Pradeep Srivastava's letter in the Feb. 6 issue of the Metro Times (Letters to the editor) left me very unsettled. It starts off logically enough, and seems to offer suggestions to help solve the issues around illegal immigration — until this: "It is appalling that an uneducated Mexican guy, even with a criminal record, can simply walk across the border with little resistance and a Ph.D. in engineering from India, Poland or Russia has to wait for years to get the green card!" Why not contrast Mexican criminals with Mexicans who hold Ph.D.s? There are lots of honest, hardworking and, yes, even educated Hispanic people who wait for their immigration papers to go through just as well and long as an Indian, Polish or Russian scholar.
Srivastava's statement is, like so many others in this debate, bigoted. We can't solve problems of immigration if we're looking at it in those terms because immigration is about people moving from one place to another, not just certain nationalities going to certain countries. People have been leaving their homes behind in search of a better life, or just plain survival, for hundreds of years.
As long as there is poverty or war in one place and prosperity or peace in another, humans will continue to move about the world, to the dismay of those whose territory they enter. Let's study these factors so that we can arrive at solutions that target the cause, not just the effect, of the problem rather than get mired in prejudice. —Elisabel Vega, Detroit
Give us your young
What a great job on "Caught in the crossfire" (Metro Times, Jan. 30). Interesting stuff and, of course, well written. For a country that is increasingly devoid of intelligent, hardworking, young people, we really need to address this issue. Kind of one of those things that gets lost in the shuffle with all the fervor over "protecting our borders." —J. Patrick Pepper, Dearborn
Shame on Kwame
Amen to Jack Lessenberry's article about Kwame ("Focus on the facts," Metro Times, Feb. 6). Not all black Detroiters are poor and support Kilpatrick. Some of us "choose" to live in Detroit and be a part of its survival and revival.
Kilpatrick's got to go, and I hope the legal system will do its job.
Jack has courage for taking on the underlying racism theme that will certainly be Kwame's excuse. Shame on him. (He had the nerve to tell us to get off the porch and stop smoking weed. Like his conduct is at all above reproach.) —D. Roland, Detroit
I thought you might enjoy this limerick that I wrote in Kwame Kilpatrick's honor:
There was a young Mayor named Kwame—Lynn Herrick, Novi
Who loved to play hide the salami.
He's a hip-hoppin' clod
On a "mission from God,"
And he'll ride out the trouble tsunami.
I read Jack Lessenberry's "Focus on the facts" with a building sense of incredulity that ended in a shout. So: Jack thinks that Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick "needs to resign or be removed" for lying, wasting public money to cover up his own wrongdoing, and further damaging Detroit's reputation in the world!
Well — of course! But this is from the same pundit who thinks removing George W. Bush (or even holding hearings) for the gravest of matters would be a wasted effort and not politically savvy?
How about some consistency, Jack? Bush is guilty of causing the deaths of thousands of people, bringing our military and National Guard to the brink of collapse, ignoring the plight of the hungry and the sick while funneling lucrative deals to corporate supporters, grossly mismanaging domestic disasters, wasting billions of Americans' dollars, lying over and over and over, while turning our country's reputation to dirt in a world made far more dangerous by his insane rule.
But no, says Jack. Investigating and removing Bush, Cheney, and the rest of those would-be fascists would be too much of a distraction. There's more important work to do!
Jack Lessenberry calls it correctly in the Detroit situation. The big picture has to be dealt with before the details like employment and infrastructure can get fixed. I don't understand why he can't apply the same logic to the White House as he does to the Detroit mayoral mansion. —Patrick Dengate, Ferndale
Blood & alcohol
I really liked Jeff Meyers' write-up of There Will Be Blood (Cinema, Metro Times, Jan. 11).
What I feel he missed, however, or certainly did not refer to, is the alcoholism — the protagonist was an alcoholic: The progression is very subtly, but obviously, addressed. Midway through the movie he is collapsed on the floor and wakes up to the accident in the hole, and then it slowly progresses. The scene in the restaurant when he puts the napkin over his face is a classic display of alcoholic resentment, and so also at the end, guzzling that water to quench the dehydration and thirst.
This is a very essential component of the story, with all the attendant selfishness, greed and dishonesty inherent in this ailment. Critics never pick it up, despite how it sticks out. Why is that? It reminds me of Unforgiven — I've yet to read a critique of that movie that refers to the alcoholism; it's something people just don't see — just like real life, I guess. —John Cowper, Bloomfield Hills
Errata: Our review of the new Wildcatting record (Spun, Metro Times, Jan. 30) should have been credited to Mike Ross. We incorrectly listed a location in Orchard Lake for La Shish (Short Order, Metro Times, Jan. 30). The Orchard Lake location disassociated itself from the La Shish franchise a year ago and changed its name to Mezza Mediterranean Grille. Also, the photographs for last week's cover story ("Pay Dirt," Metro Times, Feb. 6) should have been credited to Doug Coombe.