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News’ editorial cartoon was in poor taste

The editorial cartoon placed in the Saturday, Nov. 6 issue of The Alpena News really troubles me. It split the state into several regions, supposedly showing “Michigan as seen from the NE part of the state” and labeled the Metro area “Down Below.” When we first moved to Rogers City from SE Michigan in 1988, I was amused to hear Metro area trips described as going “Down Below,” as if the travelers were entering the very gates of Hell. I even began jokingly using the phrase myself. But after the George Floyd killing and racial unrest around the nation, it was no longer funny. I vowed not to use the phrase again. Now I see it crudely displayed on your editorial page.

What’s more, the cartoon’s skull and crossbones placed by Detroit really crossed a line of decency and respect. I was born and raised in Detroit, and I’m just one of the many Metro area transplants living in Northeast Michigan. We don’t all regard our home towns as poison, and I don’t really appreciate the slam, even in cartoon form. It sure doesn’t help make Alpena “a warm and friendly port.”

Over the last couple of years, my husband and I have visited all of Michigan’s 103 state parks. That project took us to every part of the state. It was wonderful to see the variety of places and people we have here, making Michigan a vibrant, beautiful and interesting place. Maybe the cartoonist needs to get out more. Or maybe the editor needs to look elsewhere for cartoons.

MARY ANN HEIDEMANN

Rogers City

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