Readers weigh in on circumcision, beefed-up Belle Isle police


Alysa Offman’s story about circumcision generated vigorous commentary, including this from “uncut lady bits”: Lillian’s story made me tear up. It was much the same for me when I had to convince my husband we didn’t need to get our son circumcised. It was a very happy and relief-filled moment for me when my husband told them no in the hospital. My son is 4 and very healthy and happy. I’d never forgive myself if we had gone through with it.

And “Heidi Thompson” posted:

I bet the popularity of circumcision in the Midwest has a lot to do with John Harvey Kellogg being such an advocate for circumcision to prevent young boys from masturbating, in fact he advocated for it as a punishment. “A remedy for masturbation which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering anesthetic, as the pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment.” I don’t think so many parents would go along with it if they knew the reason why it exists.


A story by freelancer Tom Perkins, about how beefed-up law enforcement on Belle Isle has a chilling effect on park-goers, also generated much discussion. Don ONeill posted:

When white people at Kensington Metropark have a party, some alcohol is pretty much expected, and no one is shocked if they smoke some weed too. But you get a group of black people on Belle Isle playing music, drinking and maybe smoking some weed and people act like it’s the Heart of Darkness. Just like the article said, shootings on Belle Isle have been rare. More people get shot in Birmingham than on Belle Isle. That’s why it is popular. People go and party and have a good time. And now they are upset because they can see clearly what’s going on here … the state wants Belle Isle to “feel safe” for suburbanites. And we all know what that means. We all know just how safe Chad and Missy from Livonia feel around a large group of black people playing music and drinking and smoking.

And queenie1 posted:

Finally someone tells the truth! Mr. Perkins, I love this article. It’s one of the best I have read about the whole situation. Watching Rob Meloni last night on Channel 4, saying how people just love the new island, finally let me realize how much the media twists things. Funny how his story didn’t have a downside, or involve anyone who wouldn’t go out there any more. Belle Isle was absolutely beautiful even before the state took it over. Never did see what was so horrible about it. Yes, the facilities needed upgrades, and the city did not have funds to maintain it as it should have been, but there was not the horrible crime that the suburbanites feared so much. I have spent literally thousands of hours out there, and never, ever did I have a problem with anyone. Rarely did you see anyone speeding around the island, people were too busy showing off their cars and looking for their friends. If the state troopers are actually all white, then it is true that the white people have taken the island back from the black people. No wonder people are afraid to go out there. I do not want to be there any more if just by virtue of me being there, state police feel free to interrupt my peaceful time by even asking for an ID or anything else. Relaxation doesn’t mean spending time with the cops. If there were 1,200 stops and only a few arrests, as far as I am concerned, that means the rest is harassment. State troopers do not harass people at other state parks, and they should not do it here either. I actually think the city should end the lease.

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