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A balanced view of Proof

Khary Turner: I just finished reading your article on Proof ("What do we have to prove?" Metro Times, April 19), and I thought it was very well written. I have to admit that when I saw him on the cover, I thought it was going to be a story making him a martyr, someone who died "for the cause." I was completely wrong. I get tired of hearing a lot of these rappers being defended for their actions or excusing them because of the need to keep up that image. I was quite impressed with how you had a completely balanced story (you don't find that often in the media), so big ups to you on that.

I am angry, very angry. When will this world wake up to the fact that, in some way, the images that are portrayed, lyrically spit and put in print have some effect on the psyche of our youth. Proof grew up in the beginning era of "gangsta rap." I think rap took a turn for the worse after the days of Whodini, Kurtis Blow, MC Lyte and Salt-n-Pepa. After that era, which I grew up in, hip hop started to rob our children of their right to a peaceful mind.

I have three young boys, 15, 12 and 7. I fight like hell every day to win the battle of real hip hop vs. hardcore hip hop in my house. I even tried to use this tragedy with Proof as a lesson to my son that making the wrong choices can cost you your life, when you don't take the time to think before you act. I will show my son your article and explain to him what he doesn't understand, but if our past conversations are any predictor of how this conversation will go, it's in one ear and out the other, but I have to keep trying. Thank you for your fair and balanced article. —Kellie Pye, Detroit

 

Thanks for the real thing

I read about Proof's death in Yahoo news, but it took a real Detroiter and a real Detroit paper to really get to the essence of his death. Any death is sad, but to have someone who was so talented and young die, and obviously so needlessly, is tragic.

Both families will suffer the consequences of these three men's actions. I feel for Proof's children. It's tough to grow up in this world, but to grow up without a father to guide them is tougher.

I got to know more about the man Proof in this article. It was written with such heart. —Francesca Cangialosi, Albuquerque, N.M.

 

Returning the cheek

As I read your column, "Jesus is my Homie" (Pop Tart, Metro Times, April 12), I was taken aback by your snide public ridicule of some high school kids whose beliefs differ from yours.

"Tolerance" is a word that gets thrown around a lot in publications like Metro Times. But your article was anything but tolerant.

I'm neither a Christian nor a conservative. When it comes to sinning, I'm a longtime, unrepentant imbiber. And, as far as politics are concerned, I think both the left wing and the right wing are full of shit. So I am anything but a right-wing Christian — but I was offended by your hipper-than-thou article just the same.

Why would you choose to publicly make fun of kids, just because their beliefs don't happen to jibe with yours?

Although I don't personally believe that Jesus is our savior, I can understand why some kids who are brought up in Christian families feel overwhelmed by the relentless, envelope-pushing machinations of Madison Avenue and Hollywood. Believe it or not, there actually are still a few teenagers out there who don't want to have their nipples pierced. And that's OK with me.

But you, for whatever reason, saw fit to publicly deride these high school students for their "uncoolness," and for being manipulated by adults.

Like you said, picking on Christians is like shooting fish in a barrel.

I'm glad you were able to get a column out of disparaging some high school students for doing something they believe in. I'm sure many of your fellow cool hipsters shared a snide, superior chuckle when they read it. —Duane Hunter, Detroit

 

Jesus takes time

Re: Your article about Battle Cry. A lot of people from my church were involved. I was not able to get involved, so your article was the first chance to see what this was about. Your comment about the event being orchestrated by a boardroom of out-of-touch fiftysomethings made me laugh. It's probably true. You are right — one day these kids will have to think for themselves. I'm not sure of your religious background. As for me, I can tell you this Christian thing is not a few classes and that's it. It takes about 10 years of hacking away at Christianity, then 10 years of figuring out what you hacked away at and the next 10 years putting it to some good use. That is where I am at now. It takes a while to understand what Jesus is really talking about. —Aaron Trudgeon, Warren

 

That giant sucking sound

Re: "The ugly truth about the layoffs" (Metro Times, April 12), it has been an interesting couple of weeks watching and reading about the good and bad about the "new American business model" (aka, layoffs, outsourcing, downsizing, etc.). But despite the news outlets' coverage of the issues of lost incomes and lifestyles, I was dismayed that most did not address the deeper issue of the "Harvard business model." With the model's central theme of self-gratification at any cost, Americans have developed an underlying feeling of being "just a mercenary for hire." This made me remember Machiavelli's book The Prince. His attitude toward mercenaries was: "It has always been the opinion and judgment of wise men that nothing can be so uncertain or unstable as fame or power not founded on its own strength." —Matthew A. Sawtell, Sterling Heights

 

Errata: "What do we have to prove?" (Metro Times, April 19), incorrectly stated that former Detroit News staffer Darci McConnell worked for the Iron Fist label. McConnell has no connection with the record label.

In "The Odissi-philes" (Metro Times, April 12), we misspelled the name of the arts colony in New York state. It is Yaddo. We also incorrectly said that Richard Bernstein had been a resident at Yaddo. Other notable Bernsteins, however, have had residencies there, including composer Leonard and writer Carl.

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