Letters to the Editor

Thanks to Us?
To the Editor:
I would like to thank The Memphis Flyer for its ability to create an empty story and issue like the value and possible sale of MLGW. While you did not recommend outright selling the utility property, you created an unneeded interest in the subject so that our dear ole Mayor Herenton can now hire a friend for $150,000 for an investigation into the possibilities of such an action. Other cities such as San Antonio have already done studies into the matter and have found that such a move would be unprofitable for both the taxpayers of the city and to the city itself.
Thank you on behalf of all taxpayers in the Memphis area for your effort to publish such useless information and costing us $150,000. Maybe The Memphis Flyer should look into the matter of selling itself instead of creating issues that cost all Memphians and allow Willie to bankroll one more friend.
Mark Benton
(Editor’s Note: We did not create the story. In fact, Mayor Herenton had spoken to both consultant Ratan Lee and Morgan Keegan months before we found out about it. Maybe it seems like we instigated the story because we were the first to report it.)

Where Credit is Due
To the Editor:
Regarding your review of John Tigrett’s book Fair and Square [January 8th issue], I, too, thought many of the stories to be charming and inspiring, although lacking in the sharing of deep insight I had hoped for. Notwithstanding, Chapter 13, page 252 boldly presents a couple of glaring errors not mitigated by Tigrett’s coy attempt at providing a blanket disclaimer for his literary schmoozing.
Davidson Bartlett’s article suggesting that this city build a pyramid-shaped sports and entertainment arena was printed on The Commercial Appeal editorial page on January 18, 1985. Bartlett pointed out that such a project would become a marketing icon for the city. In December 1985, after almost a year of going it alone, Dave joined forces with Brent Hartz for a full-time attempt to sell the idea and find financing. Together they made dozens of public and private presentations of the pyramid-as-an-arena concept. After one such encounter, Rodney Baber was so kind as to arrange the meeting with Tigrett which is described so dismissively by him in the book.
The smoothness and sophistication of their presentation may not have been up to the rarefied international standards to which Tigrett had become accustomed, but it accomplished its purpose, didn’t it? It roped in Mr. Tigrett.
I’m not saying it was Tigrett’s obligation to mention the names of the two young men who came to him with stars in their eyes seeking financial guidance, but it was small and ungenerous of him to take full credit for the concept. …
Bluntly, credit for the concept is all my son ended up with. Why steal that from him?
Donna D. Bartlett

Exactly …
To the Editor:
The “Fly on the Wall” column in the January 8th issue pokes a little fun at the CA for giving so much coverage to the story about the capture and subsequent adoption of the dog named Lucky. Your column points out that the CA ran five articles about this dog from December 24th through January 3rd. I wonder how many dogs and cats were destroyed at the Memphis Animal Shelter in that time period simply because they were unwanted and their three working days were up at the shelter. Now that’s a story that might deserve a little coverage.
Billy Maharrey

On Liberals and Conservatives
To the Editor:
In last week’s Viewpoint column (“A Redneck Solicits”), self-proclaimed “right-wing, Republican, politically incorrect redneck” Arnold Weiner argues that African Americans have more in common with him and his fellow right-wing Republicans than they do with “liberal elitists.” I fail to see his logic. Why would any African-American want to support the party of white racists like Jesse Helms, Pat Buchanan, and former KKK member David Duke?
I have a different viewpoint on the recent, and late, Republican attempt to reach out to African-American voters. The reason why the majority of African Americans support the more liberal Democratic candidates is that the Republican Party built its new Southern majority by pitting Southern whites against blacks in opposing desegregation and much of the civil-rights movement in the 1960s. Pitting oppressed groups against one another has been a long-standing (and successful) strategy of conservative elites to diffuse the masses and protect the interests of the wealthy elite who own and control this country. They have used this divide-and-conquer strategy to weaken labor organizing by pitting white workers against ethnic and racial minority groups, and now they are trying to win African-American support by pitting them against gays and lesbians and “elitist liberals.”
What the conservative elites fear most is a movement of blacks and whites, males and females, working-class and poor, gay and straight, all united against the tyranny of an elite ruling class which exploits labor and racial antagonism, sexism and homophobia to maintain its rule over the people of this country.
Jim Maynard
e-mail (Memphis)

The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 687, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.

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