Ferndale and it's parade time. It's like I'm being singled out because I don't want to have anything to do with it. Also, in Ferndale, the gay community has a cultural center. I've never seen a straight cultural center in my life. Yet another reason why some straight people dislike gays. What other people do sexually is their own business and that's the way it should be, but homosexuals do transmit more diseases to their partners than anyone else out there. I have made acquaintances with a few homosexuals in my life and two of them have acquired the HIV virus, one of whom has AIDS and is dying. None of my straight friends have HIV or AIDS. Coincidence? No.

These things are the nature of the beast. Mammals, whether a person, monkey, tiger, whatever have an instinct to dislike things that are not natural to them, people just need to, and do very well, control this instinct. —Michael Conte, Roseville


Like a Dutch uncle

Jack Lessenberry is right on the money when he supports Michigan's anti-bullying bill, House Bill 4162, which would protect students from bullying, even bullying based on sexual orientation. I am not gay, either, but I cannot imagine how any reasonable person could justify a gay person getting beaten up just because he happens to be gay. However, I fail to see why Jack had to associate gayness with "wooden Dutch shoes" or "cricket," which he calls "funny English baseball." Why offend the Dutch people or people from cricket-loving countries, such as England, Australia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, New Zealand, West Indies and others? Polarizing statements only muddy the issue — and that's counterproductive! —Pradeep Srivastava, Detroit


Fear of fear itself

Re: "What are you afraid of?" (Metro Times, March 28). This article stated that overprotective parents are hindering their children from growing up and learning on their own by worrying about small dangers. A given example in the article is that Las Vegas has only one pool left with a deep end because of the fear of drowning. So exactly how many bathtubs are there in Sin City? People, especially small children, also drown in bathtubs. Should these be removed too?

The point is that there are many dangers in this world and parents should not worry about the small stuff.

Another example this article gave was that parents did not want their kids to talk to strangers. Most parents are not aware of the danger in the Internet, where sexual offenders talk to and meet teenagers. Parents should reconsider the threats of 21st century technology on their kids but they should also not overprotect their kids. Some of the best lessons are learned alone, and we should not rob kids of these experiences. —Vilson Merkaj, Dearborn


Seats of power

Thank you so much for publishing Rebecca Mazzei's insightful look into the lives and production ethos of Ray and Charles Eames ("The Eames team," Metro Times, Feb. 7). Only recently have I been able to afford a few pieces of furniture from the selection of Eames pieces offered by Design Within Reach. I count the Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chairs as some of my most loved possessions. Everyone who visits my house for the first time is visually coaxed into sitting on the wooden chairs. The comments have been universal — "Wow this is so much more comfortable than I thought it would be." No doubt the Eameses would be proud. —Jerry Delince, Miami, Fla.


Erratum: In last week's Motor City Cribs (Metro Times, March 28), we incorrectly identified the neighborhood John Rutherford lives in. It is East English Village.

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