What They Said... 

Letters and comments from Flyer readers: Mayor Wharton, Foote Homes, Mayor-elect Strickland, Republicans vs. Democrats

click to enlarge GREG CRAVENS
  • Greg Cravens

About Tim Sampson's column, "Thanks, Mayor Wharton" ...

As a loyal supporter of Mayor A C Wharton, I concur with Tim Sampson's thoughts. Opponents blamed the Inquisition on him, the race riots in Watts, the overthrow of the Roman Empire, you name it, but not one time did you hear the man complain.

Time and history will record his name, not only as a footnote as mayor, but as a kind-hearted man who loved his adopted city more than some of us who were born at John Gaston Hospital. Take your rest, Mr. Mayor. You are mighty deserving.


About Toby Sells' story, "Memphis Wins $30M for Foote Homes" ...

Glossing over what is ostensibly the end of traditional public housing in Memphis with an article that trumpets it as a victory over blight renders a historically significant moment in providing affordable housing as merely an afterthought in our march toward "progress." 

The slow and inexorable movement away from affordable housing provided by public entities in favor of a model that puts it primarily in the hands of the private market is a decades-long shift in public policy that has much to do with the burdensome cost of maintaining such facilities as federal support has declined. However, it is also an ideological choice to "de-concentrate" poverty through a mixed-income approach to developing communities that has very uncertain outcomes for the residents who are displaced by this process. 

Past resident opposition to demolition efforts at Foote and Cleaborne homes goes unmentioned in the article, reinforcing the notion that this solution was the only viable alternative for the neighborhood. Until we fix the systemic issues that cause the benefits of society to be distributed unequally among our community, affordable housing will continue to be a pressing need.

The fact that the removal of public housing complexes has opened up valuable downtown real estate to more speculative uses should not go unnoticed. The impending demolition of Foote Homes is a much more complex issue than simply a straightforward decision to combat blight.

Travis Allen

Some say there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans. That may have been true at one time, but not today. The recent debates make it clear that the two major parties occupy different planets.

Republicans are locked into guns, anti-government and anti-abortion rhetoric, rehashing Benghazi, and trashing the president and Hillary Clinton. They show no respect for each other.

The Democratic debate, on the other hand, offered a civilized discussion of real issues. It was very clear which party appeals to grown-ups.

Lou Ronson

About Jackson Baker's story, "What Strickland Will Do" ...

When it came down to it, white folks voted for the white candidate. I absolutely deplore this idea of trying to make this a "colorless" election when white folks win. White folks vote based on color, more than not, just like black folks. Heck, the Republicans "recommended" Strickland, a supposed Democrat in the election. How many times have they recommended an African-American Democrat that was running for mayor, or any position for that matter? We don't have media outlets that make that clear because the major ones are run by white folks.

Sure, I can handle the truth if 20 percent of African Americans crossed over to the white candidate. I have voted for white candidates, even white Republicans. I wouldn't agree with their reasoning in this case, but I sure could respect it. I just can't trust the truth from the bumbling idiots at the Shelby County Election Commission.

That being said, I didn't think when African Americans voted overwhelmingly for Herenton in 1991 that the city was going to fall off into the Mississippi, and I don't think it will in this case, either.


Mempho, it is very likely many of the votes cast by "white folks" were based on the issues, including the pension issue, the MPD, Save the Coliseum, Memphis Animal Services, and those advocating for a comprehensive plan and for economic development reform, etc.

Time to take the "everybody-is-racist-but-me" glasses off.


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