Editor's note: As a change of pace from "Letters" this week, we've printed some responses to stories posted on memphisflyer.com.
"Baby Blues" by Bianca Phillips (February 14th):
We fear what we don't understand, and we can't understand what we don't know. This past weekend, I sat at a table of volunteers who gave their Saturday night to prepare a large mail-out for our local Humane Society. The gay couple at my table had put in a hard day's work in their family's business and had surely earned an evening of rest and recreation. Yet they came directly from work and devoted several hours to helping homeless animals. As I watched these fine young men work, it occurred to me what excellent parents and role models they would be for any child. I only wish my own father, a fundamentalist preacher, had been half as loving.
I don't support gay rights because of my beliefs, but I would rather see children being taken care of by a loving couple — gay, straight, or whatever — than having them out on the street becoming criminals. ... Being gay doesn't mean that you are not capable of caring for a child or a loved one. Ask yourself this question: If you were trapped in a burning car, would you care if the firefighter who has the ability to free you was gay?
"Little G's" by Tony Jones (February 21st):
Law enforcement officials, schools, and many of today's parents have an incredible task on their hands. As a former classroom educator and coach, I can attest that the recruiting process in all aspects has increased to include younger people. The food, clothing, and sports industries research and market their products toward younger customers. It only makes sense that gang members are targeting younger kids, too. Regardless of where you are socioeconomically, it is only natural to seek the best in any situation. In short, law enforcement officials, schoolteachers, coaches, administrators, and parents want young people to be successful, but, unfortunately, gang members want the same thing.
"Herenton Chimes in on School Violence" by John Branston (February 13th)
Schools in Memphis are unsafe because Memphis is unsafe. How much longer will Memphians accept rampant crime? I hurt for my hometown. Memphis: where Detroit meets New Orleans.
Sara Lewis holding parenting classes? And how much of the taxpayers' money will pay for that? What a joke. There are some reasons the city schools are having weekly shootings: A) kids being born to parents who don't want them and don't have the emotional and intellectual means to parent them; B) poverty caused by teen pregnancy (kids having kids causes never-ending poverty); C) easy access to guns (this town has a gun show almost every month); D) drugs. Until the people of Memphis can figure out how to keep single parenting from happening, this will continue. Kids with no fathers and part-time mothers will get into trouble and cause this city to continue its downward spiral. If you can't be a responsible parent, don't have a kid. Period.
"With Friends Like These ... : Cohen's Advantage Over Tinker?" by Jackson Baker (February 20th)
I guess this is just [the first of] many in a long line of setups enabling Cohen to play the victim role and draw connections that are tenuous at best. If someone in the public criticizes Cohen, why does Nikki Tinker need to come to his defense and disavow the criticism? Gray and Brooks are only problematic in that the media tries to draw some connection between them and Tinker's campaign. If some nut comes out and claims that Cohen is from the planet Zambodia and is plotting with Prince Mongo to take over the world, would the Flyer ask, "Where is Nikki Tinker on the subject of space aliens taking over the world?"
Please ignore this mailer sent out by ignorant and morally questionable characters. Go out and vote. That is the best way to get back at them, while doing the right thing for our district. Congressman Cohen has done a great job representing ALL OF US! He will continue to do so in the next term.
"... Nikki Tinker doesn't play those types of politics." Nikki stepped in it right there. That statement, as ghetto as it sounds, shows she knew about the brouhaha but she was always unavailable. Weak. "Tinker Time" just hasn't lived up to its hype. Might as well be naptime.