Last issue Critical Moment ran an On the Corner titled “Remembering Coko.” We received the following response from one community member, which we would like to share in this issue’s OTC since we do not have a regular Letters to the Editors section. We welcome readers to voice their opinions on this issue, or any other CM content on our website, critical-moment.org.
Critical Moment Staff,
I want to thank you for writing about Coco and the tragedy of her death. I appreciated the honesty and vulnerability that you exhibited in telling your story. However, there are some concerns that I have about some of the language and tone of your piece. I understand now that “On The Corner” is a featured personal reflection piece in Critical Moment; however, this title seems to trivialize Coco’s life and her work without previously knowing that this was a featured section. The term “ladies of the night” also seems to sensationalize the work of “sex workers” as you respectfully refer to their profession in the same paragraph. However, the next paragraph refers to sex workers as “streetwalkers,” which sounds dehumanizing in my opinion. Lastly, Coco and others generally identify as transgender, not “transgendered.” I don’t mean to be malicious with my critique, but these are some negligible mistakes that should have been addressed prior to publishing the paper. I have much respect for the work that you all do. Please know that I will continue to read and support the paper, but I do think something should be said to readers about some of these concerns.
Thank you for listening,
Thank you for submitting your comments to Critical Moment! It’s really important to us as a collective to listen to and value community feedback–especially when it’s critical. We appreciate you bringing attention to the editing oversight (our use of “transgendered” where we should have written “transgender”) and will work harder to catch such mistakes in the future.
As you note, On the Corner is a regular feature that offers space for Detroit residents to share more intimate, casual reflections based on personal perspective. We are proud to open up this issue’s OTC to share your comments with our readers, and welcome the continuation of this dialogue.