Published February 2, 2005
Daily focuses only on negative side of Detroit
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To the Daily:
I cannot say how disappointed I am with Daniel Adams’s column (The myth of the Detroit renaissance, 01/31/2005) and in the Daily in general. I am preparing to graduate in April, and in all my time here, I do not think I have read one article about Detroit that did not include a negative perspective or underhanded remark. Even when you tried to celebrate Detroit in Weekend Magazine last year, you still managed to fit in enough of the downfalls to outweigh the good aspects. If I did not know better, I would say the Daily is deliberately perpetuating the stereotypes and myths about Detroit. We are a diverse campus with students from all over the country and the world, many of who have no personal experience with Detroit. What do these students think when they read the Daily describe Detroit as a “failing city,” rife with violence, political turmoil and economic setbacks? The Daily has failed to give a balanced viewpoint on Detroit and has consistently downplayed all the improvements that have been made.
I acknowledge that Detroit is struggling to overcome many obstacles, but why do we always have to focus on the problems? Drew Sharp’s column in last Saturday’s Detroit Free Press did a good job of illustrating how Detroit can recognize its problems, like any major city, but not dwell on them. Detroit is trying to fix itself, but we do not need to make the job harder by saying things like “stop talking about the renaissance.” Momentum is a precious thing, and it would be a shame to waste all of it that we have built up in recent years. I do not know how much time Adams has spent in Detroit, but I have lived there my entire life, and for the past five years, I have worked downtown during the summers. I hear about the renaissance as well, but I also see growth everywhere and people coming to have a good time, not in spite of being in Detroit, but because they are in Detroit. Detroit a failing city? I hear about it. I just don’t see it. So to Adams and the Daily still talking about it: Please stop.
Columnist ignorant, too pessimistic about Detroit
To the Daily:
In The myth of the Detroit renaissance (01/31/2005), Daniel Adams referred to Jefferson Avenue as Jefferson Street. Any person who has spent any appreciable time in Detroit would have known better. His accusations against the city are poorly researched and based largely on media speculation surrounding Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Instead of offering new ideas or insight into the real problems of urban sprawl, urban redevelopment, policy change, etc., he has chosen to join the “Detroit sucks” bandwagon. Apparently he missed the $500 million investment by General Motors into the RenCen. These large projects, while unable to revitalize Detroit alone, make up a critical component of creating a vibrant and livable city.
Last Saturday we drove downtown for the auto show, parked cheaply in a structure away from Cobo, took the People Mover, which dropped us off inside of Cobo, then took the People Mover again to Greektown for dinner. Unlike Adams’s claim that people came downtown to see the auto show and then simply left, I can guarantee that thousands of others did the same thing as we did, pouring millions of dollars into the downtown economy.
When it comes to Detroit, we feel that you can either cop out and join with the “Detroit sucks” crowd or you can realize the problems and help work toward a solution. We read your column, and what we hear is simply another person refusing to give the city a chance, without offering any solution or suggestion to make it better. We hear people spouting that kind of uninformed self-righteousness, and just think: Please stop.
Preserve cheer without offensive vulgarity
To the Daily: