The Color of Trickle-down
Illusions only go so far: Many congratulations for your very pointed article ["Black on Black Crime," February 21]. I speak as a black contractor who was not included in the system. For many years I have watched our community deteriorate because of greed by our so-called leaders. We have started to protest all over again, because so many of us are struggling to feed our families. Please continue to write about the plight of black contractors.
Your story was well told, and I am sure it struck nerves of those involved in the schemes. It is unfortunate that our system was set up to have a trickle-down effect. When one successful black person gains contracts, the illusion has been to pass it on down to other struggling, qualified contractors. This has never happened on a large scale. We are hopeful that this year the injustice will change.
Builders Group, Inc.
No tanning bed needed -- just campaign in Hawaii: I am amazed by how many people are writing in to defend Dennis Kucinich [Letters, February 21]. Funny how not one letter mentioned any of his accomplishments.
I would expect letters defending him to at least cite something he has done. I'm sorry, but I lost all respect for Dennis when he went to Hawaii on his presidential campaign -- not once, but twice. Good thing you got that massive swing state to vote for you, eh, Dennis?
Myers: the Untold Story
Scene's PR department falls short: I am compelled to respond to your recent article on Myers ["Mired University," March 28] because it is only half the story.
I have no interest in debating the accuracy of your reporting on our past. However, the present and future of Myers found hardly any place in your article. So I will give your readers, in abbreviated form, the Myers story you did not tell.
You had little to say about the substantial financial progress Myers has made since its losses in 2005. The Myers faculty and staff have made enormous sacrifices as we have restructured operations and enhanced our performance. You don't seem to appreciate that, before appealing to the community for assistance, we did the heavy lifting ourselves; nor do you give much weight to the very positive endorsement we received from Cleveland.
After a lengthy discussion of our Board of Regents and North Central Association reviews, you failed to point out that the 2005 process culminated in unqualified renewals of our accreditation and certification. Myers certainly has not broken down, as your title suggests. We have worked hard to sustain our very successful programs and to right our financial ship. We have rendered service to the people of Cleveland for 159 years, and we intend to continue that tradition at the highest level.
Richard J. Scaldini, President
The Proverbial Pile
Jimmy ain't jumpin' in soon: Judging from the lame and empty letters published in defense of King Jimmy Dimora [Letters, February 14], one would have to believe that, contrary to the claims made by the two writers, Jimmy is indeed what much of the political machine in Cleveland is -- fat and fraudulent gutter trash. I thank Scene for reporting what the bought-and-paid-for Plain Dealer would never touch.
A good man and a leader who actually cares about the citizens for whom he works will try to fix a broken system, not figure out how to master it to the advantage of himself and his friends. A good man will jump into a pile of shit and try to clean it up, not become more of it by multiplying it to feed the scum he wallows with.
Beelzebub in Bentonville
Wal-Mart -- just the tip of the pitchfork: Thanks for publishing the brilliant article on Wal-Mart by Pete Kotz ["The Devil Wears Wal-Mart," February 28]. His depiction of the Wal-Mart machine's destruction of communities and degradation of its own workers is well documented. What Kotz didn't discuss is how the company's buying policies affect workers' lives around the world.
Because Wal-Mart has become such a big part of suppliers' markets, it can control how much it chooses to pay for products. Therefore, as companies are faced with reduced revenue, those employers have to cut costs, including wages and benefits, and often move from fair-wage and unionized areas into poverty areas of the United States, or into countries where there are few laws protecting workers or the environment.
It is not just Wal-Mart that is the problem. Corporate capitalism in its current form has undue influence at all levels of government. With the consolidation of media under massive corporate umbrellas, the debate about corporate damage and crime is shaped by the corporations themselves. Thus, we have corporations reporting record profits, while middle- and working-class workers are making less money, adjusted for inflation, than we did 30 years ago. It is corporate interests that have prevented us from moving forward to comprehensively address global warming. It is corporate interests that drive the engine of our foreign policy. It is corporate influence that allows companies that repeatedly rip off taxpayers to continue to receive no-bid contracts from our government.
It is our country, not Wal-Mart's. It's time to take it back.
Men's Action Network