What They Said (December 4, 2014) … 

Letters and comments from Flyer readers — Bike lanes, Ferguson, Uber and Lyft, and Congressional Republicans.

About Derek Haire's Viewpoint, "Playing the Bike Card" ...

Thank you for a very well-written rebuttal to Wendi C. Thomas. I didn't know what "intersectionality" was until I read your article. I am not a sociologist. The only thing I came away with from Thomas' article is the same thing I've come away thinking from most of her articles for the past two years: Her style of writing appeals to certain people but very few people, I think, in the demographic she's wanting to influence.

Brunetto Latini

click to enlarge GREG CRAVENS
  • Greg Cravens

It's important in discussions of structural racism to openly admit the subconscious effects that living within a culture of differential privilege has on people, based upon characteristics of race or ethnicity. I, unfortunately, find it all too rare that people who charge others with racism understand how that subconscious enculturation has affected even victims of that racism in ways that make certain of their behaviors and reactions racist.


About the Flyer's editorial, "After Ferguson" ...

I spent Thanksgiving day at the home of a retired Marine — a white guy — who had served on a grand jury. He couldn't believe the procedure used for the Ferguson grand jury. From his experience, the grand jury is used to decide if there is enough evidence to go to trial. In his case, they found that there was enough evidence for most of the cases they considered, but the grand jury that he served on found that there wasn't enough presented in one of the cases.

Sue Williams

Why aren't the parents admitting to their failure to raise Michael Brown to be a positive member of society? He was obviously free to run amok with no restraints on his behavior. The stepfather of this child should be arrested and tried for inciting riots, and the mother charged with child abuse. That's who should pay for this incident — the parents.


CoryatJohn, you are making the same mistake as the Brown deifiers. Brown was an adult, just barely, but an adult. Do the math. Should your parents be held responsible for your crimes? Should they not mourn your death because you are an adult?


About Bianca Phillips' story, "Laying Down the Law" ...

Kudos for the report by Bianca Phillips on the legal steps being taken regarding Uber and Lyft in Memphis. Readers should also hear about ITN — Memphis' engagement of the national working model of the Independent Transportation Network, which provides rides for seniors and the visually impaired.

Like the aforementioned new providers, ITN utilizes volunteer drivers. Unlike Uber and Lyft, ITN went through a careful, lengthy process of ordinance revision before it began giving rides.

Kudos should also go to Memphis City Council leaders like Myron Lowery and Kemp Conrad for seeing the need and helping with non-government paths to meet that need. Ditto with compliments for Ham Smythe of Yellow Cab, who embraced the ITN concept and wants things to be fair and square.

Mark Matheny

About Congressional Republicans ...

Didn't Americans suffer enough the past six years at the hands of "do-nothing" Republican obstructionists? Apparently not. And now they're in charge for the next two years.

Remember the change Republicans John Boehner and Mitch McConnell promised right after the midterm elections? The talk of "working together"? That was just so much hocus pocus. 

House Speaker Boehner is already talking about another government shutdown if Republicans don't get their way. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is talking about impeaching President Obama if he continues his approach to immigration reform. And Tea Party darling, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, continues to blame everything from the economy to immigration to health care to possible government shutdowns on Obama. 

Oh, and don't forget, we need to investigate Benghazi for the 11th time and vote to repeal Obamacare for the 140th time. Get ready: The next two years are going to be a long, bumpy, dysfunctional ride.

Art Schrader


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