We received a number of interesting emails regarding Michael Jackman's long-form story on Hamtramck's majority-Muslim city council ("Caniff and Quran," March 2). Greg Kowalski, the director of the Hamtramck Historical Museum, wrote the following:
You got the story on Hamtramck correct. In the last month or so, I was interviewed by ABC News, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, PBS, a Japanese newspaper, a Hong Kong-based Internet news service, some cable service based in Flint (never heard of them), and some other newspaper (can't remember). All of them were fishing for trouble. I finally told The Wall Street Journal, "You guys are acting like the world has stopped spinning and reversed direction. No one here really cares about the Muslim-majority council." In fact, it's my experience that far more people outside of Hamtramck are concerned about what's happening here than we are.
The article also prompted another email, from Wes Smith of the View Newspaper Group:
Great story on the city council. I appreciate you being open about your writing perspective as a resident of Hamtramck.
We cover a lot of county, city, village, and township commissions, and councils and boards in our 15 local papers. There are a lot of similarities between Hamtramck's council and those we cover — key differences too for sure — but it's always the personalities that make it interesting (and fun) to be at the meetings. Your article captured that feeling of awkward amusement one has when attending in person.
I admire (most) of the people who devote their time and money to running for local office and, if elected, serve for little or no money and usually have at least a few residents unhappy with them no matter how they vote. Most of them really care about their constituents and try to get it right.
If only that caring would stick for the ones who make it to Lansing.
Larry Gabriel's Higher Ground column, "New Detroit laws make the future uncertain for marijuana dispensaries" (March 2) prompted an email all the way from Dillon, Colo., from Stan White:
While many citizens accept regulations when they seem reasonable, "95 percent" of cannabis (marijuana) dispensaries being affected by new regulations do not seem reasonable.
It's another achievement of government-subsidized discrimination in a country where the prevalence of discrimination is undeniable. And make no mistake: Bigots orchestrated cannabis prohibition from the beginning as an act of racism, greed, and control.
We also note some interesting activity on our Facebook page. We posted a link to Kahn Santori Davison's blog post about the Black Women Rock! event at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History ("Black Women Rock event begins today at the Wright Museum" March 3). Nine minutes later, somebody posted: "What about white women?" A poster named Brandon George Caroland took several precious moments out to set this person straight:
Read the article. It's at the African-American museum. There are plenty of celebrated white lady rockers in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Charles Wright Museum is about celebrating the accomplishments of African-Americans. It gives kids role models to esteem. Stop getting angry every time a black person wants to celebrate successes. It makes you look so racist when you whine about it. If you don't get it, then just ignore it.