Flaws on Krystal
I got to know Krystal Crittendon when I worked at the City Law Department some years ago. I think some of Jack Lessenberry's comments were unfair. My personal view is that political, as opposed to legal, considerations led to the filing, and I am not surprised the suit was tossed as quickly as it was. I'm sure Krystal knew what she was getting into.
That said, I wanted to note, in view of the derogatory characterization of Krystal's professional background ("Crittendon had virtually no real world experience outside the city. She has never worked anywhere else since getting out of law school, but appointing her seemed harmless enough, given everything else going on."), that, before being named corporation counsel, she was a very experienced, effective and well-regarded litigator for the city who successfully handled high-exposure cases on a regular basis. I think that is very "real world" experience. (Would you characterize an attorney who'd spent an entire career in one civil rights firm the same way? Somehow, I doubt it, although I don't see any principled distinction.)
One can certainly question her judgment in filing suit, but she is hardly the "empty suit" your column implies. —Kevin Kavanagh, Detroit
Your cover by M.L. Liebler ("Beat angel," May 30) was despicable. Any serious writer knows that to be referred to so loosely as a "poet" is about as embarrassing as being caught picking your nose. A serious writer also knows that poetry cannot be taught. One either has an innate capability or an unusual interest in it. This silly notion is casually bandied about by the incessant presence of the dressed-for-the-part M.L. Liebler. No matter what this creep does or where he goes, this "War Zone Poet" is about as earnest as a chaperone's prima donna at a karate contest. It's so refreshing to read some Artaud after smearing one's eyes with M.L.L. "journalism." —Randy Foreman, Westland
Jack Lessenberry is one of the reasons that my brother and our 86-year-old mom and I run to Western Market in Ferndale every Wednesday to get the new issue of Metro Times. He is a truth-seeker and a truth-teller! His "Why they hate Obama" (May 30) column was right on point. I'm African-American and, in our community, we have always understood that it's all about race, but to hear it from you, an "old white guy" (to quote you), took a lot of courage and principle. You are the best columnist that Detroit has. You call an ace an ace and a spade a spade, even when it's not a popular decision. I applaud your integrity, your journalism and your spirit! —Patrice L. Green, Detroit
I'm writing from Charlotte, NC and want to thank you for the coverage you've been giving Faruq Z. Bey ("An icon passes," June 6). I've only "known" him for a very short time through his music, but it only takes "a little time" to really get swept up in his being, his power. Thank you very much. —D. Blake Werts, Charlotte, N.C.