Support real progressives
Lessenberry tries to remind us that Kucinich “can’t win.” Well, if he can’t win, it’s only because progressives in America have been so bullied by the mass media they can’t even bring themselves to support a truly progressive candidate. Think about it: The only progressives running — Kucinich, Sharpton and Braun — are all dismissed the same way. The Greens “can’t win” either. What options does that leave? As Lessenberry seems far from the revolutionary type, his is a de facto endorsement for meekly accepting whatever choices big business and mass media make for us. As if that kind of politics hasn’t already been a disaster for this country. — Andrew Grice, Madison Heights
A history of cooperation
In his column, “Who Won the Dems Debate?” (Metro Times, Oct. 29-Nov. 4), Jack Lessenbery questions whether African-American voters would vote for Joe Lieberman because he is an Orthodox Jew, insinuating dislike, distrust or worse between the two communities. In fact, there is a long history of cooperation between the Jewish and African-American communities, including the exemplary partnership between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
Today, there are a number of programs run by the Jewish Community Council that bring the two communities together, including the 2002 Interfaith Clergy Mission to Senegal and Israel and its subsequent, highly popular interfaith concerts; the Detroit-Jewish Initiative, which seeks to further strengthen the relationship between blacks and Jews; and the Detroit Jewish Coalition for Literacy, whose more than 400 volunteers help second- to fifth-graders increase their reading skills in school districts throughout metro Detroit.
These programs are a few examples of the extraordinary cooperation between the African-American and Jewish communities. — Eric Adelman, Community Relations Associate, Jewish Community Council, Bloomfield Hills, email@example.com
Kudos and clarification
I want to commend Khary Kimani Turner for his in-depth reporting on the Madison-Lenox situation. The story was incisive, asked the right questions and focused on the right issues. It will hopefully spur others to follow up with Ilitch Holdings and the status of their properties.
There was one point that I feel I should clear up, since it’s now happened twice in print. The Friends of the Book-Cadillac did not broker the Book-Cadillac deal. We were there from beginning to end as a public watchdog, dealt with many of the parties involved with the process and offered our services on several occasions, but we did not broker the deal.
This touches on what is so troubling about the city’s response to the Ilitches and the Madison-Lenox. The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the city and the state did a tremendous job with the brokering of the Book-Cadillac deal. The DEGC focused resources very wisely on the study and were dogged in their pursuit of the end goal. To turn around and throw money away on the demolition of a viable property, one that is so easy to repair in comparison to the Book, seems incredibly wasteful, inconsistent and shortsighted. What happened? — Francis Grunow, Detroit, firstname.lastname@example.org
A plea for dignity
Keith Owens hit the nail on the head with his insightful piece, “Pimping The Hood” (Free Your Mind, Metro Times, Oct. 22-28), regarding the “Ghettopoly” board game. Why should we black people be taken seriously when we don’t even take our own damned selves seriously? Too many of us are hanging out in front of party stores drinking the 40 ounce, dressing up like thugs, keeping the prisons in business, calling each other n****r, staying home on Election Day, blasting offensive gangsta rap that degrades us (which is produced by white-owned companies, by the way), and disparaging black people who are gainfully employed as “Uncle Toms.”
Frankly, what offends me more than a board game are the stereotypes that too many black people appear to promote and support. There can be no reason for outrage at the David Changs of the world as long as we African-Americans, including opportunistic rap and media stars of color, continue to readily supply material. — Stephen A. Holmes, Detroit, email@example.com.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.