Re: "The ambassador" (Sept. 15), I take great offense to Toby Barlow's comment that "Detroit has no middle class of any substantial size and certainly has no real upper class." While it is admirable that Mr. Barlow is a fan of the city, being a resident for four years does not make him an expert on the class structure of this city by any means. As a lifelong Detroiter who was raised in one of the city's upper-middle-class neighborhoods and currently lives in one of its strong middle-class neighborhoods, I would like to offer this list of neighborhoods that are strongly middle-to-upper middle class: University District, Martin Park (just south of University District), Sherwood Forest, Palmer Woods, Oakman Boulevard, East Outer Drive, West Outer Drive, Rosedale Park, North Rosedale Park, Indian Village, West Village, Boston-Edison, Berry Subdivision, the "Gold Coast" riverfront apartment buildings such as the Jeffersonian and Shoreline East. And I don't even pretend that this list is complete. And for his question, "...how many people who make more than a million dollars a year actually live in the city?" My answer is, "My dear Mr. Barlow, you would be surprised!" —Jean Alicia Elster, Detroit
Hooray for Harangua
Back in the beginning of time, as a kid growing up in Detroit, I remember my father periodically getting excited about Dick Purtan and a particular set of "local guests" about to air on Purtan's morning show. The "local guests," as politically incorrect as it is today, were the elders from a fictitious Native American tribe called the Zug Island Indians. The gist of the "live-from-the-demonstration" interview (all done in the studio) was the elders would get irritated about critical, or ridiculous local issues and rally the members of this "tribe" to demonstrate — and Purtan was the only media "there."
Everyone listened in when this fictitious group gave its position and concerns — as they affected the greater listening audience.
I've missed Detroit having a "phantom voice" that directed us to critical and key issues or concerns in the region. But Mulenga Harangua is it! Everytime Harangua makes an appearance or statement in Larry Gabriel's column, my e-mail begins to buzz about his insights and concerns.
I'm writing to encourage you to develop the voice and influence of Harangua, as he seems to have hit his stride, and folks truly are watching for his appearance in your column. It'd be great if Harangua could get some regular morning traffic air time — just to keep us informed — as many of us can't get to those key barbershops Harangua seems to be aware of. —Heidi Lucken, Oak Park
Reader Mike Moore of Auburn Hills tried to make some interesting points in his letter titled "Loaded Rhetoric" (Sept. 15). The essence of his letter was clear that he does not think that the Arts, Beats and Eats festival was a place to carry handguns. As a concealed pistol licensee, I felt from the beginning that the Royal Oak festival was a gun-free zone, as I interpret the entire event as entertainment venue seating more than 2,500 people. I expect that the law will change soon, though I don't think that the addition of fairs and festivals is necessary. I also think that the open-carry movement's insistence on exercising its rights appeared antagonistic toward folks who are afraid of guns.
What bothers me, is that of all the letters you chose to print, you selected one that tangents off into the areas of racism, economics, war, corporate cronyism, warrant-less wire taps, the Patriot Act, President Bush, President Obama, the birthers and other "shenanigans."
I read Lessenberry's column and various letters to the editor columns as a means of challenging or confirming my beliefs on things social and political.
Seeing Moore's letter merely confirms to me that the Metro Times is nothing more than a free entertainment rag and that I should look elsewhere for challenges to my opinions. —Guy Harvey, Eastpointe