Former Detroit resident objects to CH mayor's characterization of that city

I read with interest the Heights Observer article about Myxx being declared a public nuisance. I have no opinion on the issue one way or the other (this is the first I've heard of the problem and it's not that close to my house). However, I DO take issue with a statement made by the mayor in the last paragraph:

“This is not downtown Detroit, this is Cleveland Heights, Ohio,” said Mayor Kelley. 

I have been a proud resident of Cleveland Heights for more than 18 years. Before that, I was a proud resident of downtown Detroit. In 35 years living in Detroit and its surroundings, I had to call the police only once for anything other than a traffic accident. I or my family have had to call the police several times to report crimes (though still rarely) since we moved here.

I resent the mayor's assumption that the communities of Detroit are rife with public criminal activity and that everyone else would assume this also. Any large city will have some areas that are cleaner and safer than others. He could just as easily have used Chicago, New Orleans, Cleveland, or any other large city to make his point. For him to single out Detroit as an example is an unfair and inaccurate stereotype. 

We all know that Greater Cleveland, like Detroit, has had to battle its own stereotypes, and is trying to make a comeback. As a public official, I would expect Mayor Kelley to choose his words carefully when speaking about neighboring Cleveland, and would expect no less of him when speaking about other places. Mayor Kelley owes the good people of Detroit an apology for his disparaging remark, and also the people of Cleveland Heights for assuming that they would also engage in such unfair stereotyping and insinuating (quite incorrectly) that Detroit is such a horrible place to live.

Catherine Henry

Catherine Henry
Cleveland Heights

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 10:48 AM, 08.14.2012