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Get over the past

How come someone doesn't write about how the African-Americans are also very racist to the white people these days ("Niggers old & new," Metro Times, Dec. 12-18)? I understand that they suffered in the past, but the past is the past. My people certainly had nothing to do with their suffering, but they still judge me by the color of my skin. I am half Native-American, but I don't see anyone making as much of a fuss about our past and what the white man did to us. Do we also forget that a white person also helped end the mistake of slavery? What do they say about their people who sold them into the slavery in the first place?

No, I do not think that discrimination is a thing of the past but I also think it has to do with learned behavior. I never in my life thought differently about colors of skin until I came across so many issues and instances with different races. It really is sad, but I think that people need to move on. Most races have suffered in one way or another, why does one deserve more than the other? —Kristine Bagwell, poochie1410@yahoo.com, Grosse Ile

Flagging enthusiasm

How right Keith A. Owens is admitting how bothered he's been by the flag-waving since Sept. 11 ("Stars, stripes & doubts," Metro Times, Dec. 26, 2001-Jan. 1, 2002). I have watched U.S. flags spring up everywhere, even in churches where the cross seemed to take second place. At a benefit in Sterling Heights honoring the Catholic chaplain, Michel Judge, O.F.M., who died anointing a World Trade Center victim, a priest waved the flag during the assembly's singing of "God Bless America."

Multicultural defines the United States but would one know it when Catholic bishops have to declare that racism is a sin? When anyone is suspect who looks, talks, acts or dresses differently than what a "true, red-white-blue" American citizen believes? A nation founded on Christian principle would have a larger heart to be inclusive, but is it? And do we not profess belief in God only when push comes to shove, as with Sept. 11?

The flag is only a symbol, but in a multicultural world, America needs to enlarge its worldview with a deeper reverence for the variety of accents, colors, convictions and cultures. —Lawrence M. Ventline, doctor of ministry, lmvsoul@aol.com, Sterling Heights

Party pooper

Melissa Giannini, I appreciate your in-depth analysis of local bands. The Slumber Party article, however, was pure fluff ("Up all night," Metro Times, Dec. 26, 2001-Jan 1, 2002). You've perfectly reflected the tunes that lazily refracted off Mazzy Star, Cowboy Junkies or the Velvet Underground. But never mind the music — just look at the four skinny girls who went on a tour and ate fast food!

One of them reads. Unsurprisingly, they know some other bands and even collaborate in "side projects." They do and don't make resolutions for the new year. Impressionistic indeed!

Slumber Party lacks wholly in originality. I've somehow managed to catch them as an opening band four or five times. Each time, I marveled at their musical underendowment, and that they have fans, a label and nice reviews. To say that they've appropriated stock of other notable sleep-inducing rock/pop/minimalist groups is misleading, unless you qualify it with a worst-of list.

Mojo and the Sunday Times must have been sniffing around the ass end of the alleged Detroit music scene to dig this one out. Slumber Party makes me tired, not sleepy. —Jack Hohl, juniorminty72@hotmail.com, Detroit

Fight the power

I've just finished reading Sven Gustafson’s article ("Cyber tussle," Metro Times, Dec. 19-25). It lifts my spirits to know that there are still some brave souls willing to stand up to the big corporations, which want our money, not our opinions. I appreciate also the reporters who are willing to tell these stories. Thanks and stay with it. —Sue Elwell, supermom_f@yahoo.com, Powder Springs, Ga.

Erratum

Last week, Metro Times printed an incorrect phone number for Cleptomaniacs and Shoplifters Anonymous ("Light fingers and heavy hearts," Metro Times, Dec. 26, 2001-Jan, 1, 2002). The correct phone number is 248-358-8508.

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