A second chance
I would like to say that was a great article on Mr. Todd ("Juvenile injustice," Metro Times, Dec. 13). I attended one year of middle school and almost four years of high school with him. I was terribly shocked to hear that he was involved in any type of crime, especially a violent one. I understand a life was taken, but I also feel the sentence he received and the example the prosecution was setting were unjust.
I pray Mr. Todd does receive a second chance, seeing as our society views placing our youths behind bars as the only way of helping them. Wanda Allen-Dexter, Detroit
Out of balance
Re: Curt Guyette's cover story, I found it deeply disturbing that the only perspective presented in the article was arguing for repeal of the current Michigan sentencing guidelines for convicted murderers under the age of 18. Please note: Human beings murdered by 'youthful offenders' are no less dead than if murdered by 'middle-aged' offenders.
Melody Rucker is not alive to 'revisit' attending a party.
Damion Todd is alive to write off his actions that day as "a mix of fantasy and reality." It would appear that he has failed to mature to a stage in life where he is willing to accept the very hard and real fact that in life some things cannot be fixed by saying, "Gee, I made a mistake."
I will contact my legislative representatives to vote no against any proposed changes to sentencing guidelines for violent crimes. I also intend to affiliate with reputable organizations fighting for the rights of those who have been murdered and their families. L. Faye Ellington, Detroit
Jack: Thank you for getting at what I suspected was under the governor's outside persona all along ("Michigan's time to get real," Metro Times, Dec. 13). In every conversation with her, I've sensed an innate feel for what needs to be done in this state. I believe she can and will step up. Our future depends on leaving the Legislature's "good enough" approach. Mike Gaunt, Chassell
Jack: You said yourself, the American newspapers are more inclined to cover Lindsay Lohan on the front page. You will be lucky to get Iraq on Page 2 and maybe you will see a story in passing on Afghanistan in Section B not to mention any stories of American forces engaged as peacekeepers in Korea, Eritrea or Kosovo.
I have to laugh morbidly, though Vietnam destroyed the idea of a drafted army in America in the past, and Iraq is destroying the idea of a volunteer army now. What will we field for the next war, the American Foreign Legion? Matthew Sawtell, La Grange Park, Ill.
Don't quit, Morgan!
I'm going to have to disagree with Jeffrey Morgan: There are more people than you think that enjoy your column every week. Like me! I must insist that you please reconsider your decision to stop writing it! Media Blackout has been the main reason I read Metro Times over the last few years, but if you must depart, I wish you well. I highly enjoyed everything you wrote. "Be seeing you" again, I hope! Ben Tipton, Troy
Don't go away mad
I am writing this letter in response to Sarah Klein's column "Go West, young gal" (Metro Times, Dec. 6). I was deeply offended by this editorial. I have heard these arguments again and again from friends who leave. And while I understand that Michigan and Detroit are not for everyone, I was disturbed by this article broadcasting these reasons and reinforcing negative stereotypes about this area. You say you love the city, and then you write an article that reinforces these concepts because Detroit hasn't come far enough. Yes, there are issues; however, expecting changing locations to fix all your problems is unrealistic. The idea that one girl's 10-year depression was cured by three weeks in another city is laughable. Each place has positives and negatives about it, and Detroit is hardly the only city with snow and crime. You say you want the best for Detroit and yet you aren't willing to stick it out. That's fine but don't patronize those of us who do believe in this city and who see positive things coming out of it and for it each day. This city doesn't need that kind of negativity, we have enough problems. So go, but don't expect the rest of us to follow. Jessie Urban, Detroit
Just go away
You wrote about the "cultural underground" for seven years? Right about the time the lead-up of "the Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit" era was peaking. When the celebrity (oh yeah, nice head shot taking up a third of your kiss-off) didn't trickle down as you liked, you can't face your challenges and instead blame a city that has quality people performing and attending events any night of the week you may venture out. People worked hard to preserve the New Orleans musical heritage and its spirit after Katrina. With the collapse of a specific economy like the automotive industry, Detroit needs cultural warriors and you are going to be a soldier somewhere else. Berry Gordy moved Motown to Los Angeles but publicly always wished he had stuck it out in Detroit. I, too, am a Motor City "expat." I returned to Michigan in 2005 after living in Arizona for five years and was blown away by Detroit and how far it had come since my departure in the '90s.
"Struggling?" "Exhausted?" "Pissed-off for 10 years?" Thank the elements we just ran out of Pop Tarts! Jeffery Scott Howitt, Ferndale
Sensitive about men
Thanks for your sensitive and straightforward article about men's work in general and the ManKind Project in particular ("Band of Brothers," Metro Times, Nov. 29). It would have been easy to take the skeptical and sarcastic approach that many journalists have.
In my wider view, it seems we're in the midst of a resurgence of "hyper machismo" in the world. Likewise, the women's movement seems to have devolved in that Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are the role models of many of today's young girls and women. It seems imperative to recapture the goals of both the men's and women's movements while expanding the ideas of what they are lest we fall into the trap of further restricting ourselves within one paradigm or process. Terrence Daryl Shulman, SouthfieldSend letters (250 words or less, please) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your telephone number for verification. We reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and libel.