About Les Smith's column, "Where We Live Now" ...
I have followed Les Smith's reporting for years and have always found him undoubtedly 'fair and balanced' in the truest sense, as opposed to a marketing moniker.
His article was insightful and fair. We must as a community begin now to dedicate ourselves to judging our political servants or those aspiring to elected office by their qualities and not the color of their skin or, for that matter, their sex.
Because of Smith's race, he is granted the candor to acknowledge this fact and move beyond it. Yes, I live in the suburbs and, yes, I am white, but I try every day to be "color blind." I am thankful for my 23 years in the Army and a childhood with a father in the Army, where we as children and soldiers lived with, deployed with, and marched with every race for a common mission.
Let us all recognize that there are more color-blind black, brown, and white folks in Memphis than there are myopic racists who are only bent on their own benefit. We need to grow the number of color-blind children in Memphis through our daily modeling if we are to ever move things up and forward.
Amen and amen to Les Smith's article. He spoke the sad truth.
Suzanne Jones Raines
About Bianca Phillips' story, "Bumpy Ride" ...
Memphis is a city on the rise, one that needs to be embracing technological innovation, not turning away from it. We have a booming downtown with new restaurants, bars, and shops opening every week. Raymond James recently renewed its commitment to downtown, keeping 600-plus employees in our city's core. The downtown core had the lowest crime rate in the city last year, thanks to a renewed fight against violence and homelessness. But Memphis is making waves for the wrong reasons with its vengeful fight against ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft. I have used both extensively and make it a point to get to know the drivers, all of whom have been polite, courteous, and professional. With downtown occupancy rates at all-time highs, parking is more difficult. These two services mitigate the traffic and nuisance of parking for many residents — from the city and those who live in outlying areas.
As a proud resident of downtown and a native of Louisville, Kentucky, I chose Memphis because of work, but have come to truly embrace the culture and blossoming scene that is Memphis. Young, talented individuals (a large percentage of downtown residents) have a choice of places to live, and headlines about Memphis thwarting new technology will not encourage these people to choose Memphis.
Was there a cry from pay-phone operators when cell phones were invented? Of course. But we all learned to embrace the change. Cities all over the country have welcomed Uber and Lyft. It's time for Memphis to drop the cease and desist order and let our city grow!
About Severin Allgood's story, "Atlas Moth at the Buccaneer" ...
Sev, stop using big words. You're writing about metal, man, and you are going to make the other Flyer writers look like tools.
About Jackson Baker's cover story, "Gripes, Groans, and Grudge Matches" ...
Nice work, JB. I have to wonder why anyone would vote for Joe Brown or Henri Brooks, other than the fact they are black. In the course of this brief campaign period, both have demonstrated a real deficiency of personal integrity. In fact, neither has anything close to their opponents' qualifications for the jobs they're running for.
Now let's pray the criminal justice system follows through on Brooks' multiple election law violations, as well as her assault on a citizen — and on Brown's contempt citations.
Steve Cohen will win with same margin as he did against Tinker/Herenton — 79 percent. Ricky Wilkins should then run for council.